Staying Productive: Other Hobbies I’ve Taken Up During Lockdown

Four months into lockdown and monotony can set in. Every day is a never ending loop of waking up to the exact same surroundings and doing the same thing over and over again. Each week hardly looks distinguishable from the next. While staying at home for an extended period of time hasn’t been that difficult for me, we introverts are often thrilled when we aren’t forced to interact, there is a sense of longing to be able to go on trips or hang out with friends without worrying if the big bad C will come and get you. To add a little variety during my weeks, I have taken the initiative to pick up other skills or hobbies when I need a little break from the usual ones I’ve been doing.

1. Cooking

My mom is a great cook. Family and friends who have ever tasted her cooking have always told me I should learn from her to continue her legacy. I’ll admit it never really occurred to me to take the time to learn from the best. Part of it is laziness or being too busy throughout the week to find a day for her to seriously teach me what she knows. Now that the pandemic has forced many of us to stay home until further notice, my days have been freed up to finally add learn how to cook to my list of things to do.

I’ve been learning simple recipes, like cooking spaghetti, baking blueberry crumble, and Filipino dishes that have been a huge part of my childhood. I’m certainly no expert and I still have a lot to learn from my mom. But by taking the time to watch her in the kitchen and cooking some meals with her guidance, I think I may be on my way to being as good of a cook as her. Or at least a competent one who knows her way around a kitchen.

2. Windowsill Gardening

Over the years I’ve received a few plants as gifts. One has been a white amaryllis plant that has grown and thrived in the last three or four years and counting. Others have gone to the great plant beyond. The plants that did die would leave behind an empty pot of soil with no ounce of green occupying the spot. After getting sick and tired of staring at pots of dirt with no plants living in them for several months, I thought it was time to fill those pots with some greenery. I planted a packet of flower seeds I had gotten for free a few months back and then bought a packet of basil seeds. I’ve been carefully tending to my new plant babies, one to bring some beauty into the apartment and the other to be used to garnish future Italian dishes or salads. Checking on my plants every morning has brought me a lot of personal joy, and I do feel like a proud plant mom to see them grow up little by little. Luckily, these plants are easier to take care of!

3. Taking Online Classes

Before the pandemic, I was taking writing classes to fine tune my skills as an aspiring author. I wanted a refresher course on some of the things I’ve learned in college and maybe gain additional knowledge on things I may not already know. Since attending in person classes isn’t possible to do at this time, the place I did go for my writing workshops started offering online Zoom classes instead. I did a class last month and have been taking another one this month. While I do miss being in an actual classroom, it is nice and convenient to log in on the specified date and time you chose without ever leaving home. I’ve been learning a lot from the classes I’ve taken so far, and I feel my writing can only get better with the continued training I’ve taken upon myself to do.

The pandemic may have derailed what we used to call a “normal life”, but it has also forced us to get creative with our time and resources. I’ve chosen to turn the current situation into a whole lot of lemonade.

What hobbies or new skills have you picked up during lockdown?

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