You’ve been holed up in your man-cave for weeks. Or is it months? (It’s tough to keep track. Thanks, COVID 19.)
Even if you live in a place where society is starting to reopen, the prudent path to staying healthy remains social distancing. That means finding hobbies best-practiced solo, or only with family. And the safest ones are those you can pursue on your own time, on your own terms, in your own space. Here are six ideas for at-home hobbies that you’ll enjoy long after the pandemic is over.
Whether it’s bringing your beds and natural areas up to snuff, or planting beautiful spring flowers, you can’t go wrong by cultivating your inner master gardener. Even if you have little experience, there are plenty of resources online to motivate and educate you. Gardening is excellent for your mental and physical health since it gives you a chance to soak in the sun and enjoy the fresh air. The work you put in pays big dividends in curb appeal and sustainability. And the sense of accomplishment you’ll get from a day’s labor in the backyard is well worth the time and energy.
2. Work on your Short Game
… or your longer game. Get your golf clubs out, set up a tee box and net, and sharpen your swing so you’ll be ready when it’s time to head to the course. Getting exercise and sun are crucial for staying healthy while working from home. And golf is one of the few sports possible to pursue in these times of social distancing. While some courses are open with rules that keep the Coronavirus in check, you may prefer putting around in the safety of your backyard. This is the perfect time to pick a spot in the backyard and construct your own putting green. The keys are choosing the proper location and selecting the correct surface.
If you have an interest in the creatures that inhabit your backyard, bird watching is perfect. It just takes decent binoculars and patience. And if there’s anything the Coronavirus has taught us, it’s patience! See how many species you can identify. (The Audubon Society makes it easy with a complete online guide.) This is also a hobby that’s sure to lower your blood pressure.
You may know this game as “bean bag toss.” A staple at barbecues and tailgate parties, it’s tailor-made for our current social distancing situation.
All you need are two sets of four bean bags and two cornhole boards. The boards are 2-foot-by-4-foot plywood sheets built into ramps that rise from the ground to a height of 12 inches. Cut a hole, 6 inches in diameter, 9 inches from the top of each board. Add two or four players, some adult beverages, and a 27-foot-long playing area, and you’re pretty much set. If the weather’s bad and you’re blessed with a big family room, you can move the game indoors. Plenty of guides to the game are available online.
Rediscover the pleasure of reading for enjoyment. Those books that have been gathering dust on the shelf for years can take you places you can’t get to right now. If your professional life is on hold, take the time to research a new skill. (Coding anyone?) If you don’t have books sitting around, give your Kindle app a workout and download an e-book.
Amateur astronomy is a great way to get out of your house and enjoy the backyard you’ve worked so hard to perfect, while looking upward instead of down. Get your hands on a good, used telescope to start, and do some online reading to prepare. NASA offers an amazing catalog of resources to help you begin.
These six ideas for at-home hobbies are just the beginning. Make relaxing a priority, and turn these days into an opportunity for personal growth. The possibilities are indeed endless.
By Bob Silverman
Bob is a freelance writer living on Florida’s Gold Coast. He enjoys hanging out in his man cave, sand volleyball, reading, and cruising the beach towns in his restored 1966 Ford Mustang convertible.