The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way most people live, work, and play. Work has shifted from offices to homes, socialization has moved from in-person conversations to video chats, and communal hobbies like playing on amateur sports teams have faded in favor of more solitary pursuits. Time at home has given rise to a boom in crafting and other solo hobbies. Keep reading for more information on four of the most popular, including what you’ll need to get started.
Fiber arts is a wide umbrella that covers knitting, crocheting, cross stitching, and several other popular hobbies. All of these crafts are perfect for a person who wants to create a lasting object by just crafting around; beginning knitters and crocheters will likely start with washcloths and work their way up to more difficult items, eventually becoming proficient enough to make items of clothing and home goods, while beginning cross stitchers will likely start with a small, uncomplicated piece stitched on a bookmark, card, or beginner’s wall hanging. Knitting and crocheting require a set of needles or a hook respectively, a ball of yarn, and a pattern. Cross stitching requires Aida cloth, a needle, floss, and a pattern. All of these items can be found at any craft store and a variety of beginner patterns are available online. YouTube and other video sharing platforms have tutorials if you do not have an experienced artist to teach you.
In times of stress, many people turn to writing their thoughts in a journal as a form of stress relief. If that appeals to you, consider giving journaling a try! You can choose between bullet journaling (often shortened to “bujo” in online discourse) and long-form journaling. Bullet journaling is a free-form exercise that often combines the structure of a planner with the fluidity of a daily journal; adherents use a specialized journal with a series of dots placed on a grid system to outline everything from daily tasks to meal plans and budgets. Long-form journaling is what most people imagine when they thing of writing in a journal. Hobbyists record their thoughts, write snippets of poetry or drafts of larger works, and process their feelings on the page. To start, you’ll need either a bullet journal or bound lined journal and high-quality pens; all of these items can be found at most major retailers and online.
If you’re feeling cooped up and itching to spend time in nature, gardening might be the hobby for you! Despite the popular conception of a gardener as someone who labors over a large plot of land, gardens can be as small as a succulent container of herbs on your windowsill or a pot of tomatoes on your balcony. No matter the scale, the act of growing and sustaining life is good for your mental health. All you need to get started is a succulent or small pot of herbs, both available in the outdoors section of most hardware stores. If the seeds do not come with recommendations on how often to water your plant and how much sun exposure they may need, the Internet is full of advice from experts on how to help your plants thrive.
Cooking has become a popular pastime as restaurants closed their dining rooms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Left with the option of eating at home, many diners are opting to cook their own food. Cooking can be a great bonding activity for parents and children, with parents supervising their kids while they do age-appropriate tasks. It is also a foolproof date night idea for couples. If you are new to cooking, start small and simple by making something with minimal preparation; think a salad with chopped vegetables, nuts, and cheese, or a sauteed chicken breast with buttered noodles. As you gain confidence in your skills, you can explore new ethnic cuisines and unfamiliar methods of cooking. Making your own food also allows you to control the fat, calories, sodium, and other nutritional elements of your meal, which can help avoid quarantine weight gain.
As you can see, staying socially distant and safe doesn’t have to be boring! These four hobbies are just some of the new skills to master at home, whether you’re stuck inside in a snowy winter or staying at home to be safe in these trying times.