The current pandemic has brought the whole world to a halt. We are reimagining our lifestyle and adapting to a new way of living in the lockdown.
This time can be stressful because of the uncertainty of the future and the constant pressure to use this time in the best way possible. However, contrary to what you might hear, the lockdown is not a productivity contest. You don’t have to be doing something productive all the time and utilize every minute of the day.
Giving yourself time, space, and breaks is very important for your well-being and functioning. Taking this time to reflect upon yourself and indulging in self-care rituals is completely okay. Every day you should do something that makes you feel good and at ease. Here are some hobbies you can dive into if you’re looking to do something fun and therapeutic this quarantine:
Learn something new
This has been said enough times and I’ll say it again, learn something new. Learning a new skill or a hobby gives the human brain a different high altogether which cannot be derived from anything else. Nobody likes monotony and getting your hands on something new can effectively break it while also impacting your brain positively.
A novel idea brings with it an exciting rush. Doing something that I haven’t done before is something I rely on to nurture my mental health and give myself the much-needed dopamine rush. There is no dearth of online courses and workshops that you can do to learn any and everything that excites you like learning a new language, video editing, photography, instrument, making mandalas, or simply the art of meditation.
Since there is a lot of time in hand you will often be told to use this opportunity to upgrade your CV and upskill yourself, however, it is important to remind yourself that this is a pandemic and not a summer vacation. Seeing how others are using this time “productively” can be overwhelming and induce stress and anxiety. I cannot stress enough how deeply meditation can help you control your thoughts and ease your anxiety.
Consistently channeling your energy towards meditation can help you cope with this difficult time. Another peaceful activity that you can indulge in is yoga. Simply getting an hour early than usual and doing yoga can hugely impact the rest of your day. You will find yourself with a better concentration ability and a calmer state of mind. You can check out apps like Headspace, Calm, and Sattva for meditation. Furthermore, listening to soothing sounds of nature like the sound of rain or breeze before going to bed also relaxes the mind.
Dance to your beat
Take up dancing to experience the joy of movement. Dancing not only keeps us fit but also rejuvenates our mind. When you think of physical activity there is nothing better than dance because no other form of fitness could be more fun than tapping to the beat of your favorite song.
Make a routine and take out around 1.5 hours every day to groove to your playlist. Follow YouTube dance tutorials or go a step ahead and enroll yourself in online dance classes for proper guidance.
This is the perfect time to learn a new dance form in the comfort of your home. You can check out The Verb Studio, TMILLYTV, Cult.fit for free, and paid dance sessions.
‘Art’ thou bored?
Art is a wonderful form of expression that you can take up as a hobby while in quarantine. Painting, doodling or sketching- none of these require you to get up and you can do it at any time of the day. Making an art journal can be a great first step in cultivating this therapeutic habit. This is the right time to take out that diary which you buried deep in your drawer because you were waiting to put it to good use someday.
The best part about it is that you can get started with something as basic as a pencil, a black pen, and a design from Pinterest that suits your mood. Even if you’ve hardly drawn in your life, you will fall in love with just how refreshing art can be. However, don’t worry if you’re not good at it at first, just enjoy the whole process.
You may also read: Fitness regimes: Healthy Mind + Healthy Body = Happy Life
Water your soul through gardening
Nothing beats the happiness we get by being in a space full of greenery and foliage. Get into gardening and adorn your balcony with the beauty of plants. When you water a plant you not only help the plant grow but also aid your mental health. Green space is a happy space and indulging in gardening can act as a great stressbuster for the days when you’re overloaded with work or mentally exhausted after online classes. You can also get indoor plants and give a touch of green to your work desk.
Life in quarantine cannot be complete without baking at least one cake or experimenting with a new dish. This is the time to brush up your cooking skills and gain the basic life skill that you are definitely going to need at some point in your life. Start from learning small and take it step-by-step and who knows you might end up falling in love with the art of cooking.
Now, if you’re already in your kitchen you might as well try baking and check off another box in the list of social media trends during the lockdown. Baking is therapeutic and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you pull off baking a whole cake by yourself. The feeling of eating something that you made with your hands is incomparable. There are a large number of tutorials available on YouTube for you to get started.
Chess do it!
Yes, your quarantine hobby could even be playing a board game every day. The current situation has all of us locked up inside our homes. This is the time to bring back the board games that were played for leisure before our phones replaced them.
Chess is one such game that can prove to be very engaging. It is a stimulating exercise for the brain and helps build our ability to focus. By making the brain think it also increases our problem-solving ability. You can even enter into online chess competitions and hone your skills in the game.
Write your heart out
What better way to express yourself than pouring your heart out on paper? As Anne Frank said “Paper has more patience than people”, your diary will always be there for you like a best friend. Start by writing everyday events that happen in your life and describe everything in detail.
You can also write about the best moment of each day even if it is just eating your favorite snack or getting some extra sleep. Writing really helps you get off the load that you carry in your mind and ruminate about your feelings that you tend to overlook.
If you just feel like laying on your bed and watching a series or a movie then you should definitely give documentaries a shot. Give a break to all the fictional series you’ve been watching and try documentaries to experience the thrill of real stories. A documentary is not only interesting to watch but also informative and opens the window of inquisitiveness in your mind. Watching a documentary is great because it provides information in the form of entertainment. There are plenty of documentaries that you can watch on YouTube and other streaming platforms.
Have you ever tried to read a book in the past and put it down after reading just 2 pages?
If your answer is yes, then now is the time to cultivate the habit of reading within yourself. Reading not only makes you wise but it is also known to have a significant role in shaping your personality. If you’re not an avid reader, start with reading at least 7-10 pages every day. Find a peaceful spot, settle in a comfortable position, and get started. Reading aloud as if you’re reading to someone also helps in cultivating this habit. You can also go for audiobooks wherein books are practically read to you. Audible.com is one site where you can find a huge number of audiobooks to listen to.
Try your hands at blogging if you’re bored to the bone in this quarantine and want to do something creative and exciting. Blogging/Vlogging is a great way to showcase yourself on the internet through your opinions, talent, and content. The internet is a huge place that can accommodate any and every talent and you can deliver your unique content in written, audio, or video form.
Blogger.com and Wordpress.com are two sites that can help you get started with your written blog. Instagram is another platform where a huge amount of content consumption and delivery takes place, all you need to do is start a page. For video content, YouTube is the ideal place to be. Just create a YouTube channel and pour your content out.
Origami or the art of paper folding is something that can never get old and is great to give a shot to while you have surplus time in the lockdown. It is one activity that people of all ages can do and enjoy and it only requires a thin, foldable paper. It is not only fun to create paper creatures but also develops your imagination and helps you concentrate better. The internet is filled with numerous tutorials on origami so get started without further ado.
Edited by Annanya Chaturvedi