All around the nation, people are finding themselves with extra hours on their hands. Whereas previous weekends may have been filled with parties, vacations, and sporting events, our spare time now looks a lot different these days. Our go-to options for staying active and social have, by and large, been put on hold indefinitely.
It has become somewhat of a running joke that each of us is turning to a new hobby while socially isolating. If you have been in a store like Wal-Mart, Target, or Dick’s Sporting Goods lately, you may have noticed that their bicycle section has been extremely sparse for weeks. The puzzle aisles at places like Hobby Lobby have been cleaned out, with people searching for comforting and mindless tasks to pass the hours.
While it is completely understandable to miss your basketball games or going to concerts of your favorite musician with friends, you can use this socially distanced time to fully explore a hobby that you have always been interested in. Picking up a hobby doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy expensive materials and then let it fall to the wayside.
Spend some dedicated time truly considering what past-time you have always wanted to explore, and create a list of possible ideas. You may have had a hobby in the past that you gave up due to a change in life, like a new work schedule or relationship status. Use this time to revisit the things you enjoyed in the past or previously wished you had the time to learn more about.
When you have narrowed your list to your top choice, make a plan to incorporate that hobby into your life. For example, if you have decided now is the perfect time to finally learn to play the guitar, consider whether you are going to teach yourself from YouTube videos or enlist the services of a virtual music teacher. Are you going to play for 30 minutes a day on your lunch break? Are you going to spend two hours each Saturday morning practicing chords? Hold yourself to the schedule you make for yourself.
Don’t turn your hobby into a stressor. Instead, value the time you dedicate to your hobby as your personal creative time. Perhaps you use the time to close the door to your home office and work on the novel you have been wanting to write all these years. Maybe your hobby is taking 60-minute walks around your neighborhood, and you use the hour to have some alone time while listening to your favorite podcasts.
Whatever hobby you choose, spend a few minutes contemplating your gratitude for finally having the time to dedicate to a new craft or skill. It can be easy to overlook gratitude these days. Making a conscious effort to be thankful for the small things will help you appreciate the time you have available to you, even if your day-to-day life looks different from the start of the year.