Tired of Monotony? Check out these five COVID-19-safe hobbies

Are you running out of ideas for how to fill your time during the pandemic? Are you bored and just plain tired of the same old same old? If so, these hobbies may interest you:

Music

Picking up a new musical instrument may seem like a daunting task, but with the power of YouTube and other apps, learning how to play the guitar or piano might be easier than you think.  It is as simple as looking up “how to play ___”.  Learning how to play an instrument is not just a cool party trick; there are lots of benefits.  Many instruments can improve your reading comprehension, hand eye coordination, rhythm, and even your math skills! This is your sign to pick up whatever instrument you own right now! If you do not have a musical instrument at home, cheap (and fun) options range from $10 recorders to $30 ukeleles.  Learning how to play an instrument is a safe, enjoyable hobby to pick up during the pandemic and could provide you with skills that could last a lifetime! 

Exercise 

When people think of exercise, they usually refrain from the mere idea of going for a daily jog, negatively associating it with sweat and hard work. However, with lots of time in your day, running/walking are great activities to incorporate into your routine. Exercise not only helps your physical health, but it helps you mentally.  According to Walden University, cardiovascular activity can actually improve brain performance.  Another study published on positivepyschology.com shows that daily exercise can decrease anxiety, improve processing of emotions, and increase energy and focus.  If running and walking are not your bag, simply getting some sunlight can boost your mood (a.k.a increase serotonin levels) according to healthline.com.  Whether it is running a marathon or taking a brief stroll down the street, it is important to exercise every day.  

Art

Art is another activity that can be a good de-stressor during these tense times.  It does not matter whether you have the art skills of a kindergartener or Picasso; it is a healthy activity.  Harvard Health says that studies have shown that art can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.  Among other benefits, art increases creativity and promotes a feeling of accomplishment.  So, go pick up a coloring book to relieve some stress. Art does not have to be extravagant; it can simply be a tool you use to decompress and use your imagination. Once again, with the power of modern technology, art may be a lot easier than you might think. 

Reading

Reading a good book is a great escape from the madness we’re all facing. Pick up a new series you have been eyeing, or ask your friends and family their book recommendations.  Reading can help you in so many ways.  It takes you away from the struggles of real life and wraps you up in another world.  Reading can relieve stress and anxiety and help you in everyday life.  You can expand your vocabulary, improve your SAT score, and grow your comprehension skills.  It is as easy as checking out a book at your local library or even online! There are millions of books from which you can choose, and if you are interested in recommendations, check out book review sites like GoodReads. 

Knitting

Knitting is an easy, DIY activity that is not just relaxing but also produces the best handmade gifts! All you need is a ball of yarn, a pair of needles, scissors, and the internet (for directions), and you are good to go. You can create anything from gloves to sweaters, which can be very useful on a chilly day and a cheaper option than buying loads of winter gear at the mall.  And,  knitting comes with bragging rights: it is very impressive to say you made something yourself!  Even better, this activity is something you can do with friends and family; maybe even create some healthy competition (who can knit the best-looking scarf).  

These are just some of many healthy and fun hobbies you could pick up during the pandemic.  Go ahead and start one;  you may end up changing your life, taking it in new directions you have never even imagined! 

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