I was recently reminded of the excitement of my childhood after-school activities when I passed by a group of four-foot-tall seven-year-olds kicking a soccer ball back and forth in the park.
I remember how much fun I used to have as my mom tirelessly drove me all over town from one activity to another. But I’d be embarrassed to admit how long it’s been since I’ve done anything hobby-related for fun.
As kids, we spend so much time doing activities that excite us; we’re on the swim team, learning to play the piano, in the school play, and taking dance lessons, often all at once. So what changes when we grow up?
As we work full-time jobs, start families, and continually find ourselves overwhelmed by new responsibilities, we seem to forget what it’s like to set our worries aside and have fun. By doing this, we’re missing out on the major benefits that hobbies have on our overall health. One study from 2016 found that having hobbies, and in turn, a more motivating purpose in life, played a major role in extending life expectancy in adults. Another study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that engaging in a hobby for at least one hour a day can help prevent the development of dementia later in life. Time after time, research has produced an undeniable truth: finding an engaging, motivating hobby can be an incredibly positive influence on our lives.
The problem is that, for most adults in relatively fast-paced, work-motivated cultures who often find themselves stuck in the same routine, it can be hard to know what hobbies are even out there. When you search for them online, you’ll find yourself buried in hundreds of lists of “99 hobbies to try”; it’s overwhelming.
One way to narrow the search is by considering hobbies that tend to work best for your personality. There are a few specific activities that you might find more interesting, energizing, or engaging, based on your personality type. While there are plenty of others out there that you might love, you’re more likely to find something that naturally “clicks” if you understand your own personality.
At Crystal, we use a framework called DISC to help people better understand their personality. DISC classifies personalities into a few categories we refer to as D (dominance), I (influence), S (steadiness), and C (conscientiousness). By categorizing personalities in this way, we can easily learn more about ourselves and what we naturally tend to like. For example, an S-type (supportive and people-oriented) is less likely to appreciate a hobby that involves intense competition than a more naturally assertive D-type. To read more about DISC types, visit our Personality Hub.
Quick Tip: If you’re reading and wondering what your DISC type might be, look no further than Crystal's free personality test.
Personality-based hobby suggestions
Energetic, decisive D-types are often intense competitors that thrive with ambitious goals and challenges, preferring action over analysis. D types are also generally comfortable with conflict, and may push harder than other more passive personality styles to assert their will and take control of a situation. They tend to be energized by competition, leading teams, and direct action. They’re often drained by needing to worry about others’ feelings, slow-paced actions, and following orders.
D-types should try engaging in activities like:
Joining a local debate group or starting one with friends
Playing on or leading a sports team
Participating in public speaking, through an organization like Toastmasters
Hiking intense trails in their area
Training for and competing in 5ks, marathons, or triathlons
Hobbies that offer D-types the chance to be physically active, to accomplish measurable goals, and to lead others to success tend to be engaging and exciting for them.
Fun-loving, casual I-types tend to be confident, energetic, and extremely approachable. These individuals often love social settings and enjoy spending time with new people. They usually get excited to explore fresh ideas and begin new projects, and are likely to bounce between different groups.
I-types tend to be energized by interacting with large groups, telling stories, using emotional language, coming up with new ideas, and meeting new people. They are generally drained by following processes, analyzing data, and needing to do tedious research.
I-types should try engaging in activities like:
Taking local pottery classes
Sharing their stories through creative writing
Entertaining others through stand-up, acting, or improv
Attending regular yoga classes
Hobbies that require I-types to be physically present in their own bodies, to engage with the world artistically, and to interact with others will be more naturally enjoyable for them.
Thoughtful, consistent S-types tend to be naturally reserved people who actively pursue other supportive and loyal individuals. They are often known for being sympathetic to others' perspectives and maintaining calm, steady environments and situations. S-types tend to be energized by helping others, engaging in slower-paced activities, and getting to know people. They are often drained by competition, quick communication, and feeling rushed.
S-types should try engaging in activities like:
Writing stories, poems, or blog posts
Joining some sort of a care group, life group, or other general support group
Starting a garden
Hosting a book club
Hobbies that involve taking care of something (whether it’s people, animals, or plants), hosting events, or connecting with others through writing can be incredibly impactful for S-types.
Analytical, independent C-types are often inventors and seek thoughtful, accurate solutions to the exciting new problems and projects they are entrusted to. They tend to gravitate towards process, structure, and rules. C-types are generally energized by solving problems, maintaining their independence, thinking through decisions, and regularly gaining new knowledge. They tend to be drained by large groups of new people, breaking reliable processes, and opening up emotionally.
C-types should try engaging in activities like:
Collecting objects that relate to their passion
Creating or playing strategic games
Stargazing and learning more about astronomy
Discovering their genealogy
Hobbies that involve problem-solving and mental stamina, while allowing C-types to remain relatively autonomous tend to come more naturally for them.
Find one that works
We tend to overlook the importance of hobbies as adults; rather than acknowledging their health benefits, we often consider them to be frivolous, even though we regularly sit on our couch and click “Next Episode” when another episode of Parks and Recreation comes to a close.
Finding a hobby can help you find purpose and community in life. Though it may seem overwhelming, personality insights can help narrow your search. You may fall in love with a hobby that doesn’t seem to come naturally to your personality, which is awesome. People are infinitely complex-- there’s no perfect formula to find your hobby. But hopefully, by understanding yourself more deeply and finding an activity that energizes you, you’ll feel more fulfilled and motivated in your everyday life.