Branch Out

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F

703-324-3100
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Christina Paladeau,
Editor, Branch Out

Department Resources


Related Resources


Celebrate National Hobby Month

 

Two photos of person watching a knitting how-to video and hands knitting

Kick off a new year with goals and activities inspired by January’s special emphasis on pastimes.

Resolve to Learn More

January is National Hobby Month, and many people are busy making New Year’s resolutions. What better time to learn a new hobby or master a skill you already love?

According to National Today, a “hobby horse” or “tourney horse” was a toy with a long stick and a small horse’s head at one end that children would “ride” as they played. The expression “to ride one’s hobby horse” eventually came to mean “to follow one’s favorite pastime.” Over several centuries, the word “hobby” became associated with recreation and leisure. Hobbies took on greater respectability by the 18th century, and, today, a hobby is described as an activity that may become a regular practice for some.

Why Have a Hobby?

How we spend our leisure time is important. DevelopGoodHabits.com explores the benefits of engaging in an activity or pastime, noting that it can: help alleviate stress; teach new skills; create relationships with other people with similar interests; prevent boredom; and build confidence and self-esteem. Hobbies also promote brain health by keeping our minds active as we regularly participate in things that interest us.

How Do I Choose a Hobby?

From activities like solving puzzles and playing a musical instrument to making jewelry, woodworking, painting or knitting, many of us have a go-to pastime based on our creative interests. Start by pursuing these things you already love or reclaim a childhood interest. If you like it, great! Keep at it. If not, cross it off the list and move on to a new activity inspired by other interests. However, be sure to spend ample time trying out a new hobby before you rule it out — research cited by HuffPost showed that it took an average of 66 days for study participants to develop a new behavior into a habit.

How Can I Get Started?

Make use of resources available at your library to learn a new skill. Universal Class offers access to more than 70 craft and hobby online classes for topics including cake decorating, candle making, baking, creative writing and more. Our talented library staff members also offer how-to programming, so be sure to keep an eye on our calendar. All these classes are free with your FCPL library card!

Upcoming Virtual Events

Read Global Book Discussion
First Tuesday of the Month, 7 p.m.
Travel the world from your couch! The Read Global book club meets monthly to discuss a variety of fiction. Titles are usually announced two or three months in advance.

Hooked on Crochet
Wednesdays, January 27-February 17, 11 a.m.
Want to learn a fun, cute, colorful and versatile new skill? This beginner program will introduce the elements of crocheting and the tools you need and get you started on your first project. This program is offered in 3- or 4-week sessions. Registration is for a whole session.

Start the New Year With Meditation
Wednesday, January 13, 12 p.m.
Bring joy, peace, positivity and relaxation into your daily life and begin the New Year with a fresh start. Dr. Andrew Vidich will help you achieve that by sharing simple meditation techniques.

The Practical Approach to Meditation
Tuesday, February 23, 6:30 p.m.
Nirav Sheth will share meditation techniques that can increase calmness and clarity as well as promote happiness.

Register for these and other virtual events online to receive links to participate.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant