By J. B. Nash - Sept. 6, 2020
I don’t know about you, but this quarantine thing sucks, even for an introvert like me. Humans are social creatures, and at some point, we all crave connection. And for good reason. We need it.
I had so many plans with family and friends for this 2020 year. I was a hopeful being with a sparkle in her eyes and a skip in her step. But now everything seems as though it’s stuck in limbo or completely shattered into pieces.
You’d think I’d have all the time in the world to write my book, but at some point the isolation and redundancy becomes rather maddening to say the least.
The point is—I need variation to stay motivated. No new ideas means my muse decides it’s the best time to quit for the zillionth time and just wants me to watch other people make random “life hacks” without me ever actually attempting them myself. Has anyone ever actually tried to die a shirt purple using cabbage? (Seriously does that even work?).
Wait, There’s Still Hope
The absolutely wonderful, fantastical, magical thing about a hobby is that you don’t have to perform it like a job. It’s something you do for fun, AND you can do it when you feel like it. (If it’s your goal to do the dang thing for a living, then treat it like a job, not a hobby. There’s a distinction).
So what can you do to bring variation into your schedule to feel motivated and satisfy your inner wellbeing while being stuck at home for the most part while the world gets its act together?
Here are some things I’ve tried that I‘ve truly enjoyed so far:
It’s calming. You can throw in some meditation now and then. All that good stuff. Not only is it a methodical approach to stretching the body, it relaxes the mind and teaches you how to breath properly. Have a back problem? Try yoga. Have a stiff hamstring? Yoga.
I use an app called Daily Yoga. There is a free version and a paid version. Some sessions are 10 minutes and others that are 20 to 30 minutes long. And there is a large variety from toning the body, to healing the back, to doing the full splits, or just doing the basics and learning the flow.
You wouldn’t believe what a simple walk can do to clear the mind. If you’ve got a dog, all the more reason to go for a walk on a daily basis. Listen to the gentle sway of the leaves, smell the fresh air, feel the sun on your skin, and just let your mind wander.
Especially read a book that you’re interested in, but a fun experiment for me to try once in awhile is to just walk to a random shelf in a library, close my eyes, and pick out a book without ever looking at the cover. Don’t forget to pick something you’ve already looked at just in case, but it’s thrilling (for some reason) to not know what the book is about until you’re at home and actually reading the pages without any pre-judgements. Just don’t…close your eyes before reaching the book section of the library.
Specifically — writing wantonly. Sometimes, when I write in a journal, I think so fast my writing turns into scribbles. Even if you’re not a writer, “free writing” is an excellent way to let your thoughts run free. It doesn’t even have to make grammatical sense and that’s the fun part.
This exercise reveals to you—personally—just how your thought patterns are and where they lead you down the road. Maybe it will direct you to a realization about something you were confused about earlier, or offer some clarification or relief from a tough situation you’re currently experiencing. You never know until you try.
5. FaceTime Somebody
Not a hobby per say, but important nonetheless. Giving someone else attention and care helps them feel less alone in this situation. Think about the people in your life whom you’d think would need this sort of gesture. And be real about it. Complain about the situation we’re in, if you want. It helps to talk about the serious stuff too, but make sure it’s with someone you trust.
6. Learn a New Recipe
Or just plain learn how to cook. I love just experimenting with Zoodles—that is, zucchini noodles. And I love baking things like cookies, angel food cake, and coffee cake. There are a ton of recipes out there. Pick one and try it. Challenge yourself to make macaroons and document the process of trial and error on social media. They’re freaking difficult (but absolutely delicious).
Interestingly, there’s another (and much older) version of macaroons from South India called thoothukudi—which I made with my boyfriend one day—and they were amazing. All you need is egg whites, sugar, and cashews…and patience.
I do this every now and then. There are tons of tutorials on Youtube to test your skills with body movement and coordination. Whatever you’re into—hip hop, waltz, ballet, flamenco, kuthu, cupid shuffle, freestyle—just experiment! The important thing is that you’re moving, and that alone can have a healing affect.
Have you tried any of these hobbies? What have you done in quarantine to keep your spirits up? Let us know in the comments!