With all of this time spent working from home, it can be a struggle to separate work from our passions. Moving from desk to couch does very little to ignite our creativity, and it can be challenging knowing how to carve out that much-needed “me” time in the process.
Picking up a new hobby has all sorts of well-documented benefits to our emotional and psychological health, from lowering our stress levels to giving us a renewed sense of purpose. Hobbies can make a remarkable impact on our quality of life: they improve our focus and enthusiasm for our lives outside of work, which feels very important now in the lockdown world we find ourselves in once again. But what if you don’t have a hobby you enjoy? Or you don’t know where or how to find one? Use this guide to get inspired to take on a new interest and follow your passion towards finding new hobbies you can start from home.
Work out virtually
January harkens a return to our health and fitness for many of us. Still, given the recent announcement from the Ontario government on province-wide restrictions and the closing of gyms, many might feel lost on how they can keep up their healthy resolutions from home. Thankfully the pandemic brought on an onslaught of at-home workout services. Plenty of gyms offers at-home virtual workout options, from yoga to boxing, while Peloton, Beachbody, and Yoga with Adriene provide free trials for their online classes. Making a goal to move every day is a commitment that pays dividends for our whole lives. Plus, it just feels terrific too!
Create your own custom candles
This is the perfect time of year to fill our homes with warm candlelight, but it can become quite expensive buying new candles every few weeks. The art of candle-making isn’t as complicated as you may assume, and it’s a fun creative project to personalize, from choosing your container, aromatherapy, and colour. It’s easy to get started, you don’t need too many supplies, and cleanup is easy. That said, there are some crucial steps to follow to ensure you have a candle that lights the proper way. Food52 has a great starter guide that I often use a resource, which I think you will find just as useful!
Learn to cook
There is no better time to master some of your favourite restaurant-inspired recipes from home, and they don’t have to be super-complex to be worthwhile. I love tackling new soup recipes – especially this time of year – and batch-cooking a bunch of them, so I have plenty of leftovers for easy mid-week meals. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, vegan or a meat-lover, there are thousands of recipes online (plus online cooking classes you can sign up for) that you can try, and part of the fun is in all the mistakes you make along the way. Cooking is meant to be joyful, so get in the kitchen and make a mess!
At the pandemic’s start, I made it a personal goal to bring a meditation practice into my daily living. It has helped me tremendously in quelling these last two years of anxiety, fear, and unpredictability. It has given me more clarity, a way to combat work-from-home stress and find more moments of peace amid the chaos. Meditation is about staying in the moment and acknowledging what’s around you: your body, your breath, and how it connects to the physical world around you. It does take practice, but it can also be done within a few stolen minutes throughout your day. I love Headspace, and this beginner’s guide to meditation is a great way to start your practice at home.
While it requires some effort, the beautiful practice of journaling doesn’t need much work to stick with it. I’ve found that what helps keep me consistent is journaling every morning and evening, whether that’s scribbling a few sentences or complete pages, depending on my mood. I like to write out how I want to see my day unfold, how I hope to feel, and what I wish to accomplish in the mornings. The written word connects me to my day ahead and keeps me accountable. At night, I check-in and reflect on how I showed up during the day. Did I live my day in the way I had hoped? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, and that’s OK. That’s really what journaling is all about: recording your life as it happens and taking a moment to connect with what’s important and find gratitude. Remember to make your journal a judgment-free zone!
Foster an animal
Fostering animals is a huge responsibility, but it comes with an even bigger reward. There are so many furry friends in need, and your local shelter is a great place to start if you are looking to shelter a new friend. You will be an integral part in preparing the animal for future adoption and freeing up room in an already burdened shelter, allowing the shelter to bring even more animals in.