Nearly a year since the coronavirus pandemic hit, we are still forced to stay at home as much as possible outside of essential activities, such as shopping for groceries and going to work. Although we’re now officially out of lockdown, minimizing our outings is still the responsible thing to do to avoid further spreading of the virus.
And because most of us can no longer enjoy our usual hobbies that involve physical contact with other people, like playing group sports, going to the movies, or having dinner parties with friends, many are now looking for new recreational activities that are more “COVID-friendly” — stuff that can keep us busy while staying at home.
Our increased time indoors can be a great opportunity to enrich ourselves and discover new interests, but how exactly can you find a new hobby when you’re stuck at home and trying to keep out of illness’ way?
How to Find a New Hobby
It can be difficult to find new hobbies and interests that you can be passionate about. After all, it should be something that you’re willing to spend a good amount of your precious time on. Here are two things you can do to help you figure out your new pastime.
1. Ask yourself, “What do I like?”
It’s easier to find a hobby that is already in line with your current interests. So, instead of looking at lists of random activities that might not spark anything in you, grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down the things that you like. It can be anything that you already enjoy doing, a particular activity that you started doing but didn’t have the time to continue before COVID-19, or an inclination you had as a child that you haven’t been able to explore.
2. Identify your goal.
Once you’ve narrowed down the activities that you like or are even passionate about, identify what your goal is. Different hobbies achieve different things. Would you like something that is going to help you relax and enjoy your downtime? Are you looking for a physical activity that will still keep you fit at home? Does the idea of learning and mastering a new skill sound good to you? Or are you simply looking to be entertained? Remember that there are no wrong or right answers, since you are figuring out what is best for you.
If you’re done, it’s time to look at ideas for a new hobby based on your unique interests and objectives.
Reading is the ultimate form of escapism, as it allows you to be transported from one world to another. Aside from its entertaining benefits, it also stimulates your brain and cognitive functions when you concentrate on the words and paragraphs you’re reading. It also strengthens your critical thinking and analytical skills, something that are highly useful in real life.
Keeping a diary may seem a bit childish, but it’s actually a great way to reflect on your conscious thoughts, observe your mental state, and connect with your inner self. Remember that you’re writing for yourself, so don’t try to plan out what to write. Just start with whatever comes to mind and see where that takes you.
Baking is one of the most fun and meditative hobbies you can take on. While it can be complicated, it sure makes you focus on whatever you’re doing at the moment, which helps you clear your head and relax. Plus, nothing beats the fun of munching on the sweet treats after.
One of the most fun and effective exercises, running also has meditative benefits, so you’re hitting two birds with one stone. You don’t have to overthink it, just put on some running shoes (and your face mask) and start jogging around your neighborhood. It’s a perfectly good excuse to step out, but remember to keep your distance at all times.
This is the perfect time to dance like no one’s watching, ‘cause no one is! Go through your favorite upbeat playlists and dance even for a few minutes — it’s a great way to burn some calories while indoors and produce some dopamine, the feel-good hormone.
Cycling is a great alternative to running if you want something low-impact. You can ride your bike outdoors or sign up for an online spin class so you can do it while staying home as well. If you prefer going out, just make sure to pick your route carefully and follow COVID-19 guidelines to keep yourself safe.
You don’t have to go to the gym to lift weights, so you can absolutely stay in the comforts of your home while doing weight exercises to build muscle and improve your posture, among other weightlifting benefits. If you don’t have equipment at home, you can use your own body weight by doing push-ups, squats, and lunges.
Learning a new language
With all the resources available to us, it’s not that hard to learn a new language these days. Download the Duolingo app on your phone, pick the language of your choice, and start your classes. Once you’ve mastered the basic words and phrases, try watching movies and reading books in the language you’ve chosen to challenge yourself and help you learn it faster.
Playing a musical instrument
If you’re musically inclined, this is the best option for you. Even if you’re already playing one instrument, there’s no reason for you not to take on a new one to expand your horizons. Again, your resources are endless — you don’t need a personal tutor when you have countless video tutorials online.
Painting or graphic design
Just like any other skill, drawing, painting, and creating visually pleasing designs are things you can learn and master with practice. You can start by looking at sketches, paintings, and other content that inspire you, and try to recreate the techniques that you like, even with a simple sketch. Everyone has to start somewhere.