Have you ever wanted to learn something new or pick up a fun hobby but just couldn’t find the time? Quarantine has cleared our schedules and freed up time for everyone to focus on themselves. With all the technology and apps we have access to, learning a new skill or hobby can be easy, fast and convenient. To make these activities even more fun and engaging, consider involving friends and family over Zoom or FaceTime calls.
Here is a list of hobbies and skills to try out while hunkering down at home.
Learning to cook
From newbies to experts, everyone can benefit from trying out some new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. Learning how to make your favorite foods at home is not only satisfying and delicious, but also healthier than takeout and can save money.
A New York Post article explored a study that found that across a 60-year adult life (from age 18-78), people spend $70,500 on eating at restaurants. So, learning to cook and make homemade meals can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.
YouTube channels such as Tasty and Bon Appetit have many instructional videos on cooking and various types of recipes. The Food Network channel and many online blogs also offer recipes and instructions on how to cook at home.
Knitting, crocheting and sewing can be both a fun and useful skill to develop while quarantining. Needlework crafts such as blankets, clothing items, decorations and accessories can make fun gifts that can be sent to family or friends. There are numerous YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram posts that involve needlework. Supplies for needlework projects can be found on Amazon and craft sites such as Joann and Michaels.
“The rhythmic, repetitive movements necessary to knit, sew or crochet are proven to have therapeutic benefits and improve mental health and emotional wellbeing, increasing serotonin production and inducing a natural state of mindfulness,” according to Polly Leonard, founder of Selvedge magazine in an interview with The Guardian.
Learning an instrument
Learning to play an instrument from home has never been so easy. There are a plethora of videos all over YouTube and many apps that can aid in the process. Some potential benefits of learning to play an instrument include: reducing stress, expressing creativity, exercising your mind, improving memory and better concentration, according to ArtistWorks.com.
Yousician (app) — This app acts as a digital music teacher for guitar, piano, singing, ukulele and bass. It has step-by-step videos and over 1,500 missions and exercises. The app listens to you sing or play an instrument, gives you instant feedback and walks you through songs.
Simply Piano (app) — This app is similar to Yousician except that it is exclusive to the piano and offers the ability to learn on a digital instrument. The 3D touch courses will turn your device into an on-screen keyboard.
These apps are free to download from the App Store.
Getting in touch with your artistic side can be a fun and relaxing way to spend time at home. If you’re new to painting, you might want to try out a paint-by-numbers set. These kits help you paint intricate pictures very easily.
Artist’s Loft — This paint-by-number kit can be purchased at Michaels. The stores are currently open in the Anchorage area and also offer shipping online. Included in the kits are canvas sheets with pre-printed guidelines and numbers, brushes, numbered paint pots, a printed picture of the final painting, an instruction sheet, a reference sheet and a wooden display hanger. They also offer different levels of difficulty, from easy to hard.
Many other versions of paint-by-number kits can be found on Amazon.com.