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Hi, my name is Kayla Barnoski. I’m a Licensed Clinician at the Alexandria, Virginia office with Thriveworks and I’m here today to answer the question that we’ve been getting of, “What are some hobbies and new things you can start doing with COVID and the stay at home order?”

This is an awesome question to be asking. I also have been asking lots of clients, myself family members, friends for my own interest and then also suggestions for other people. So I tried to get a list of like activities and hobbies that could be used for all age groups inside, outside in a different variety of things.

So the first one that we have is gardening and plants and stuff. This is a great time to get you outside without doing strenuous exercise that you could still wear your mask and everything and give you some time to get out of the house. But also there’s plants and gardening and things that you could do inside the house as well.

Gaming, this could be video games, board games, any kind of game on the computer and such. Phone. This is another great way to, to connect with people that you’re maybe not able to see right now and to be able to hang out with—that you can still talk and interact with them through this, through the gaming.

Movies: there’s tons of free streaming right now with movies. I know a ton of like the Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Stars, all those are doing some free trials right now. And then also because the movie theaters are closed, they’re also putting them online that you can rent them and see some new releases at home in your pajamas, which is even better than going to the movie theater. With that same thing, you know, shows, shows that you’ve been meaning to watch or want to catch up on ones that you can either watch by yourself or with the family. Um so many varieties out there and places to stream them. That is great.

There are virtual field trips that you can go on right now. So museums, zoos I know Disney is doing like virtual like roller coasters and rides and stuff. So that’s something that if you maybe don’t even get the chance to get to go there in your normal day life, this is a way to experience it, right in the comfort of your home.

Meditation, mindfulness: there’s two great apps that are providing usually free trials and then if you’re a healthcare worker, they’re providing free memberships. Headspace and Calm. Those are the two that I usually recommend to people. They seem to be really helpful as well.

Reading: great time to pick up a book, go outside to read, read in the comfort of your home. Working out: this could be anything from going on a walk, or run, bike rides or you know, workouts you can do in your house. A lot of gyms that you can be part of are doing free at home workouts. And I know Peloton, which I use and absolutely love is doing three months free. And they have indoor outdoor exercises in classes and stuff that you can follow for all, all running groups, all exercise groups and stuff. So those are another great thing to be doing and kind of keeping yourself in shape, both mentally, physically.

Classes. Another great chance, it’s an awesome time to take this, you know, downtime to learn either a new skill, something to, you know, if you need it for a license or to increase your own skills and knowledge in an area that interests you. This is the time to do it. You have the time more time than usual per se to take on a class. It could be even just a fun class, like a cooking class and stuff. With that being said, also cooking and baking. I know I’ve been cooking a lot more since the restaurants are being closed and it’s been a great experience.

Crafting, lots of craft stuff online that you can find. Board games. Like I said, organization and cleaning, if that’s like your sort of thing. Perfect time to spring clean, kind of purge, get rid of things. And the essentials that you don’t need any more puzzles. Sewing, DIY crafts. Again, all these things you can find online. I know everyone pretty much knows about Pinterest. And then DOI, beauty and hair having all the salons, clothes, you know, great time to learn how to do your nails and your hair and stuff. That can maybe carry over to afterwards and save some money.

Journaling what a time to experience and to learn how to have something to look back on through this time because this is, you know, history in the making to share with others what you felt and what you went through with.

Art projects. Perfect time to self-reflect, you know, really grow mentally, emotionally and physically. A gratitude journal. You know, being grateful for what you do have in this time of need and crisis. Music: there are plenty of places online that you can review albums that have been released and kind of post reviews, which is a fun way, if you don’t want to just listen to music but to also incorporate an activity and hobby.

Uh again, learning a new skill, new language, those are always fun. And it’s definitely something that’s on my bucket list to do. And then the most thing that I keep trying to tell my clients and stuff is that this is the perfect time to learn how to actually fully relax. We will never probably get this time again, that we don’t have to be really like on top of it, motivated, giving our 100%. And this is the perfect time to find like coping skills and things that help you to relax, but also embracing this time to be able to relax and to not have the pressure of having to do anything.

Um I know this list was really helpful for myself and I’m excited to try some of these new things and I hope you also find it helpful as well to get through this hard time that we’re in. We’re all here for you. Thanks.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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