According to noted Dr. Paul R. Amato, Emeritus Professor of Family Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University, about 42%–45% of marriages in the United States are predicted to end in divorce. “And if you throw in permanent separations that don’t end in divorce, then the overall likelihood of marital disruption is pushing 50%,” he notes. In Canada, 38% of marriages will end in divorce. While that may not make you feel better, making sure that you live your best life and take care of yourself after your divorce is final is an important step to take.
Jump-Start Your New Life
Divorce can be overwhelming at times, but one of the best ways to jump-start your new life after divorce is through hobbies.
Your post-divorce hobbies can be completely new, or they can be ones you used to love but let fall by the wayside during your marriage. When Jean Wilson, a Montreal-native, divorced her husband after 25 years of marriage, she took the opportunity to rediscover her passion for ballroom dancing. It was there where she channeled her energy into positivity, improved her physical health, built new friendships, and – most of all – she discovered more about herself.
The silver lining to the end of your marriage is that it offers the perfect opportunity to try new post-divorce hobbies and activities and reinvent yourself – or simply pick up where you left off when you got married all those years ago. After you have allowed yourself time to heal and grieve, you may find yourself searching for new things to do to satisfy your new unoccupied hours. (Remember not to limit your possibilities to activities you did as a couple or something your ex would approve of. You have no one to please but yourself!)
If you’re interested in pursuing a new hobby but aren’t sure what to jump into, check out the following seven suggestions.
7 Post-Divorce Hobbies to Reinvent Your Life
1. Get Physically Active
If you’re interested in getting active, check out one of the many adult sports leagues available in most cities. You can choose anything from bowling to soccer, and it will help you stay busy, meet new people and get in or stay in shape. If team sports aren’t your thing, consider taking a few classes on anything that interest you: from aquafit to pilates to latin dance.
2. Learn to De-Stress with Yoga
Yoga is a great way to de-stress and relax. It’s designed to help you build muscle strength and flexibility while clearing your mind. There are many classes available, and chances are while you’re getting healthier you just might make a new friend or two as well.
3. Get Creative with Arts
Crafts are a great way to unwind, either alone or with friends. Right now, classes with friends where you have a little wine and paint are all the rage. You can also find clubs for beginners learning to draw, quilt, knit, scrapbook, as well as just about every craft or kind of art you can imagine. Check out your local community college for classes too.
4. Cooking For One
Life after divorce doesn’t mean that you should rely heavily on instant Ramen noodles and Chinese takeout. You may be used to serving large meals and learning how to cook for one can be a big lifestyle change. On the other hand, if your spouse did all the cooking and baking during your marriage and your culinary skills are limited to boiling water and making toast, consider joining a “learn to cook” class. If you’re already pretty proficient but have always wanted to learn cooking techniques, skills, and recipes outside of your comfort zone, join an advanced or specialty class – from Thai food to French pastries.
The United States and Canada both offer plenty of culinary tours and classes that provide a wide variety of cooking styles and ingredients from the Atlantic shorelines to the Pacific coast and from North to South. Not only will this help you gain a new skill, you can even use it as an opportunity to make new friends – or invite old ones to a delicious dinner you made yourself from scratch.
5. Gardening – Embrace Your Green Thumb
Even if you’re in an apartment, you can garden. Houseplants are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and there are groups devoted to them all over the internet. If you’re interested in outdoor gardening but don’t have space, look for a community garden. They offer plots free of charge for you to grow whatever you like.
In return, you may be asked to donate a portion of your bounty to feed the hungry. It a great way to get outside and active, meet new people and save money by growing your own food. Homegrown veggies and herbs taste a lot better too!
6. Travel Where You Haven’t Been Before
What’s more fun than discovering new places? Now’s a great time to start. A change of scenery can be tremendously therapeutic. Look for travel companies and tours that cater to singles or grab a bunch of your friends and start planning your next adventure.
7. Turn Your Hobby Into a Career of Your Dreams
Want to turn your hobby into a possible source of income? There are plenty of hobbies that will offer just that. Got an eye for photography? Turn your photographic skills into a high-paying career. Do you enjoy making crafts like homemade bows, bags, dog-collars, or knit work? With the rise of online shops like Etsy, you can find new customers instantly with photos of your pieces.
When you choose to embrace the passion in your skills, you can turn your favorite hobby into your dream career in no time. Just keep in mind that like any hobby-turned-career, self-promotion is vital.bsp;
A divorce is a life-changing event that can leave you stressed and lonely unless you take action to take those divorce lemons and make some new-life lemonade. These seven suggestions for post-divorce hobbies may not be for you – but they may inspire you to start searching for a hobby that you’ll look forward to with excitement and anticipation. Remember not to neglect self-care during and after divorce, and don’t be afraid to get out there and enjoy life again when you’re ready!
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.