It’s no secret that by now most of us are beginning to feel a bit holed up and tired of quarantine. Even so, it’s critical to be home as much as possible and slow the spread of COVID-19, especially following the rise in cases after the holidays, such as in California. Staying home to do your part and quarantine, though, doesn’t have to be such an uneventful duty; while it’s fun and easy to spend your days binging shows and watching YouTube, I highly suggest you use this time to discover (or rediscover) yourself, rekindle old hobbies, and maybe even get into some new ones.
I’ve personally spent most of my time quarantining at home, and as an only child, it can get pretty lonely and boring. Although I love to read and write, which are easy hobbies to do during my free time, I decided that I wanted to get into something I hadn’t done before, or at least for a while. I’ve always loved music and I actually grew up learning how to play both piano and guitar; for personal reasons, however, my keyboard and acoustic guitar had admittedly been collecting dust since I ended my lessons in high school. I lived every day with something to steer my focus away from music that it wasn’t until I had nothing to do during quarantine when life as we knew it had virtually stopped, that I picked up the guitar and played the piano keys for the first time in years.
Whereas before my break from music I was shy and afraid of performing in front of others, I’d gained so much confidence during the break and remembered the passion I once had for music that I started a YouTube channel for it. Learning new songs and posting weekly covers became something for me to look forward to during quarantine, and who knows, maybe picking up an instrument you used to play or would like to learn how to play is something you can look forward to as well!
Additionally, I love to cook and bake, but I couldn’t try new recipes as much since most of my day would typically be spent away from home. Now that I’m quarantining at home every day, though, I could get really creative and pull up a recipe without worrying about the length of the prep and/or cook time.
Since it’s only three of us in my household and most baking recipes yield enough for eight to sixteen people, I would usually stop by a friend or family member’s house to drop off a treat box. Cooking for my family became my way of giving my mom a break from the additional responsibility of making dinner while baking for my loved ones’ became my way of providing them comfort (along with a taste of some good vegan food!) I admit that making food can be quite a hassle, especially when the ingredients for a recipe you want to try out aren’t easily accessible, but if anything, there’s always bread to be made!
A new hobby I picked up during quarantine was actually something I considered before, and that’s learning a new language. One of my bucket list items is to travel to Japan, especially for 花見 (“hanami”), or flower viewing, and knowing some Japanese before I do that would come in handy. It’s a tradition in Japan to enjoy the beauty of flowers, namely cherry blossoms, which are Japan’s national flower and symbolic of the spring. I was especially inspired since I met someone in college who knows Japanese, so with all the free time I suddenly had on my hands, I made it my goal to do some sort of language practice every day.
Duolingo was a big help for that with daily practices, but I also used YouTube and my friend as resources to learn some Japanese. If learning a new language interests you, it’s especially helpful to immerse yourself in movies, TV shows, and music in that language–soon enough, you’ll recognize words and phrases you learned along the way, and maybe even learn something new that way too!
Keeping yourself occupied and passing the time at home during quarantine doesn’t have to be mindless or boring; while there may be some old hobbies of yours that you can get back into, there are always new hobbies to discover. There’s never been a better time to step a little out of your comfort zone and find something new to enjoy!