It’s been over two-and-a-half years since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Even now, there are still people required to work from home or even not yet allowed to return to the workplace. And with all of the extra time during the lockdown, many people have taken up hobbies that they usually would not have considered. The spare time available to some people by the national lockdown also facilitated indulgence in our favourite activities.
The reasons for taking up new hobbies or indulging in existing ones vary from person to person. Some of the most popular reasons that people have stated include finding something to help them relax and take their minds off the pandemic. Another reason people have said is to help themselves become well again by doing such activities as meditation. While others have simply used the time to perform odd jobs around the house and finally get round to outstanding DIY projects.
There is an almost endless list of activities and hobbies that people have performed during the lockdown. Some of the most popular include the following.
The video game industry is internationally recognised and one that is growing all the time. Fortnite alone earns billions per year for Epic Games, and the industry is currently worth approximately $152 billion annually. During lockdown and with time on their hands, 62% of UK adults surveyed stated that they consistently played video games when they had nothing else to do.
For some, video games provide an excellent escape by which they can forget their troubles and lose themselves, if even for a few hours. In the UK alone, video game sales increased by 44%, taking the UK’s games industry value to a net worth of just over £7 billion. £1.6 billion of this figure is attributed to new players looking for something to relieve boredom.
Arts and Crafts
Homemade arts and crafts are a trendy hobby these days. During the pandemic, crafting retail supplier, Hobbycraft reported a 200% increase in sales. Most people generally create things for themselves either to use for a project or fun with children. However, others depend on crafting for a living. There are so many tools and materials involved in crafting that there is a steady supply chain of dependables.
Items such as ready-mix paint, adhesive materials from stores like Glue Guns Direct and cutting tools have benefited from the increased interest of hobbyist and veteran creators alike. And now that lockdown restrictions are lifted, many of these hobbyist creators can share their creations with everybody else and hopefully make some money by doing so.
Exercise and Workouts
Interest in exercise and working out seems to continually rise and steadily increases year on year. People are very much aware of health issues these days, and most of us want to do something about it before it’s too late. As a result, exercise and workout equipment sales generally spike during the Christmas period as people feel like it’s a good idea to begin working out for the New Year.
But many people don’t get around to it, and exercise equipment starts to gather dust in the attic. However, long lockdown times have given people more time than they usually have. It appears that many have used the time to begin getting in shape just like they always wanted. A study conducted by RunRepeat found that exercise rates among various fitness groups increased by up to 88%.
Further to exercise and working out, trendy fitness routines such as pilates, yoga and meditation have become prevalent. Unfortunately, lockdown prevented people from attending classes in person. However, helpful communication tools such as Zoom, Teams, and video upload social media have allowed instructors to continue teaching courses online.
The widespread availability of an internet connection means that people wishing to begin or continue their routines have been able to do so with minimal disruption. And these apps even allow multi-party communication. Practices like these are known for their wellness properties, and 82% of Brits stated they used time during lockdown meaningfully to further general well-being.
Lockdown procedures meant that there were strict limitations on the way we could go public. Person to person interaction was legally prohibited in some places, making it difficult to socialise the way we are used to. Nevertheless, lucky people with their own outside space found solace in taking up gardening.
Gardening is also suitable for wellness and general well-being, and it provides a sense of calm and relaxation. It’s also part of people’s reasons for wanting to use their lockdown time effectively. In addition, you can be productive in the garden by getting around to some jobs you have been putting off or growing something from scratch.
Of course, just sitting around and doing nothing can be just as relaxing as any ancient routine or fitness therapy. So a trendy hobby these days is binge-watching streaming TV. Essentially, you choose a show you’re interested in and watch it start to finish in as much time as you have. An international survey by NCBI concluded that 73% of people made a sharp increase in their binge-watching activities over the past two years.
The average increase of binge-watching platforms such as Netflix and Disney Plus increased by 3 to 5 hours per day. The most-watched media were YouTube and mainstream news channels.
Cooking and Baking
Every other channel now has a cooking or baking show playing at any given time. This is because everyone loves to cook. There’s nothing like making a homemade meal with family and friends that everyone can enjoy. The beauty of cooking is that you don’t have to be good at it. The sheer enjoyment of working with other people to create something lovely for everybody makes it important by its very nature.
It is believed that a lack of time hinders people’s cooking abilities as life and work tend to get in the way. But the extra time afforded us because of lockdown meant that people could better organise the kitchen and plan ahead. Additionally, some have taken up cooking-related hobbies such as bread making and home brewing.