Service member woodworking

Master a New Hobby

Military life keeps you busy. Staying mission ready is a full-time job, on top of your social or family life. Fun hobbies can be an important way to relieve stress and maximize your time in the military. Picking up a new hobby or revisiting an old one helps you stay active in your free time. A hobby can even keep you focused on your mission to stay fit, keep learning and strengthen your community.

Big fun on a small budget

Your budget does not have to dictate your fun. There are plenty of options for recreation, entertainment and relaxation close by and at virtually no cost, for you and your family. Try something new. Join one of these groups and share your interests with others who enjoy the same activities.

  • Get fit: Keep your fitness fresh by training for a local race or joining a hiking or biking club. Try some competition by joining a recreation league for soccer, basketball or another favorite sport.
  • Read and watch: Join a book or some other club or start one of your own. If you don’t have time to get through all those pages, try a weekly movie night to talk with fellow fans.
  • Use your hands: Put your determination and strength to use by taking on small carpentry jobs around the house, working on an engine, making crafts, gardening or building furniture.
  • Volunteer: Ask around your installation or community center about working as a tutor, mentor or coach, or about finding dog shelters, local parks and other nonprofit endeavors you can support with your time.

New hobbies for a new home

If you’ve recently moved, hobbies can be a great way to connect with your new location and learn about your surroundings. It’s an ideal way to meet others in both your local and military communities. Take advantage of ways to explore and help your family settle in with support from new activities and traditions.

  • Learn a new language: If you’ve moved overseas, take the opportunity to practice new words and phrases. You’ll get more comfortable chatting with the locals and build new skills that can serve your career.
  • Try a new recipe: Cooking is a great way to explore local traditions as you shop for new ingredients and try new tastes. Once you’re finished, invite over others to share the meal.
  • Libraries and museums: Your local library branch has plenty of reading material, as well as listings about local events. Most towns and cities have museums and cultural institutions, with exhibits and events that are often free.

For more ideas on ways to stay active on your installation or in your community, check out Military OneSource Health and Wellness Coaching or your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. If you’ve recently moved, read about ways to explore your new home and find support with 7 Tips for Connecting with Others During a Move or Deployment