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Monday, September 28, 2020

Coronavirus

From drawing to baking, hobbies are key to fighting quarantine boredom


Juana Garcia/ The Cougar

Juana Garcia/ The Cougar

Since quarantine began, the media has paid more attention to the creativity that is happening despite the coronavirus pandemic. People are taking up baking bread, gardening and even working on developing blogs. This is for a number of reasons, but a lot of it has to do with keeping occupied. 

It’s easy to become restless when you’re home 24/7. A lot of people may find themselves having mental health spirals because they lack a set routine to keep them busy. 

While this quarantine gives us a chance to catch up on our favorite television shows, sometimes we need to give our brain a task to complete rather than passively watching something. Having a hobby where you’re actively doing something like playing piano or drawing can be what you need. 

Hobbies are not cures for mental health problems, but having something to put energy into can be a way to release stress and express yourself. With the added stress this pandemic has brought everyone, we might need a way to express ourselves. 

Hobbies can also keep your brain healthier and protect it from conditions like dementia by keeping it active. They can also help with physical health since enjoyable activities have been associated in studies with lower blood pressure. 

Hobbies can also help people be better at their careers. A study that researched  the lives of scientists found that when the participants had creative and active hobbies such as art and music, they were more successful. Focusing on something other than their job actually helped them become better at their job!

Finding the right hobby

Overall, hobbies are a good idea from a fun and health perspective. Then comes the question of what hobby you should get into. If you’re a writer, this might be the perfect time for you to write that next novel.

When you are studying to be a writer, an engineer or anything, there is pressure to be productive during quarantine. There are people tweeting that everyone should be improving themselves. Many see quarantine as an opportunity for more work, but you might not see it that way and that is OK. 

This pandemic is a collective trauma for all of us, so it’s normal to not feel up to working as much as before. That pressure to keep improving is brutal and can take out the fun.

If you’re looking for a hobby during quarantine, I would recommend that it be something that has little to do with your career aspirations. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs recommend that hobbies stay separate from our careers in order to avoid burnout. 

It can be nice to introduce yourself to a hobby that you have no expectations for. Many are choosing baking bread as a new hobby. They care about and focus on their bakes, but they separate them from career pressures, which means there’s less stress. Just like the scientists from the study, having a hobby separated from your career may actually help you too.

While it’s good to have your hobby be separate from your career aspirations, it should still be something you enjoy in general. If you watch videos of people doing makeup but you don’t do makeup, maybe you should try it. Again, it’s supposed to be fun, so don’t do something if you aren’t interested. 

A creative hobby can be helpful for getting through this pandemic. It’s easy for us to turn to unhealthy thoughts and habits when we are isolated. An activity that requires some focus on our part can help us relieve stress and pent up energy from remaining indoors, while also having added health and career benefits. 

Again, hobbies won’t solve all our issues but they can’t hurt, so if you have extra time right now, try to find something you like and do it! Hobbies are great for us, whether we’re in a pandemic or not.

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

Anna Baker is an English sophomore who can be reached at [email protected] 

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