What do you do for fun?

The latest episode of Free Agents stuck a cord with me.

I am 31, currently working for ‘the man’, with no real urge to go into Free agency, but still find the topics covered and talked about helpful.

In the latest episode it was mentioned that ‘fun’ was important for staving off burn out. I’m struggling to actually find things that I find fun.

My partner works most weekends, and I often find myself working my day job without even thinking, of course this cant be good for my health.

What are my options? I’ve considered a games console, such as a Switch or other, but the cost is quite high,

The cost to get started is quite high, but once you have the console each game can provide hundreds of hours of entertainment. So it’s definitely not insanely expensive. (I have a Switch sitting in my Amazon basket right now too!)

Do you enjoy reading? There are often book clubs where you can discuss books if you want something with a social aspect.

The other thing that’s coming up soon is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Even if you’re not a writer this could be great fun, there are regular meetings in many locations, and the challenge is definitely something that works well for my brain.

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My problem is fun and work are so blended… although I guess that’s not really a problem

Fun Things include
Reading - LOTS, I’m at over 80 books read so far this year and expect to hit something over 100 easily. I like Science Fiction, Thrillers, Mysteries and Cozy Mysteries as well as some business books, and of course lots of farming and sheep and genetics books.

@RosemaryOrchard mentioned Writing and I’m a long time participant in NaNoWriMo. Already planning my sprint for this year. I’m usually a NaNo rebel, not always a new novel, and in fact this year will be year 3 on the first of my NaNo projects that might actually be worth publishing. I have a lot more to add to it that I’ve made notes on over the past year and plan to write another 50k words of new material so I have plenty to edit down later.

I spin yarn for several hours each night when we watch movies or other shows. None on regular broadcast TV, all of our watching is now Amazon Prime or Netflix but I get a twofer by spinning while I watch. I make scrapbooks, have a photography show coming up in November of my photographs at the local Pub, knit, weave, do some quilting, sew historical garments and some useful ones, enjoy catching deer (not so much into the hunting, but I like to eat them :wink: ) shooting sports, cooking, genealogical research (on the back burner now but it resurfaces occasionally) scanning and researching old photographs (working on 2 huge projects, 1 for the historical society and 1 for me personally), doing genetic calculations and programming on LambTracker (this blends into work). Most of the sheep farm stuff is fun to me, one reason I’m still doing it but technically that is also work. Secretary/Registrar/Treasurer for the American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Association which registers all BWMS in North America, approved inspector of these sheep for the UK Association, also handle the white and chocolate Welsh mountain registries, active in local issues right now focused on stopping fracking of our watershed, Ditch company BOD member and that’s just the major things. I’m also trying to learn how to draw with colored pencils and do some limited painting. I’d like to travel more (not yet possible with no one to care for the farm) but we are working on that.

I’d start by listing any and everything you think you might be interested in or have ever been interested in and then make a point to dip a toe into the waters of all of them. You’ll find something you love to do I am sure.

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Well games for me are great because you don’t have to play the latest and greatest. Pick up a used PS2, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or GameCube.

They’re all awesome and super cheap.

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I know this isn’t for everyone but I’ve always gravitated towards art based hobbies! I love making miniature polymer clay models, painting and sketching.

There is a bit of an investment that needs to be made in supplies but when you are just starting off you can get by with cheap paints/clay/pencils ect. There are also tons of free tutorials on youtube.

I find art is just a great way to relax and clear your mind while creating something wonderful! (Once you get good paintings and figurines can make for excellent gifts as well)

I’ve started to post my art on Instagram recently too which has been a fun way to participate in the community https://www.instagram.com/gogetcrafty/

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Civilisation has 1000s hours gameplay if you like it.
Farm Heroes kept us hoked for months (without paying).
I also like doing cryptic crosswords, watching Netflix and coding.
They can all lose their lustre if I do each too much, but I always try to keep something creative and not work based going on. I actually love learning, so I keep picking up new hobbies!

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Start with a hard budget then try to find something you like and want to do. How about starting out looking something fun, relaxing and free? My favorite is free: walking and hiking.

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I do a few things for fun, I play a few strategy games, and I love to read but I also do a lot of work like things.

My day job is a software engineer, and I love it! Often I will work on software projects for fun, the trick is to not do things too directly related to what I am doing at work and to feel free to go slow and get things done more perfectly

When I was 31 I had the same dilemma. Up until that point I wa focused on academia and work. I decided I needed to change things, and I did.

I made a decision to pursue a passion every year for the next 10 years. It was never about trial or experimentation, it was about finding things that I find enriching to my life and making them an active part of my being.

If I compare with many of my friends, I think this is the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve added so many new dimensions to my life, while many of my friends have not developed many (or any) personal passions.

Some of the hobbies I pursued are: cooking, photography, salsa dancing, learning French, and as my profile picture suggests, skydiving. The idea was always to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

While video games are effective in killing time, I don’t find them enriching personally. If that’s your thing then go for it, but life has so much to offer and we often fall into the trap of letting life pass us by. Go, explore, live, find passions and enrich your life!


I love this idea! I have lots of hobbies but they tend to be extensions of things I did growing up. I think throwing myself into something new and completely different every year could be excellent.

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I used to read for pleasure, but since I’m a literature professor reading can become work very quickly. I mainly do two things:

  1. I listen to audiobooks while going for long walks. I live pretty near the beach so I feel like I should see the ocean every day or two. Most of what I listen to is detective fiction. Which is kind of work-related, but as long as I can’t take notes, it’s relaxing.

  2. I play turn-based RPG games (usually Japanese ones) on our Playstation. Right now I’m into the new Dragon Quest which I suspect will last for several months. I play games very slowly.

I used to do calligraphy, but when I got to my mid-40s my day job work started making my eyes tired so I needed hobbies that didn’t require intense close-up vision. I still miss lettering but use some of that energy journaling with fountain pens.


Lots of good ideas here.

I work in a contact centre where it’s office work all day. So my “fun” is running: 5k, 10k, half marathons and marathons. I’m actually supposed to be on a flight today to Munich for the marathon on Sunday but something called a heart bypass put paid to that. So it’s reading, learning to touch type (at 55!) and writing (intermittently), I might sign up for NaNoWriMo this year - just for something to do.

And sometimes the actual running isn’t always fun, but I do like having been on a run …

I also have a spare PS3 and have wondered about pulling it out and having a go (never been a gamer), but I guess I have some time on my hands before I go back to work at the end of the month.

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For have me some fun… I try for threes. Three main things that I actually do.
l’m in a transition phase pushed by mobility issues.

Leaving behind motorcycles, shooting sports (IDPA and sporting clays) pushing forward playing with my blog from writing to plugins, Euro style board games, raised bed & container gardening.

Social — regular scheduled breakfasts with friends, game play…

Future — build a niche garden website and… master Drafts, figure out if iOS automation is of benefit to me.

Oh yes, walking and listening to podcasts is kind of fun. Or is it just relaxing?


Reading is always good, and it can be quite inexpensive if you take advantage of your local library (I just moved into an apartment literally right across the street from the brand new library so for me it’s very “local”).

Outdoor recreation of all types, from just going on a walk to more strenuous activities.

Computer and console gaming. As others have mentioned if you can find a game with lots of play-time that really catches your interest the cost per hour of enjoyment can be quite low.

Watching this thread with interest. I’m a borderline workaholic, and struggle to relax. I enjoy going for walks, but need to build my fitness slowly due to previous back and groin injuries. I used to love the Pokémon video games, but I stopped after Gen 4 and would love to get back into them, but you can’t back up the save files! I don’t want to lose hundreds of hours of play time (trust me, it’s happened before :frowning_face:).

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Sounds like Pokémon Go would be worth looking into. I’ve logged thousands of km in the game (and met several new people).

Another incredibly fun passtime is climbing (both in gyms and on rock). It seems to hold a special attraction for geeky people, especially those in science, math, and engineering. I’d be surprised if there weren’t a bunch of MPU’ers in the sport.


I was a little older than you when I really began to appreciate what a huge role physical activity can play in maintaining good mental health. I had played recreational sports from a young age and always enjoyed them socially, but I didn’t really think about the effect they had on my mood. In my late 30s I started walking, jogging, biking – anything to be out of the house and moving for an hour or two on a weekend afternoon instead of just sitting around watching TV if my friends were busy. I became a generally happier and more optimistic person.

It helps if you have somewhere nice to do those things. I lived in Chicago, within walking distance of the lake, where thousands of other people are doing the same thing on any given weekend afternoon. But even in more mundane settings, the high you get from an hour of movement can still make it all worthwhile.

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Great thread! Although I can’t claim to be active in all these, here are some which have brought me joy at different points in my life;

Mountain biking
Wine Making
Field recording (using a microphone to record sounds in nature)
Listening to music
Creating music in Logic/GarageBand
Learning a new language (really, learning anything new!)
Coaching local sports

Thanks everyone!


During work I spend a lot of time staring into screens, so I try to do stuff for fun that`s the opposite. So, no consoles. I also got rid of the TV almost 10 years ago. An no, no Netflix, no nothing.
So, enough time to enjoy stuff I truly love:

  • travel
  • photography (ideally combined with travel)
  • hiking, climbing, mountain bike, running…anything to get out there
  • cooking
  • reading
  • try to do as much of the above as possible with my significant other
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