Pandemic Pastimes: Did You Learn Something New This Pandemic?

If you’re looking at pursuing a new hobby, the perfect timing could be now.

That podcast you’ve been longing to start? That pile of books you’ve been planning to read? That recipe you’ve been wanting to cook? That crochet project you’ve been itching to try? The instrument you’ve been dreaming of playing?

There’s no other time but to start them now. Now that you’ve got the time. Now that you’re stuck at home. Now that all things can be learned online.

Yes, it’s been a tough time with this pandemic, but it doesn’t mean that life has to stop. Why not use this time to expand your skills and learn new things?

New Skills to Unlock

According to a survey conducted by LendingTree, 6 out of 10 Americans found a new hobby since the onset of the pandemic. Most of them lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and the majority of them are GenZs and millennials. Almost half of those who found a new pastime earned money as a side job or business. But most of them used their earnings to pay their debts or to save.

Here are the following hobbies that Americans developed during the pandemic:

· Reading

A Nielsen Book study revealed that 41% of the respondents read more books after the government imposed lockdown measures. From three and a half hours of reading time, people are now reading at least six hours a week. Genres of choice are crime and thrillers.

People have been reading more due to the amount of free time they have during the lockdown. They also wanted entertainment, and reading books have become their escape during this pandemic.

Some still buy actual books for their reading pleasure. Some have shifted to e-books. Those who still buy books, meanwhile, mostly have their books delivered.

· Baking or cooking

Studies have long ago proven that cooking relieves stress and anxiety because it keeps you preoccupied. Being able to cook good food also brings self-satisfaction and gratification. Kitchen activities have also become a common bonding activity for the family. Since buying food from restaurants has become limited to deliveries, takeaways, and drive-thrus, people now prefer to cook their food.

Meanwhile, non-bakers have always feared to try baking. Baking may seem to be an intimidating activity. But, many people now rely on Youtube videos of making baked goodies that are easy to make. These online videos list down all the ingredients and step-by-step instructions, complete with a how-to video guide that makes it easy for people to follow.

· Gardening


Gardening is one of the few activities that people can do outdoors during the pandemic. And by outdoors, we mean their outdoor spaces at home, including their lawns and porches. Those who had more space in their gardens did their in-ground gardening. Others who don’t settle with pots and hanging plants.

Gardening has also served as their physical activity daily, where they get to move around and spend some time under the sun.

· Meditation

The stress and anxiety levels of people have increased due to fears brought about by the pandemic. People have been fulling burned out because of the lockdown. Some have also been feeling depressed because they haven’t been seeing their families and friends. They also haven’t been doing their usual activities.

This is why people have created their ways to meditate. Others spend hours alone in their porches or their bedrooms. Others do yoga. Others do meditation by praying. There are different ways for everyone, but we all want some moments of peace.

· Writing

Journaling has become an effective way for people to destress. Writing down their thoughts and expressing their feelings are effective ways to appease themselves. Writing letters or sending long notes to families and loved ones are also a big help.

· Photography

While travels are limited due to the pandemic, some people take morning strolls to the park or around their village. This allows them to take photos of the outdoors, which they have been missing so much. Others are also into indoor photography, enjoying doing creative shots using different props at home.

Most of us feel deprived of so many things due to the limitations that this pandemic brings. Yet, some people take advantage of the situation and maximize their free time to improve themselves. By learning new skills and taking on new hobbies, they unlock parts of themselves that they didn’t know they were capable of. Indeed, this is a good way to make something good out of this pandemic.

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