Many of us exhausted our usual stay-at-home hobbies in lockdown one. We’ve already done a hundred quizzes, reorganised the house, and eaten our way through the snack cupboard several times over. So, what’s next?
Rather than take up a solo hobby for the sake of it, why not start something you can share with friends and family when lockdown ends? All of the hobbies below can become in-person, social activities in the future!
1. Join a (virtual) book club
You don’t have to be a literature buff to join a book club. As long as you enjoy reading and don’t mind following set books, you’re good to go!
Finding a good book club can be a little daunting. Will the people be friendly? How intellectual is it? To start, ask around your friends and family to see whether anyone is already in a book club they enjoy. You might be surprised by who answers yes!
Alternatively, many celebrities host online book clubs on their website or Instagram. For example, Reese Witherspoon has her own book club run via an Instagram page. She selects one book per month featuring a woman at the centre of the story.
2. Host a book club
Can’t find the right book club for you? Host one! It might be easiest to start with a small group, perhaps following an online best sellers list. If you enjoy hosting, you could then spread the word and find more like-minded people to join in.
You could even jazz up your book club with a theme and fun name. For example, “A Glass of Wine and a Good Book” would set a laid back tone, while “Books and Cooks” could invite people to share their favourite recipes too. For inspiration, have a look at our book review pages.
3. Learn how websites work…and then make one!
Tech is surprisingly simple when it’s broken down into its various parts. Online education platform Future Learn has a free short-course that explains how websites work and gets you started with basic coding.
How far you take your skills is up to you! Building a website gives you the freedom to start a blog, create a little online shop, or just understand more about how the web works. Once lockdown eases, you could find a local class to meet other website enthusiasts!
4. Bake away the lockdown blues
Did the latest season of Bake Off have you dreaming of up mouth-watering cakes? Rather than sticking to one go-to recipe that you know you like, why not try something more adventurous? Lockdown is the perfect time to try some new bakes.
Whether you decide to dust off an old cookbook or search the internet for new recipes, adding a new cake to your repertoire is very satisfying. For inspiration, why not try a recipe from abroad? When we can meet up in person, you can then impress friends and family with your international creations.
5. Test your musical skills
Learning an instrument isn't a small undertaking, but, with some practice, there are ways to advance quickly. You don't necessarily have to splash out on a brand new instrument, either.
You might have an old recorder you can dust off and give new life to. Or, is there a family member's childhood instrument you could pick up? These instruments will need a little TLC before they're ready to play, but a quick Google search should tell you how to bring them back to tip-top shape.
If you’re a musical novice without an instrument already at home, you could try the ukulele. It’s small and less expensive than many other instruments. With a chord book, a few YouTube tutorials, and a dollop of patience, you’ll be playing along to your favourite songs before you know it!
6. Start a weekly video chat event
It's hard not seeing people in person, and the novelty of video chat is wearing off for many of us. So, why not start a fun weekly or fortnightly event? Here are some ideas for inspiration:
- Watch a film at the same time as a friend while video calling
- Create a quiz with a difference based on your favourite TV quiz show
- Try out a virtual games night with one of these online games
- Cook the same recipe separately then video call for a shared meal
7. Start a new TV series…in another language
There’s an exciting section of streaming services hidden away amongst the thousands of English language films and TV shows. Watching foreign-language TV and film opens up a whole world of new viewing from celebrated directors and indie producers alike.
On Netflix, you can search for international films and TV shows directly on the app or webpage. Amazon Prime also has an international section in its genre list. Alternatively, All 4 (channel 4's answer to streaming) has a page called Walter Presents, which is a curated selection of international shows.
8. Get back to yoga
According to the NHS website, “most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance”. They advise going to a yoga class if you're not familiar with the activity, which you could then combine with online videos or DVDs. This way, a professional can correct mistakes to prevent injuries from developing over time, and you also have the chance to practice at home.
So, now's the perfect time to get some online practice for those who have a little experience already. The YouTube channel Yoga With Adrienne has 9.28 million subscribers at the time of writing. Adrienne creates videos for a wide range of abilities, often suggesting alternative poses for different levels. Her playlists include a thirty-day journey and a foundations of yoga series.
Adrienne also explores gentle flows and yoga for people with chronic pain. If you’re not sure whether yoga is suitable for you, your GP will be able to advise.
9. Schedule “non-screen time”
If you don’t have time to take on an entirely new hobby, there are other options. Why not dedicate a specific time each day away from your screen, doing something for yourself? You might have a walk, read, learn to cook a new meal, fill a puzzle book, or spend quality time with a pet.
Taking up a new hobby or creating time for yourself might just be the perfect remedy for lockdown monotony. If you’d like more inspiration or in-depth guides to new hobbies, have a look at our hobby pages.