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Our first (and hopefully last) quarantine anniversary is right around the corner. Even though there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we’re still not exactly sure when we’ll get out of this mess for good, and while we’re all accustomed to working from home these days, the activities that once kept us entertained in quarantine have definitely lost their luster. If you feel like you’ve run out of things to do in quarantine, you’re def not alone. I’m even getting tired of watching Netflix, which was my main way of unwinding each night.
Now that work and home boundaries have softened (or in some cases, completely disappeared) you should remember to take some time to do things for yourself when you aren’t grinding for your job. It can be hard to step away from your computer, put down your phone and stop reading the news, but it’s important for your sanity that you do so. And it can be fun, too!
To keep you from agonizing over when you might get the vaccine and when things might finally start to feel normal again, keep your hands (and mind) busy with other things. Remember how into baking banana bread we all were? And what about spending a chunk of the morning whipping up Dalgona coffees? I’ve found that the best way to keep my anxiety at bay is by diving head-first into new projects, and after admiring some of my friends’ creative hobbies honed over the past year, I felt inspired to round up some options for myself—and for you, too.
Whether you’re more of a yarn enthusiast or an aspiring chef, there’s plenty of activities to choose from. There are even some online class options if you’d rather not relive your traumatic middle school art class days. Add some excitement into your everyday life and try something new, and you just might come out the other side with some super cool hobbies to show off post-quarantine. It’s a win-win!
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Discover Your Signature Cookie Recipe
And not just the one viral recipe you keep seeing on TikTok! Everyone loves cookies—I refuse to debate that fact. If you don’t love cookies, you can keep scrolling. Fresh Baked Cookie Crate sends you a new cookie recipe each month to bake in the comfort of your own kitchen. They send out all of the ingredients you needed, proportioned correctly, so all you have to do is bake.
Baking can become intimidating when you have to choose a recipe and track down all of the ingredients, but Fresh Baked Cookie Crate does all of the not-so-fun, annoying bits for you. Plus, the cookie recipes are totally out of the box. It’s not just your classic chocolate chips! Try a few and find your favorite, then make it your signature dessert to bring to friends and holidays.
Learn To Paint (By Numbers)
If you aren’t quite ready to paint little happy clouds with Bob Ross yet, a paint-by-numbers kit is a great place to start embracing your artsy side. It’s like an art class on a canvas, so as you follow the numbers, you’ll learn how shadows and light are added in, and can feel more prepared to freestyle on your next canvas.
These days, you can even recreate very famous paintings through paint-by-number, like Hokusai’s The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. With this kit, you get all the necessary acrylic paints, a pre-printed canvas and three different-sized paint brushes.
Binge-Watch Some Masterclasses
If you’ve been looking at a blank page (or canvas) for weeks on end, then Issa Rae—creator and star of the show Insecure—is here to inspire you with her online course. Masterclass offers a ton of classes from experts in all different categories, and some notable names include Gordon Ramsey, Anna Wintour and Roxane Gay. You can browse the classes to find the best one for you, but Rae’s is my top pick for creatives by far.
Learn To Embroider
This old-fashioned hobby has gotten a second wind in the 2020s. Embroidery is something Daphne and Penelope from Bridgerton would have done to pass the time, and now you can, too—but with a modern twist.
There are tons of cute kits out there these days, like this plant-themed kit that comes with three patterns, a plastic hoop, the necessary floss and helpful printed patterns to follow. That’s why this is the perfect set for newbies. Remember to make some space on your walls, because you’ll want to display your creations once you’re done!
Make Your Own Dress
Take DIY to a whole new level and learn how to make clothes during your remaining time in quarantine. Wouldn’t it be awesome to make your own nap dress and then show it off after you’re vaccinated? How totally cottagecore! In addition to this dress pattern, you’ll need some fabric, a sewing kit and a sewing machine, which isn’t as expensive as you’d think if you find the right one.
Learn Something New with Udemy
Now’s the perfect time to take an online course—and whether you want to develop new professional skills through a class like Instagram Marketing 2021 or work on yourself with some mindfulness classes, Udemy has so much to offer. You won’t have to break the bank for these classes, either. They usually cost about as much as a night out at your favorite restaurant.
Julie & Julia Your Way Through a Cookbook
If you haven’t seen the plot of the Meryl Streep and Amy Adams movie, Julie decides to work her way through every recipe in Julia Childs’ famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Right now, I’m doing the same with Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and I highly recommend it. Honestly, I don’t love cooking, but this cookbook has been teaching me to fall in love with it recipe by recipe. Plus, everything tastes delicious.
Master an Instrument
Alright, so you probably won’t become Mozart in quarantine—but who knows? If you have learning how to play the piano, guitar or even saxophone on your bucket-list, now is a great time to get started.
This compact keyboard and bench set is a great option for anyone who can’t swing a baby grand right now, if you know what I mean. You can even plug your headphones into the keyboard, which will make you, your roommate and the rest of your apartment building very happy.
Knit Your Own Blanket
We Are Knitter makes some seriously cute beginner-friendly kits, from DIY sweaters to beautiful, fringed throw blankets. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent most of quarantine snuggled up under a throw blanket. Why should I buy another generic throw when I can make one myself?