We all get tired of the same old thing after a while. And with millions of people still unable to do much outside of their homes thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, many are starting to feel like they desperately need something new to do.
So, if you’re feeling stuck, don’t despair. There’s a whole world of new hobbies out there waiting for you to dive in. And when you find yourself putting the finishing touches on the new coffee table you made yourself or zooming down the highway on a Harley with your motorcycle helmet speakers blasting your favorite tunes, you’ll remember how branching out and finding something new can be one of the best decisions you ever made.
Ready to get into a new hobby? Here are 10 pastimes that could become your new obsessions.
Carpentry is an ancient art that you can spend a lifetime mastering. But the basics of woodworking are surprisingly easy to learn once you’ve got the basic tools, and you can quickly start making all kinds of fun and useful projects. And, so long as you confine yourself to projects that can be accomplished with hand tools (which gives you a lot to choose from), it’s often surprisingly feasible to set up a basic woodshop even in a small space like an apartment or basement.
Want to spend the rest of the pandemic sharpening your strategic and logical skills? Chess is a perfect choice. It’s easy to play online against a computer or a live opponent, and many apps will also let you play against your friends. The great thing about chess is that it’s a game you can spend a lifetime mastering and that also constantly sharpens your analytical and logic skills as you improve.
3. Wine Tasting
Wine tasting isn’t just for the super-rich. It’s also a fun hobby that can teach you a lot about various parts of the world. And it’s easy to start! Just grab a wine tasting guide or YouTube tutorial and a bottle of wine from your local spirit merchant. (So long as you’re not driving anywhere, spitting the wine out afterward is highly optional.)
Maybe you can already cook a basic meal, or maybe you’re a total novice. No matter your level of skill, there’s never a bad time to become a better cook. Tools like air fryers and Instant Pots can be fun ways to experiment and make meals quickly, but in the end, there’s also no substitute for learning the fundamentals of frying, sauteing, roasting and other basic cooking techniques. While you’re learning, always keep a frozen meal or two on hand so that you’ll still have something to eat if your experiment goes awry.
5. Riding Motorcycles
Feeling the need for a shot of adrenaline to break you out of the quarantine blues? Why not learn to ride a motorcycle? A beginner class such as a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course will teach you the basics, help you decide if you enjoy it and put you on the path to getting your motorcycle license. From there, find some friends who ride, grab some motorcycle communication systems to stay in touch and start sharpening your riding skills together.
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Looking to improve your fitness and your mental health? Yoga might be just the hobby you need. All you need to get started is a yoga mat and one of the many excellent yoga videos available online. The mental and physical health benefits of yoga are numerous and, at this point, well-documented, but just remember to always warm up and start with easier poses so that you don’t injure yourself by trying to do too much too quickly.
There’s something about caring for living things that brightens many people’s day. Gardening is the perfect opportunity to bring a little bit of that sunshine into your life. Vegetable gardens offer the promise of delicious produce, while ornamental gardens add color and life to outdoor spaces. It’s fine if you don’t have an outdoor space, too. Indoor gardening is fun and can make your home feel much more vivid and pleasant.
8. Film Appreciation
Can watching movies be a hobby? Yes, if you make it one! Film appreciation is all about watching a movie with your eyes open for what you like and dislike about it. Take notice of the cinematography, the acting, the dialogue, the set design or whatever else you find interesting about movies. Watching a couple of basic YouTube videos on these fundamental film concepts is a great way to find out what interests you and learn about the big names of cinema.
People are hitting the trails in record numbers due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a good time on a hike so long as you’re careful to avoid the big crowds. Grab some hiking shoes, some water and some snacks (along with a buddy if possible) and enjoy the miraculous power of the natural world. Tip: Go on weekdays or during cooler weather to avoid the summer weekend crowds.
10. Language Learning
Learning a language might be the perfect pandemic hobby. It’s easy to do a little bit every day, which can help give your life some structure, and it’s a real-world skill that will be useful at any time in your life. Free apps like Duolingo are great for starting to learn a language with a low commitment of time or resources. And when the pandemic finally lifts, you’ve given yourself a great tool for traveling and exploring other countries and cultures.
If you try a hobby and it doesn’t stick, don’t feel bad. As we’ve seen here, there’s always something else to try. Even if you try something that isn’t your style, you’ve at least given your brain some exercise and practiced getting out of your comfort zone.