Travel is cancelled, borders are closed, events are cancelled and shops are limited; so what are you going to do with all your free time?
COVID-19 is impacting many families and individuals all around the world, so The North West Star has compiled a list of hobbies that may help with your recently empty calendar.
Find a list of 30 hobbies that you can take up today, that have little to no cost.
Exercise: Even though gyms are closed, Australians are still allowed to to be outdoors so why not exercise? Simply lace up your shoes and pound some pavement, you get fresh air and exercise, so what's not to love? Maintain your social distancing or compile a home workout routine. There are no shortage of online routines so find one that suits you and get started.
Reading: See those books sitting on the shelf that you have always wanted to read but never had time? Well now is your chance. If you don't have books at home, head to a book store and purchase or head to your local library to hire.
Baking: Who doesn't love fresh-baked bread or cakes? For the cost of flour, sugar, milk, and yeast, you can teach yourself the art of baking.
Cooking: Who doesn't love to eat? You're going to be spending a lot of time from home during this pandemic so why not increase your cooking skills to eat fancy meals at home.
Writing: You don't need $50 Moleskine notebooks to write. Jot your daily thoughts in an app on your phone, or scribble passing thoughts on scraps of junk mail. If you really want to get into writing, consider starting a blog to share your thoughts with the world.
Sewing: I have a sewing machine and I think I have only used it once. But now is the chance to watch those YouTube tutorials and learn a live-long skill. If you want to score a sewing machine on a budget, thrift stores are your best bet.
Gardening: There's nothing more satisfying than growing something from nothing, and gardening lets you do just that. Whether you're into lush rose gardens or utilitarian vegetable patches, gardening is a fun and cheap way to get some fresh air.
Coding: Any type of hobby that lets you build something is a hobby worth having. Coding unlocks so many doors. Why not take an online course?
Play an instrument: Have that dusty guitar sitting in the wardrobe? Take the opportunity to learnt how to play an instrument. You can learn to play an instrument on the cheap. Check out the Buy, Swap and Sell pages on Facebook for a second hand instrument then YouTube tutorials to learn how to play.
Write A Song: If you are creative, try your hand at writing a song. You could really enjoy yourself, or discover that you have written something you love. If you know how to play an instrument, you can be your own band.
Pickling and canning: Do you love pickles and jams? Make your own! Buy whatever produce is on sale and learn how to preserve it.
Crocheting: All you need to crochet is a crochet hook and thread. You can often get these items cheaply at craft stores.
Fishing: You need a license, rod, lure, and maybe some bait to start fishing, all while enjoying the remote outdoors and maybe even catch something for dinner.
Learn a new language: Although we cannot currently travel to another country, why not bring a little more culture to your life and learn a new language? There are countless free apps and sites that help you nail down a new language in no time.
Meditation: Life is hectic at the moment. Take a timeout by practicing mindful stillness through meditation. I meditate daily and it's a fantastic way to cultivate happiness.
Restoring furniture: If you love working with your hands, restoration could be up your alley. Peruse flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores to find furniture you can easily upcycle.
Learning magic: Now you see it, now you don't! Learn sleight of hand or card tricks on the cheap with YouTube tutorials.
Doing comedy: Time to enhance those dad jokes! If you love performing and making people chuckle, consider doing a comedy routine.
Podcasting: Podcasting is all the rage right now. Build your own fan base by hosting a podcast on any topic you please.
Yoga: Yoga is a great way to stretch, strengthen your muscles, and forget about all the crap from your day. You can score free Yoga tutorials on YouTube, so there's no need to join a studio.
Scrapbooking: I know from firsthand experience that scrapbooking becomes expensive in a heartbeat. If you truly make your scrapbooks from, well, scraps it's a cheap hobby and a fun way to preserve memories.
Watercolor painting: Painting can get expensive, but hobbyists don't need a $50 canvas. Snag a palette of decent watercolors at the craft store and let your imagination wander.
Teach Your Pet Tricks: If you have a pet, this can be a really enjoyable way to spend your free time. They probably already know the basic commands, so try to teach them something more challenging, like 'play dead'.
Photography: Normally I wouldn't classify photography as "cheap," but the cameras on today's smartphones make this a breeze. You don't need a DSLR to have an interest in photography; just use your phone camera to get started. You can always upgrade later!
Calligraphy: You can buy the paper and special pens for this low-cost hobby in your local craft stores, and there are lots of helpful videos online.
Decluttering: This is another one that might sound strange, but believe it or not, decluttering can become pretty addicting once you get into it. Some people have even created businesses around helping people declutter!
Conquer some puzzles: Working on a puzzle is a particularly great hobby when the world feels like it's falling apart. Literally putting something back together can be a peaceful and powerful act during hard times. And it allows you to create something without having to be super-crafty.
Reviewing: I'm always so grateful to people who take the time to write reviews on online stores, especially because I rely so heavily on them when I'm looking for a restaurant or buying literally anything online. It's a genuine service to provide, and the people who do it really treat it like a hobby.
Binge every episode of a retro TV show: Become the go-to expert on a show like I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Twin Peaks, or some other classic. And make it a true hobby by learning fun facts you can impress your friends with about the actors, the writers, and the crew that made the show what it was.
Start a remote club: Book club, wine club, recipe club; stay connected with like minded people remotely while all enjoying something you love.
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