Following a year of on-and-off confinement, many of us have struggled to come up with new and exciting ways to pass time from the comfort of our homes - and those who live alone are even more prone to boredom and loneliness in these odd times. We’ve rounded up some hobbies that are ideal for anyone stuck at home for an extended period of time - be it in the midst of a pandemic or in any other potential situation - and added advice from experts.
Take up exercise
You can’t beat a healthy exercise routine - it truly is all the more important when physical movement is limited to your home. Get yourself a yoga mat and a decent space to practice thirty minutes of exercise every day; you can follow your favourite instructors online or work out with a friend over a Zoom call! If you’re able to exercise outdoors, do so! Research from Newcastle University indicates that Vitamin D plays a big role in heightening your energy levels.
Dr. Christopher Hand, lecturer in psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “It is very important that people keep a close eye on what they are allowed to do as well as what they may have been prohibited from doing. So, for instance, if people are still able to take regular exercise, albeit safely. If people have a garden, make use of it or to find ways to incorporate exercise around the house.”
Experiment with healthy and creative meals
There has never been a more important time to look after your body and try eat right. The things you consume will directly impact your energy levels, your mental clarity, and ability to fight off illnesses. As Dr. Hand explains, “Although it can be difficult due to availability to fresh food and vegetables, it's really important that people try to eat healthily. That tendency to try and comfort eat, and binge on bad foods, it would be really helpful if people could avoid that as much as possible.”
It’s very likely that by now, you’ve seen tens of videos for healthy banana bread and similar recipes pop up on social media. Why not give it a go and make eating healthy an enjoyable task? Experiment by creating new dishes and incorporating produce you’ve rarely used before - this could become your new passion!
Grow some herbs
Alice Vincent, urban gardening columnist and author, explains how gardening can truly make one feel sane in times like these. “It connects us with the outdoors and the gentle satisfaction of watching things grow brings a unique positivity,” Vincent says.
She goes on to explain: “You’ll need a sunny windowsill, inside or out. I always advise beginners to grow herbs. They’re easy and delicious – and when supermarket supplies are low they become increasingly worthwhile. The plastic trays that tomatoes and mushrooms come in will do – just make some holes in the bottom for drainage.”
Vincent recommends using peat-free multipurpose compost and keeping the soil moist before and after shoots appear.
Spruce up your home
With so much time spent indoors, it is wise to dedicate your efforts towards creating a space you love. Laura de Barra, ‘She’-I-Y expert and author advises: "If you want to use this time it to zhuzh up your home, start with paint. Consider the space and think about what mood you want works best. If you want your kitchen to give you a little lift each morning, go for light, bright tones.
“Test multiple swatches on every wall. Paint dries to a different shade, so don’t be freaked out. Walk away and come back when it’s fully dry before considering how it looks. If you’ll need two coats, do two coats when you swatch. Pay attention to how the colour is affected by light at the times you use the room most.”
And it isn’t just painting that could be a great pastime - the little things make all the difference too! Source some inspiration via a Pinterest moodboard and make little tweaks around your home; whether that’s the placement of your coffee table books or the art you hang on the walls that were once disused and empty. Trust us, it all makes a difference!