Mindfulness rules as Brits pursue calming hobbies

Brits are pursuing serenity in their spare time as a new American Express (NYSE: AXP) study reveals artistic and home-based hobbies will be some of the most popular pastimes in 2019.

Artistic hobbies (34%) top the list this year with UK adults taking up pastimes such as painting, drawing, creative writing and model building. Brits are also turning to more traditional recreations (24%) such as cross-stitch, calligraphy and origami, than team sports (17%) such as football, rugby and netball.

Top 5 Hobby Hit List for 2019

Hobby or sport % of people taking up in 2019
1. Artistic pursuits (including drawing, painting and sculpture) 34%
2. Home-based hobbies (baking, cooking and gardening) 27%
3. Solo sports (including cycling and running) 27%
4. Traditional recreations (including calligraphy, knitting and origami) 24%
5. Performance pastimes (including acting, dancing and stand-up comedy) 22%

The most common reason for taking up a new hobby is to achieve a better work/ life balance (21%), with Brits spending an average of £23.50 per month on their personal passion. This equates to £3 billion a year across the UK as a whole.

Londoners are happy to spend the most on extracurricular activities at £34.20 each per month. Gardening will be one of the most popular hobbies (17%) for people living in the capital reflecting the rise of urban green spaces in the city.

Spending quality time with others is another common reason for choosing a new pastime in 2019 and more than half(57%) intend to start their new sport or hobby with someone else such as a friend or family member.

Stephen Steinhardt, Director at American Express, says: “Brits are leaning towards more mindful and relaxing hobbies this year, giving them time to take a step back from the stresses of everyday life. If you’re choosing to invest in yourself by joining a new class or group, take a moment to ensure that the money you spend on your new hobby works hard for you. Using a credit or charge card that gives you cashback or rewards means you can treat yourself later in the year too.”

Top tips for keeping up your hobby this year:

  1. Buddy up – Finding a friend who wants to start the same hobby as you will give the opportunity to spend more time with a loved one, as well as giving you both the motivation to keep up your new pastime throughout the year.
  1. Join a club – Whether you want to get into running or reading, there’s usually a club you can join. You’ll find likeminded people who will help to keep you motivated throughout the year and you may meet a new group of friends.
  1. Set goals – American Express research showed nearly one fifth (19%) of people found setting themselves a clear goal helped them to keep past New Year’s resolutions. Set yourself monthly targets for what you would like to achieve, making sure these are realistic so you don’t get disheartened when unachievable targets aren’t met.
  1. Treat yourself – Reward yourself when you complete each of your set goals, with something that can help you along the way with your new hobby or sport, such as a new piece of kit. Having something to look forward to once you’ve reached each target will help to keep you driven.
  1. Pay with points – If you’re investing in a new kit or equipment it makes sense to check if you can use any earned points on your rewards cards to minimise any big expenses upfront.

Author: Editorial Team

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