A look back at lockdown: 10 hobbies we dove into

A look back at lockdown: 10 hobbies we dove into

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

It’s hard to believe many of us are approaching the one-year anniversary of when lockdowns throughout Europe and the U.K. came into effect. Granted, we’ve had a few small reprieves here and there throughout the year; however, being at home constantly has given us a lot of time on our hands. Here’s a look back at some of the hobbies we delved into — some successfully and some not so much.

Amigurumi and sewing. Grabbing a ball of yarn and a couple of crochet hooks and you’ve got a fun way to pass the hours. Amigurumi (a form of Japanese crocheted art) took off in popularity. Adorable monkeys, sloths, octopi, Grogu (also known as Baby Yoda from “The Mandalorian”) and even a mittens-wearing Bernie Sanders were popular patterns to try. While I didn’t try amigurumi, I did start a quilting project and was quickly reminded of the intricacies of cutting fabric correctly and making sure I sew in a straight line.

More crafting. The lockdown saw plenty of us get in touch with our inner crafty self. Picking up paintbrushes and dusting off old photos, there was finally time to get caught up on the crafting ideas that had been put off. Honestly, one of my favorites has been the paint-by-number kits. They’re like the ones we did as children, only a lot more intricate and produce a much more aesthetically pleasing result.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. I tend to be the type of person to replace things, rather than fix them. However, with many stores shuttered, I became the queen of DIY. YouTube became one of my best friends this past year, especially when it came to DIY projects. Need to fix a torn vacuum hose? Boom. YouTube and done. Scratched up table? There’s a YouTube video for that. Weird sound coming from the dryer? Okay, you may need to call the maintenance folks for that.

Home improvement. If you had been waiting for the right time to tackle larger home improvement projects, lockdown provided a lot of it. Many of us revamped spaces or even took the plunge on renovating rooms. Our home improvement was a bit limited, but still fun. Knowing we would be spending a lot of time at home, we picked up a few outdoor solar lamps and a small fire pit and spruced up the backyard so it would be less of a jungle and more of a nice place to spend an afternoon and evening.

Cooking and baking. In the beginning, there was banana bread. Then sourdough starters. I made so much Nutella Banana Bread in the first three months of lockdown, I’m pretty much banned from ever making it again. However, our time at home proved useful in the kitchen. For many, it was a time to experiment with new recipes and discover different foods you may not have tasted before. Although not every recipe was a success (I’m looking at you, scones), they were a lot of fun to try. Even more so when you have family or friends join you via Zoom.

Fitness. In order to earn or burn those excess calories from all of the newfound baking skills, many of us decided lockdown was the perfect time to get our fitness on. From workouts with Joe Wicks, endless spinning on a Peloton or just taking long walks around the village, we were able to help some of those new year exercise goals stick around a little longer.

The great outdoors. The past year was full of online meetings, family gatherings via FaceTime and pretty much anything and all things virtual. To break free and maintain host nation guidelines, we discovered the wonders Mother Nature has to offer. This part of the world offers stunning scenery, breathtaking hikes, alpine meadows and miles of beaches all within relative driving distance of our homes. Even if we couldn’t make it a proper multi-day vacation, just a day trip to the coast was enough of a soul balm.

Traveling virtually. One of my favorite viral videos from the first wave of lockdowns was a couple sitting in their living room in their bathrobes with a glass of wine watching the ocean on their TV. Because they couldn’t physically go on their anniversary cruise, they made do and recreated it at home to the best of their ability. Famous museums around the globe offered a glimpse into their collections without other tourists or leaving the comforts of your couch.

TV and movies. I’ll be honest. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV. When Disney+ debuted, you can bet I was on it the first day marveling at all the original movies I grew up watching. From “Tiger King,” “The Undoing” and “Wandavision,” there was no shortage of shows to choose from. We re-watched “The Office” and “LOST,” introduced our kids to the awesome cheesiness of ‘80s rom-coms and ‘90s high-school party flicks and ate way too much popcorn in the process.

Family and friends. When the lockdowns were enforced, the geo-physical relationships with friends and family came to a screeching halt. Group meetings and get-togethers moved into the digital realm. But for my family, it actually encouraged us to video chat more than we used to. One friend went through their phone contacts and randomly called people to check in on them. For those of us who ended up at home with spouses or children, it gave us a new perspective of our relationships to each other.

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