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Start a hobby during the pandemic

A woman practicing yoga outside.

May 26, 2020—We're all spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. One silver lining? Right now could be the perfect opportunity to start or renew a hobby.

Having a hobby does more than pass the time. In many ways, a hobby can enrich your life—and maybe even your mental and physical well-being.

The health benefits of a hobby

Engaging in a hobby can lower your stress; lift your mood; and help you manage negative emotions, like fear and anger.

In a study of leisure activities (which can include hobbies), participants experienced relaxation, a reduced heart rate and less boredom while engaging in a daily distraction. Over time, these momentary effects may promote positive lifestyle choices and better health.

Tips for choosing your pastime

So, how do you find a hobby? Most people had them as kids. So a little reflection there might be a good place to start. What interested you during childhood? Learning, collecting or making things? Perhaps you could pick up where you left off.

If you need some inspiration, here are some hobbies you might try:

  • Crafting, creating and DIY-ing. Try scrapbooking (paper or digital), soap-making, crocheting, sewing cloth face masks or refurbishing old furniture.
  • Writing and journaling. Start a journal or pen a poem or personal essay about the pandemic.
  • Gardening. Grow something in your backyard, in patio pots or on a window sill.
  • Creating art. Draw, paint or take up photography during your daily walks.
  • Playing music. Learn to play an instrument or get better at one.
  • Collecting. From comic books to heart-shaped stones, cards to old coins, the joy of collecting is a lifelong hobby.
  • Dancing. Learn some new moves in your living room. Bonus point: this also gets you exercise.

Getting started during COVID-19

You may be able to at least start a hobby with items on hand. But if you need materials and supplies, consider online orders and curbside pickup.

And if your hobby takes you out of the home, remember to leave 6 feet of distance from other people, wear a cloth mask and wash your hands when you get back inside.

Want additional ideas to boost your mood? Get some advice on how to keep a positive outlook during the pandemic.

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