April 27, 2022

The Growing Popularity of Hobbies Due to COVID-19

Valerie Mellema
Fortune 500 Editorial Contributor

COVID-19 came and shook the world around as if it was a toddler and the world was a wrapped present on Christmas morning. During COVID-19, many people were trapped at home for months on end without being able to see friends, family, and other loved ones… and to deal with the boredom and isolation, many hobbies grew in popularity!

Although the world is slowly opening back up, many hobbies are still considered popular, and it’s good to try and pick them up if you can!

Reading

Reading is a beautiful pastime that many people don’t feel they have enough time for. It’s also one that you can’t do while you’re commuting (keep your eyes on the road), so it has fallen to the wayside for many people who have 9-5 jobs. But, with the pandemic, there was no need for as many people to commute anymore… and that time could be filled by reading.

Start-up cost: none! Visit a library if you want to be truly free of spending money, although there are eBooks and physical books that will run you between $10 and $20 if you want to own your books.

Video Games

Before COVID-19, there were gamers, and during the height of the pandemic, it seemed that everyone had tried their hand at it. (looking at you, Animal Crossing.) Whether people had access to a current-gen system or something less modern, gaming was a great hobby that many took up to pass the time and keep entertained. With the onset of games that could be purchased digitally, they could receive new content on their devices without ever leaving the protection of their homes. And many games allowed people to socialize with their friends virtually (since it was impossible to do so in person).

Start-up cost: there are many free games you can access on Steam with a free account, but if you want to buy a console game, most games these days will run you $69.99 + tax, not including the system.

Learning an Instrument

With nothing else to stop them, many people decided that it was time to learn an instrument during quarantine. Rather than listening to music, they could play it on their own, and many people used YouTube and other video sites to learn how best to do fingerings, read sheet music, and even learn how to arrange and come up with their own music. With access to the Internet, they could learn how to become music aficionados without ever leaving their home.

Start-up cost: depends on the instrument, however you can rent one and then get free lessons online.

Podcasts

For those who want to listen to something but don’t want to play video games or read a book, that’s where podcasts came in to fill the void. There are podcasts out there for every topic under the sun and listening to someone else explain a topic they were passionate about brought comfort to many people. It also served as a great activity that many could focus on as they did other tasks such as cleaning the house or cooking. No matter what the topic, there’s bound to be a podcast out there, and most people took advantage of this during quarantine.

Start-up cost: free, so long as you have access to a smart device and Wi-Fi.

Gardening

Gardening was another hobby that got people excited! Gardening requires lots of care and attention to the plants, and it’s care and attention that many could otherwise not spare (with their normal lives and work schedules). However, with COVID-19, gardening rose in popularity. Plant parents had never before been so popular!

Start-up cost: can run you anywhere between $5 and several $100 depending on how elaborate you want your garden to look like.

Exercise

For the more active people who were suddenly trapped at home, exercise was a great way for them to get rid of all their excess energy. Running, doing yoga, sit-ups, playing Ring Fit Adventure… anything that could keep them active and in shape took precedence over other hobbies. Many had never really exercised before and discovered that they loved it, too!

Start-up cost: free if you’re exercising in your home with a YouTube instructor, but some gyms that offer digital lessons might require a monthly fee.

Watching TV

Many people decided that if they were going to be stuck at home, they were going to catch up on all the shows and movies they had missed out on. Whether it was binge-watching new shows like Bridgerton or checking out old shows such as Parks and Recs, nothing stopped many people from binge-watching to their heart’s content.

Start-up cost: different streaming services charge different monthly fees, but few will run higher than $20 a month.

Baking

At times, it seemed like everyone and their mother had decided to pick up baking during the pandemic. Whether it was baking bread or trying out recipes that they had been curious about, there seemed to be no stopping the rising baking craze. Sourdough bread was a popular option for most, but some decided to try everything from muffins to Pop-tarts, cheesecake, and crepe cakes.

Start-up cost: depending on if you need pans, oven mitts, and other dishware—not to mention the ingredients—you can expect to spend around $20 to $40 to start baking.

Learning a Language

Many people decided that all the time they’d be stuck at home would be a great time to learn a new language. No matter what language it was, many took to apps like Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, and Babbel to learn or brush up on languages that were near and dear to them. There was an increase in language learning for languages like Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Korean (among others), and many sites offered free trials to get people excited about their learning!

Start-up cost: there are many options for free language learning possibilities (so long as you have a smart device or access to YouTube, but there are paid options such as Rosetta Stone, as well).

Crafts

Crafts are a lovely hobby that came back into popularity during the pandemic. Whether it was doing relaxing coloring books, picking up sewing or designing, or even just doing old-school science craft projects for fun, many people decided to seek out hobbies that allowed their creative natures to shine. Knitting, water colorings, and painting were particularly popular hobbies for many!

Start-up cost: when you start out with most crafts, they tend not to cost too much, but you can expect to pay around $10 to $15 to start out, but you might spend more (e.g. if you pick up knitting, you’ll eventually need more yarn and possibly different size knitting needles).

Takeaway

Whether you took part in any of these hobbies during quarantine or you’re looking for something to entertain yourself with now, there is a long list of options for you to choose from. No matter your interest, take the time that the world is in this state of flux to find what rejuvenates you. If nothing else, you have to keep yourself in good spirits and healthy during this pandemic!

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