4 New Hobbies (That Aren’t Reading a Book or Baking Bread)

We’ve all had to adapt and embrace the homebody lifestyle 24/7. In the beginning of the 2020 quarantine, we transformed into hermits planning Zoom trivia parties, binge-watching TV, using milk jugs as weights for at-home workouts, and building island communities playing Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing.” Engulfed in conora-chaos, we relied on these activities to help us manage one day at a time in isolation.

As time goes on and our world continues to transition, enthusiasm for these quarantine activities can start to dwindle. But our needs to stay social, active, occupied, distracted and joyful haven’t changed. So if your freezer is packed with loaves of homemade sourdough bread and you’ve written a novel or two on gratitude, then it may be time for a reboot on how to stay busy. These low-cost and free hobbies can transform your downtime in this coronavirus era!

Become Pen Pals with Your Past Self

Futureme.org is a donation-based platform where you can write an email to your future self, and select a date for when you receive it. It could be a month, six months, a year, three years or even five years from now! Want to talk to yourself in the future but stuck with writer’s block? Here are some prompts to help you start typing:

  • Document a special memory that can surprise you and make you smile down the road. For example, write about a fun and romantic date you and your partner had and deliver the email on your anniversary. Keep these treasured moments in history alive in your inbox!
  • Schedule emails that can serve as check-ins for a goal you want to achieve. Are you still on track to meet this goal? Are there any challenges preventing progress? Use these emails as goal markers or milestones to be proud of.
  • Jot down worries, anxieties, fears and any troubles. Not only does writing about your feelings help you cope, but you can see how you may have grown and overcame struggles over time. Be your own best listener!

Recreate Food in Your Kitchen

Cooking at home is a fun pastime for foodies (it can save you money too!), but as you dish up one delicious meal after another, it can start to feel like a more of a chore. But what if you put a twist on your culinary ventures and experimented with recipes inspired by pop culture?

YouTube cooking show “Binging with Babish” is hosted by chef and filmmaker Andrew Rea whose rise to internet fame is attributed to his concept of turning fictional foods (from TV and films) into reality — sometimes delectable, occasionally horrible. You can view his unique repository of recipes inspired by shows like “The Mandalorian” and “The Office.” You can also challenge yourself to recreate iconic favorite foods at home like Disney churro bites, IKEA Swedish meatballs and Shake Shack’s cheese sauce.

Get Moving in a Different Way

Although gyms have welcomed back their members eager to get their sweat on, many people are still sticking to socially distant at-home workouts. Orange Theory At Home, the Pelaton, LEKFIT and workout apps can meet your workout quota. It’s just sometimes, you may want to get your heartrate up in a way that doesn’t feel like obligatory exercise. So stash away the weights, roll up the yoga mat and discover some killer calorie-burning moves:

Start a Tuesday TED Talk Club

A virtual book club is a great way to keep your mind sharp and stay connected. Yet, it can also be stressful to make sure you read every book by the deadline. Hosting a TED Talk Club on Tuesdays (because — alliteration) can be just as rewarding, and it only requires watching a video to prepare. There are over 3,400 talks available! So members can take turns and select a talk that’s meaningful to them to discuss. Spark conversation with questions like, “How did this talk impact you?” “Can you share any experiences related to the topic?” “Do you feel empowered, inspired or motivated?”

Try not to see a hobby as another task to add to the to-do list. Activities serve as a time-out from a hectic schedule, antidote to boredom and mental escape. Are you carving out time for fun? Schedule in some hobby time and make happy living a priority!

The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.