Taking up a new hobby while stuck inside for an indefinite amount of time seems like a great idea, until you realize that maybe you while you totally have the capacity to teach yourself guitar, you don't actually own a guitar. Lucky for you, we've come up with some ideas about hobbies you can get into — no new purchases necessary. Even better, you probably already have the tools to get started on any of these. So if you're dying of quarantine boredom, read on.
1. Become the master chef you never thought you could be
Okay, I’ll admit, getting into cooking during quarantine might not be the most opportune time due to the whole don’t-leave-your-house-unless-absolutely-necessary-seriously-for-the-love-of- god-just-stay-inside thing, but why not take this time to get creative with your cuisine? Maybe you aren’t totally clueless about how to prepare those seven cans of chickpeas you bought, but it’s time to break the mold and stop preparing them the same way you always have. Look up some new recipes! Improvise when you don’t have ingredients! Go nuts and throw something in the recipe doesn’t call for! Film it all for your friends like you are a cooking show star, and bask in the delicious fruits (vegetables or entrees) of your labor.
2. Lean into nostalgic vibes and play some video games
I’ll go ahead and say video games are a hobby. They require skill building and can challenge your creativity, plus they’re fun as hell. Currently, my Twitter feed is half “world is on fire” news and half people obsessing over the new Animal Crossing. But if you’re like me and sadly have not invested in gaming systems prior to locking yourself indoors, fear not. A mobile version of Animal Crossing exists on the app store, and while it’s not quite the same, it’s still adorable and relaxing. If you want something a bit more competitive, try Mario Kart Tour, which allows you to race against other players online — beware, it’s surprisingly addicting. The best part? Both games are completely free. If you are open to spending a little money, the website Steam has a ton of games you can purchase (and even some free ones) and download to your computer directly. Personally, I’ve been playing a lot of Roller Coaster Tycoon, which lets my brain escape all this word for a while and create and manage a kickass theme park.
3. Get playful and experimental with your makeup
If being in self-isolation isn’t an excuse to finally try my lime green eyeshadow, I don’t know what is. Of course, you should rock whatever look you want no matter the circumstances, but now you have the time to test out and get comfortable with your more playful makeup products without fear of judgment. The stakes have never been lower! Or you can take this time to perfect an old classic. I myself have been finessing my winged liner skills and now, when my wings don’t perfectly match, I don’t have to scrub my eye in frustration 50 times over! I just flaunt the mismatched wings around my house, judgment free, though I have to admit, my wings have been matching more and more with all the practice time I’m getting in. No matter what route you go, have fun looking up inspiration (check out some below) and getting artistic!
4. Quarantine...but make it fashion
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about wearing sweatpants all day, but once or twice a week I like to put on a nice outfit, even if only for half an hour. Think of it like adult dress-up. Remember how much playing dress-up slapped as a kid? Take this opportunity to rock all your fancy clothes you wish you had more opportunities to wear, or reimagine the possibilities of your wardrobe. Obviously, you can’t go shopping, but you can take some items from your wardrobe and wear them in ways you haven’t before — throw that shirt over that dress! Who knows! Could be chic! Just like with the makeup, this is a low risk scenario. And the best part? Once we’re finally through pandemic-hell, you will emerge from your home with what appears to be a fresh wardrobe, all through the power of reinvention. If you need some inspo, check out this video from bestdressed, a thrifty fashion queen on YouTube.
5. Develop your green thumb
You know that sad looking house plant that’s been drooping in the corner of your apartment for the past month? It’s time to bring her back to life, baby. Nothing like prettying up your living space makes being trapped inside of it more bearable. Carve out a little time each day to take care of your plants. The routine will help add structure to your routine and have the benefit will be beautiful decorations. A friend of mine, who’s bedroom looks like a jungle paradise, unwinds by doing research about how to best care for her plants. She helped me pick out three easy to care for plants that have been an absolute game-changer for my bedroom. If you've already got a lush garden of a home, try propagating some of your plants!
6. Work on your photography skills
Did you know there are approximately a zillion photo editing apps you can download right on your phone? I’ve downloaded some and deleted them because they confused me, but this ends now. I am going to redownload these apps and actually sit and spend time on them (because I have nothing but time now) and post gorgeous pictures, dammit. Draw inspiration from your surroundings and capturing different angles of your home. Best part — you can post your favorites. While I’m certainly no authority on photography, here are a couple apps the internet recommends that aren’t VSCO: Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor, Photoshop Express and Snapseed (all apps are also available for Andriod).
7. Discover your inner artiste (must pronounce with bad French accent)
I am a horrible artist. But this morning, I received a picture from a friend who watercolored a bunch of flowers on a piece of printer paper with her Crayola paint set, and it straight up looked like something I would spend $20 on Etsy for. For your viewing pleasure, I’ve added the picture below (with permission from my friend of course). The best part was, it doesn’t look particularly complicated. In fact, she just followed a YouTube tutorial. Think about it — there’s probably a YouTube tutorial for any type of art you’ve always been a bit curious to try, so why not take advantage of them now!
No matter what you choose to do, try to make the best of a crap situation and learn a new skill just for the pleasure of learning it. It feels better than you think, not trying to maximize every moment of every day. Let us know what you end up doing!
Header Photo: Unsplash / steve_j
More from BUST