More time at home can mean an awesome opportunity to discover a new hobby or explore a creative outlet. If you’re suffering from a case of the stay-at-home blues, exploring a new pastime can be an excellent way to help yourself out of the funk. Research has shown that not only can a hobby help to relieve stress, it also can help boost your self-image and give you new ways to connect with other people. But what to choose? There’s so many possibilities out there, so here’s just a quick list of some of the more out-of-the-box ideas that you can immerse yourself in.
If you’ve ever had an interest in drawing, but didn’t know where to start, here’s a simple solution. Tons of online drawing classes exist and many don’t even focus on serious still life sketching. Some are more fun and geared towards unlocking your natural creativity. I’m currently taking The Art of Sketching: Transform Your Doodles into Art by Mattias Adolfsson, who is an amazing illustrator and creativity coach. All you need is a sketchbook and some pens and pencils; a partner to draw with is great too, but completely optional.
2. Embroidered Portraits
This is a cool pursuit that combines portraiture and embroidery into a very stylish, pared-down art. If your grandma’s embroidery samplers of stuffy birds and flowers come to mind, you’ll be in for a fun surprise with how far embroidery has evolved. Embroidery has gotten an attitude over the years and you can get in on the revolution with one of the online classes available to introduce you to the craft.
3. Online Gaming
Gaming is not just for your kids anymore. No matter your interest or experience, whether you want to play alone or online with other people, there’s probably a game for you. From story-based exploration games like Firewatch and The Walking Dead to action platformers such as Limbo and Super Meat Boy to open sandbox games like Minecraft and the Grand Theft Auto series, there’s something for every taste. Add to the fact that it’s a great vehicle for socializing and gaining new friends and you’ll soon realize what teenagers love about gaming. A great place to start is on Steam, which offers one-stop shopping for purchasing and playing games alone or with friends. Many games are free to play.
If thoughts of macrame immediately give you flashbacks to the 70’s, it’s time to check out the hip new looks of this classic craft (which can give any room a bespoke boho vibe). With many online classes to try, this is one project that you’ll be able to finish in no-time for some immediate hobby satisfaction.
What I love about felting is how easy and inexpensive it is. Felt costs just pennies a sheet and it’s easy to purchase online in an array of colors. If you ever fantasized about creating your own characters, à la Fantastic Mr. Fox, this might be the hobby for you. Or you can just make smiley felt donuts; that’s acceptable too!
6. Role-playing Games
If you haven’t already, it’s time to get over the assumption that role-playing games (RPGs) are only for geeks and dorks. RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons are experiencing an unprecedented resurgence and have moved into popular culture. They’re fun and a great way to interact with people and use your imagination. Wizards of the Coast makes a basic set that includes abridged versions of everything you need to get started in D&D. You can easily get a game together with friends virtually. If you don’t have anyone to play with, head over to roll20.net to find other people online. Like a “choose your own adventure” story from your childhood, you’ll get to flex your creativity, deciding where your adventure leads. Add some wine and watch what happens…it’s sure to jazz up your next virtual happy hour.
If you have two left feet or just never learned to dance, there is no better time than now to get on the dance floor (which is, for the time being, your living room). Start with showheroff.com, which offers dance lessons for individuals and couples. No one can see you step on each other’s toes at home! For the single ladies out there, many dance instructors are giving free virtual lessons in everything from salsa to Bachata – when the dance floors do open up, you’ll be ready to own it.
8. Tabletop games
Like playing board games? Now is a great time, especially if you’re quarantining with family. But heck, even if you’re not (or need a break from them for some other socializing!), Tabletop Simulator is an awesome platform for virtually playing many great game options, even some solo games.
9. Electronic music
Ever wanted to make your own music but don’t know how? It’s never been easier. Youtube has many tutorials on music theory and making music and there are many easy-to-use DAWs (digital audio workstations) out there. For instance, Image-line.com offers FL Studio, an affordable self-contained music-making tool that many big-name artists use themselves. A USB keyboard is helpful, but not necessary.