After a long day that’s left me mentally exhausted, it’s hard to muster up the motivation to do anything other than brainlessly scroll through social media—and I know I’m not alone! When I’m feeling low-energy, I typically opt to avoid any activity that isn’t exclusive to moving my thumb. However, I also feel like garbage every time I waste an evening scrolling TikTok’s endless girl lunch ideas and ACOTAR fan casts. This year, I’m making a point to break this problematic cycle, so I did us all a solid in finding some alternative hobbies to try.
Before you run for the hills (or rather, your couch) thinking these suggestions will require you to exert energy that you just don’t have, let me reassure you: These hobbies are for lazy girls in their most vegged-out states. You won’t find hiking, baking, or learning a language on this list, but you will discover some unique, low-energy hobbies that just might convince you to set aside socials for the evening.
1. Paint by number
Painting can be a super relaxing pastime, but deciding what to paint is sometimes so overwhelming that you decide to forgo the activity altogether. Thankfully, paint-by-number kits make it easy to create a work of art with little creativity or artistic skill needed. With the artwork and color scheme already chosen for you, the activity is mindless in the best way. Grab a heated blanket and a steaming beverage of your choice, then settle in at a table to paint away.
Where to start: A quick Google search for “adult paint-by-number kits” will bring up a plethora of options to choose from, whether you prefer to paint a nature scene, a floral design, or a travel-inspired theme. Your local craft stores may also carry adult paint-by-numbers, should you prefer to browse in person.
2. Put together a puzzle
Puzzles are one of the very best things to do when you don’t want to put much energy into an activity but are trying to resist the lure of mindless scrolling. There’s such a wide variety of puzzles to choose from as well, which ensures you won’t fall prey to boredom. Another great thing about puzzles? They’re incredibly accessible as you can find them at drugstores and grocers, retailers like Target and Barnes & Noble, and online.
Where to start: Visit a local store to peruse their puzzle selection, or search around online until you find a few that you like. As soon as you get home or your order arrives on your doorstep, you’ll be ready to sit back with a bevvy and blanket, play some calming music or a podcast, and go to town to put those pieces together.
3. Take up crocheting
In addition to being a perfect match for your low-energy mood, crocheting is a fantastic practical skill to learn. While you’ll likely want to start with a basic project like a scarf or potholder, you could eventually work your way up to crocheting socks, hats, mittens, and even handbags and cardigans. Once you’re accustomed to the stitching patterns, the process becomes second nature—which is ideal for days in which your brain power and motivation have been depleted.
Where to start: Crocheting is one of the easiest hobbies to begin because you only need three items, and you likely already have one of them at home. Head to your local craft store to grab a crochet hook, yarn, and scissors. Or, if you’re more of an all-in-one girly, shop online for a crochet kit. Once you have your supplies, you can teach yourself to crochet by following written and/or video tutorials. Start with something small and simple, then work up to larger, more intricate projects over time.
4. Craft homemade cards
The practice of giving cards has become increasingly rare in the digital age, but it’s always lovely to receive one. Giving hand-signed cards is one of the most thoughtful ways you can let someone know you’re thinking of them, and giving a handmade card is even more touching. Similar to scrapbooking, there are many techniques you can use to create a unique piece of art that the recipient will treasure forever.
Where to start: Like so many hobbies these days, you can opt for a choose-your-own-adventure route or more of a guided journey when it comes to cardmaking. To chart your own course, take a trip to a craft store and peruse the scrapbooking section for quality paper, stamps, paint, ribbon, and any other elements you might want to incorporate. Your selection will determine what tools you’ll need, but it can be as simple as scissors, tape, and glue. If you want more guidance while dipping your toes in the hobby, look for a cardmaking kit that includes all the supplies you’ll need.
5. Try your hand at calligraphy
You know what would be a fabulous addition to your homemade cards? Calligraphy. The beautifully drawn lettering instantly elevates the look of any writing, and there are many different styles you can learn depending on the aesthetic you’re going for. If you’re wary of calligraphy because you have “bad” handwriting, don’t worry! Like drawing and other art forms, calligraphy just takes practice.
Where to start: Established calligraphers will tell you not to worry about buying a bunch of fancy writing utensils from the jump. Rather, they suggest starting with a regular pen or pencil and following a calligraphy workbook. Some calligraphy kits come with writing utensils, but if you already have pens you can use, start with just a workbook.
6. Dive into soapmaking
Soapmaking is not only low-energy but also a very practical hobby. Everyone needs soap, so why not try to become your own personal Lush factory? Though making soap involves several steps, the process is straightforward. The more comfortable you get, the more creative liberties you can take, and homemade bars of soap make for very thoughtful gifts that are easy to tailor to each loved one on your list.
Where to start: First, you’ll need to stock up on a digital scale, thermometer, molds, soap base, and some essential oils. The easiest way to get started is by purchasing a kit. Once you become more familiar with the process, you can start experimenting with fun-shaped molds, exfoliating ingredients like oatmeal, botanical elements for decoration, and more.
7. Create your own sugar scrub
Keeping with the body care theme, making sugar scrubs is another great low-energy hobby. Homemade concoctions take just a few ingredients and mere minutes to make. The end product is a natural and divine-smelling exfoliator that will leave your skin feeling lush, hydrated, and silky smooth. And, again, what an elite gift for loved ones! A little homemade soap and sugar scrub bundle? Yes, please.
Where to start: To make a sugar scrub, you’re obviously going to need a decent amount of granulated sugar, depending on how big of a batch you plan to make. You’ll need coconut oil as well—we suggest finding a recipe online and adjusting it to your batch size if needed. If you want to go the extra mile, you can further scent your scrub with essential oils or citrus zest. All you need to do is combine the ingredients at room temperature with a spoon or fork, then pour the scrub into an airtight receptacle like these amber jars—it’s really that easy!
8. Make a mosaic
Mosaics can turn into incredibly elaborate projects, but they don’t need to be overly complicated when you’re a beginner! Mosaic art features small pieces of glass, ceramic, stone, and other hard materials that are arranged to create a pattern, image, or abstract work. The mosaic is held in place with grout and sealant, which bonds and secures the design. The creative process of arranging your mosaic will put you in a zen state, and the end result is a distinctive piece of handmade art to treasure or gift.
Where to start: There’s a kit for everything these days, and mosaics are no exception. Keep it simple until you find your footing by purchasing a kit that includes everything you need. As you get more comfortable, you can begin collecting your own tesserae—those small shards of varying material—to create more personalized projects. You could incorporate shells, buttons, beads, bottle caps… the possibilities are endless!