10 New Hobbies To Learn During Social Distancing

Hello again, friends! I hope you’re staying healthy mentally and physically! As social distancing continues, I feel boredom and “cabin fever” are increasing. I know I can feel it and but for the grace God (and my anxiety meds) I haven’t really succumbed to those feelings fully yet. The key is to stay occupied as much as possible. I know many people are going stir crazy for a variety of reasons and finding a distraction like a hobby can be a healthy way to manage stress and anxiety. Today I’m sharing 10 new hobbies to learn during social distancing.

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You might be wondering how you’re going to “learn” a new hobby when you’re stuck at home. Well, technology has made it so that you can learn anything from anywhere! I usually hit up YouTube if I want to learn something on the fly like how to boil eggs. Don’t judge me I had to look it up. And you can head there to learn the basics of pretty much anything. But if you really want to get in-depth training on a new skill then I recommend a site like Skillshare, Bluprint, or Udemy. These sites feature classes on thousands of topics taught by skilled instructors. Personally I use Skillshare and have for several years. I like the format and instruction. Check each one out and see which one works for you based on what you’d like to learn!

1. Painting/Drawing

Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

Art is a creative way to express feelings and emotions. I find it very therapeutic to paint or draw freely with no concept of what the end result will be. You can easily order supplies from Amazon or Wal-Mart, but sometimes it’s best to just grab a pencil and a piece of paper and go to town! There are tons of free videos on YouTube that will teach you how to draw or paint. And if you’re really wanting to take your art seriously, then check out Skillshare or Bluprint for a variety of fun, informative art classes!

2. Counted Cross-Stitch or Embroidery

This is a work in progress. Any guesses what it’s going to be?

Are you the crafty type? Needlecrafts are very enjoyable and satisfying. I’ve done counted cross-stitch for many years and I love how the pieces turn out. Embroidery is another great needlecraft and something that is creative and produces beautiful end results. There are tons of great books on Amazon that can teach you these crafts but I think the best way to learn is by watching videos or taking an online course. PLUS: Things that are handmade with love make great gifts!

3. Baking/Cooking

10 New Hobbies To Try During Social Distancing

Tons of people have taken up baking during this time which I guess is why you can’t find yeast to save your life! Cooking and/or baking is a great way to try something new that provides a reward at the end for you and your family. Plus, the whole family can participate! I normally do a lot of baking but I’ve recently been trying new recipes using items I typically have in my pantry all the time. Watch cooking shows on TV or look for fun new recipes in magazines. Of course, there’s always “old faithful”, Pinterest where you can find TONS of great ideas. Here’s a link to my Pinterest recipe board if you’re looking for some inspiration!

4. Photography

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The great thing about photography is that you don’t have to have any fancy equipment. Most smartphones these days have Ah-Mazing cameras built-in. Have you ever noticed those weird settings that are available under “Pro” mode? Learning about photography will help you understand those settings to create beautiful images. Photography isn’t just about photographing landscapes or people either. You can focus on other types of photography like food photography or flat lays; you can even just photograph your pets just get creative!

5. Learn Photoshop/Lightroom

10 New Hobbies To Try During Social Distancing
Photo by Jye B on Unsplash

If you’re going to learn photography then you may also want to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I use both of these platforms to edit my photos and it’s my favorite part of creating images. I love that I can color correct images and fix imperfections with the click of a button. Editing is a lot of fun and there are so many creative things you can do with your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. There are plenty of YouTube videos online but I suggest taking a Skillshare class. That is how I learned and there are tons of classes that will teach you every facet of each platform.

6. Gardening

10 New Hobbies To Try During Social Distancing
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Have you always wanted to grow your own flowers or vegetables? Or both? Learning to garden is a very rewarding hobby. Even if you live in an apartment, as I do, you can still plant a container garden of your favorite flowers and vegetables! Many local plant nurseries are offering online ordering and curbside pickup so you can easily get supplies even though the shops are closed. I’ve always wanted to grow my own vegetables but I could never find the time. Sound familiar? Check out online websites like the Farmer’s Almanac to determine what plants will work best where you live and how to care for them. There are also instructional articles to help you get started!

7. Learn An Instrument

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

If you’re like me and have had a guitar sitting in storage for the better part of 10 years, there is no better time to pick it up and learn how to play than now! For free quick lessons you can head to YouTube or if you really want to dive into learning your instrument, head over to Skillshare! Take this time to FINALLY learn how to play that dusty old instrument that’s been chilling out in your house. Don’t have an instrument yet? That’s ok too because you can still buy one online! Plus, many music shops are offering curbside service where you can pick up your purchases while they’re closed.

8. Learn a New Game

There are so many different kinds of games and games are a great way to connect with family. My kids and I like to play Clue, Life, or Uno when we’re feeling like a board game. There are also really fun games you can play online with a community of other gamers via PC, Xbox, or Playstation. Some of them are very simple (Candy Crush) and some are a bit more involved (Call of Duty). Personally, I like to play World of Warcraft on my computer when I have some downtime. I’ve been playing since 2006 and I really have a lot of fun playing and if you’re into dungeons and dragons type games, you should definitely check it out! πŸ€“

9. Foster An Animal

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

During times of crisis, while people are suffering, there are animals who are in need as well. If you have the means and are able, fostering an animal is a great way to give back to the community. With reduced staff in shelters and clinics, it’s very difficult to meet the needs of the animals without the support of foster families. Contact your local animal shelter to see if you can help out by giving a temporary home to a bundle of love and support them with care and love until they can find their “fur-ever” home.

10. Start a Blog

10 New Hobbies To Learn During Social Distancing
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

Now is a GREAT time to start a blog! There is a lot to talk about and it’s a great way to connect with other people. Plus, it’s incredibly therapeutic. Even if you don’t intend to do it for a living, a blog is a wonderful creative outlet and a way to share thoughts and ideas with others. If you’re good at needlecrafts, create a blog teaching embroidery or sewing. Are you a great cook? Start a food blog! Figure out what you would like to share; what can you teach others? If you don’t want to stick to a particular niche, that’s fine too. I certainly don’t! I share what I want to share when I want to share it! It’s my blog I’ll do what I want dammit! 🀣 If you’d like to learn the mechanics of getting online, I did an entire piece on how to start your own blog so check that out here!

Let me know which one you try! I’m torn between learning to garden and embroidery. Hell, maybe I’ll do both!

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  1. Alina April 23, 2020 at 8:00 am

    I am getting better at gardening and definitely baking but also I realised just how my anxiety levels went down. So strange thinking people usually complain of this lock down and the effects it has on mental health. I must be a weirdo :))

    1. Jen Smith April 23, 2020 at 8:25 am

      You’re not a weirdo! Everyone is different. πŸ™‚ I think a lot of people just aren’t used to being cooped up and don’t know what to do with their time. Hobbies are GREAT for anxiety because they’re such a healthy distraction.

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