Hobbies to Start When You Can’t Be Social

Hobbies ideas at home

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been unable to participate in their usual hobbies. If you’re anything like the majority of the population, then the need for physical distancing has forced you to rethink how you spend your time. 

But, just because it’s not safe to be social doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in your free time. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to take up or rediscover a hobby that you can do at home. 

While many people are curling up on the couch and relying on streaming services like Netflix for entertainment, there are other ways to occupy your body and mind. If you’re sick of staring at a screen, keep reading to learn about hobbies to start when you can’t be social. 

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Benefits of Hobbies

Are you wondering why you should put in the effort to start a new hobby when you could just rewatch “Friends” for the 12th time? Hobbies aren’t just entertaining. Practicing them, especially creative ones, come with a myriad of benefits.

To start, hobbies help you structure your time. If, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak your normal routine has been disrupted, you will find this particularly helpful. Additionally, hobbies make you more efficient, teach you patience, and are a chance to be innovative.

Even though you can’t be social in person, hobbies allow you to develop and nurture virtual social connections. You can join an online group or participate in forums as a way to connect with other people who have the same interests as you.

With so much happening in the world, it’s perfectly understandable to feel anxious. Hobbies are a way to manage and alleviate stress. Practicing your hobby is an opportunity for you to relax and enjoy an activity that has nothing to do with work or other responsibilities. 

Similarly, hobbies, particularly ones with a creative component, can do wonders for your mental health. Dedicating time each week to do a hobby you enjoy is one of the best ways to boost your mental health. Embracing a creative outlet will refresh your tired mind, exercise a different part of your brain, and could even bolster your overall productivity. 

Dive into Arts and Crafts

Since you now know the benefits of taking up a creative hobby, you’re likely interested in seeing what’s available. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artsy or crafty person, with so many arts and crafts hobbies to choose from, you’re still sure to find one that’s a good fit for you.

Hobbies like painting and knitting have seen increased interest during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Nerd Bear survey, 33% of respondents said arts and crafts were their go-to hobby while social distancing. 

Another fun, creative craft that you can do either on your own or with family members is woodworking. Useful and beginner-friendly woodworking projects include a chopping board, a garden bench, and storage containers. If you’re working on one of these projects with family members, each person can be responsible for a different aspect such as cutting, painting, and applying a finish. Everyone can feel proud of having contributed.

Other creative hobbies include drawing and graphic design. When it’s not safe to be social, investing time into developing these technical skills could help you with your career. Many companies and schools have added remote learning options, which means you can take classes from the comfort of your own home. The more time you spend practicing your new hobby, the better you will become. It might even end up on your resume. 

Find a New Way to Exercise

As important as it is to exercise your mind, it’s equally important to adopt a hobby that benefits your physical health. One of the most popular hobbies during the COVID-19 crisis, according to Nerd Bear’s survey, is working out. Experts agree that physical activity is essential for reducing stress, which is a concern for many people given the current pandemic.

Of course, with gyms closed due to the outbreak, people had to make substitutions to their normal exercise regiment. Google Trends data showed a 222% increase in home workouts search interest from Feb. 24-March 21 compared to the same time last year. Some people have even purchased stationary bikes from companies like Peleton in order to do virtual spinning classes at home.

But, don’t think that you need an expensive exercise bike to get in a good sweat at home. Thanks to the internet, there is a never-ending inventory of free workout classes for all fitness levels. You can find everything for high-intensity cardio sessions to relaxing yoga flows. To recreate the workout class environment, many instructors are live-streaming workouts so you can follow along from your living room.

If you do have access to outdoor space where you can enjoy the fresh air while still practicing social distancing, you can try metal detecting. A fun hobby for people of all ages, metal detecting is a great way to get exercise. Plus, you might even uncover something truly valuable such as a historical object or meteorite.

Another leisurely but active outdoor hobby to consider is boating. Boating offers a multitude of benefits including fresh air, healthy vitamin D, and the chance to connect with nature. Going out on a boat is a prime activity for social distancing because it lets you escape from the crowd. Once aboard, it’s easy to get away from anyone you don’t want to be around.

Learn Another Language

If being confined to your city or home has you itching to travel, then learning a second language is the hobby for you. Polygon contributor Colin Campbell reported that language learning apps such as Duolingo saw a dramatic influx of new users during quarantine. In March, Duolingo said that players took twice as many daily lessons as they did in the month of February. As with developing skills like drawing and graphic design, knowing another language could help you in your career.

Once it’s safe to travel again, your new language skills will position you for a deeper cultural experience in the destinations you visit. Being able to communicate with people who speak that language will enrich your travels. The benefits of learning another language don’t end there. It also makes you more perceptive, and many people who speak additional languages report being better at speaking their own native tongue.

With online classes and apps, learning a second (or third) language from home has never been easier. After learning the basics, you can use the internet to find a pen pal or language exchange partner to hone your new skills through conversation. Even in the time of social distancing, you can make a new friend.

If you do decide to switch on the TV, you can watch your favorite movies or shows in the language you’re studying with subtitles. You don’t need to feel guilty about a movie marathon or all-day Netflix binge if it’s contributing to your language studies.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced people to change many aspects of their daily routines. However, even though your social life has changed, there are still plenty of opportunities to spend your free time in meaningful ways. Whether you decide to learn another language or dive into arts and crafts, hobbies are a worthwhile way to pass the time even when you can’t be social.  

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Article Author Details

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer living in the pacific northwest who has a variety of interests including sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.