ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

COVID-19 Sparks New Hobbies In Desire For Distraction

Updated on May 10, 2020
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

Hobbies? What Hobbies?


Who Knew We'd Be Trying So Many Things?

It's been nearly two months since Canada went into lockdown in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, I know I was struggling to find things to do; I'm so used to being on the go, either on my own or with my two children, that I was at loose ends trying to figure out how to spend my time. I couldn't go to school to teach my students, and I couldn't engage in my usual hobbies beyond running. What the heck was I supposed to do with myself besides walk the dogs and go for a run?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I had many friends who found themselves in the same boat. We were all supposed to stay home and limit our excursions outdoors to travels to get the bare essentials or even just to exercise our dogs. There was a shortage on several key parts of anyone's list of essentials - never mind the toilet paper, but stores were rapidly selling out of yeast, flour, milk and eggs because of panic buying in the early stages of the pandemic in North America. That made trying to bake in order to pass the time extremely challenging.

So what then?

Some people have taken up different forms of exercise, such as yoga or tabata. Some have expanded their repertoire of reading material. Some, like my husband, have opted to try something really different - he's making mead, so I've had to go and ensure he has spring, not distilled, water on hand as he's been preparing things for eventual racking into bottles.

I have another friend and colleague who has undertaken a different project with other musicians, and he's making another album separate from his usual band. I can hear the excitement in his voice when we discuss this undertaking, and his excitement is even more palpable when I realize he's actually messaging me from his basement studio, working on another cut. My daughter has started needlework and made me a lovely project for Mother's Day.

When. the initial panic buying finally settled and yeast, flour and eggs became more widely available, the great North American bake off appeared to begin. People were making artisanal loaves of bread. Others were trying new recipes for loaves, pastas and chicken.

To be sure, our screen time has also likely collectively gone up as a society, and that is unlikely to change in the near future given school, right now, is being conducted online. It's also likely that video gamers have been having a field day with the increased number of people at home and the desire for an escape from the routine that seems so dry and unchanging lately.

Really, even though there have been celebrities (yes, we're looking at you, Gwyneth Paltrow) who have been widely criticized for suggesting people should try something new like studying a new language, there are those who have most definitely taken this time that we're spending mostly at our homes to take on new challenges. Admittedly, during this time people do have bigger fish to fry in many cases, as they might have someone who's a frontline worker in their family or family members or friends who might be struggling with illness.

However, people are understanding what toll this quarantine and period of isolation is doing to people's mental health, and in many cases, undertaking a forgotten hobby or even a new hobby can be very curative. There's something to be said for the excitement that comes from trying something new or even restarting something you used to love. There's a spirit of anticipation that comes with trying new things and when you might have some time to engage in new activities, and that definitely can help improve your mental health.

The sense of isolation that's resulted from minimizing our contact with the outside world has a significant impact on people's mental health, but the fact that people have started to turn to new hobbies in order to stay busy is a very positive coping mechanism in the wake of a global pandemic. Whether we are trying fresh baking, new forms of exercise, or new activities as a whole, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a movement of new activity that perhaps none of us expected.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)