Here we are, pondering again where can we steer our wheels to after bearing the brunt of a fallout from a struggling year!
It’s a sweet-bitter feeling to finally be here though, isn’t it?
I am not saying it’s over as yet, but ‘it’ is getting better at least in certain parts of the globe, thankfully!
So, before we move on and hop on this delayed train – let’s have a quick heart-to-heart on this dainty topic!
2020 & 2021!
The year(s) we all shared the same emotions, the same routine, and pretty much the same habits.
Well, it wasn’t so easy to thrive in this “new normal”, at-least initially.
So what did I do?
How did I keep my productivity high? And still managed to keep my sanity.
In this post, I will talk about my work from home ethics, the things I introduced to my routine, the self-talk that I would like to rather share with everyone, and hobbies I took up.
I have sieved it down to 7 actionable tips for you because if it worked for the impetuous me, it could certainly help you.
So, let’s crack on.
- The back-story that most of you can relate with
- So, what did we learn?
- 6 Hobbies and Habits to Start at Home Now!
- 1. Pick your forgotten Passion – Pick a Brush!
- 2. DIY Projects
- 3. Make Books your Friend
- 4. Slow Cooking
- 5. Pick An Instrument
- 6. Exercise and Yoga
- 7. Boggle your mind – Change your habits
- Wrapping Up
The back-story that most of you can relate with
Here, I have given a back story into how I adapted to the change at the start and ended up picking up some cool hobbies to keep myself busy and productive.
If you want to skip directly to the list of Hobbies, jump to this section.
Trust me; I’ve never introspected enough before this year. One thing that I am truly grateful for is how I’ve started to learn and practice this beautiful art of being in a state of tranquillity, gratefulness, and calm!
I won’t lie – anxiety, loneliness, agraphobia were also there in the mix but floated through those emotions prosperously as somehow we are virtually cohesively bonded, and that made it easier to chug along.
It’s truly remarkable to see how we wrapped our heads around to comprehend this unprecedented situation, let alone sailing through this when everything was stilted and stained, something we never imagined nor experienced.
I gathered some small wins in my swisher, which I would like to garner more so often even though the pandemic is past us (ish) – and we will talk more about this in a bit.
But for now, let’s say – 2020 taught me how we could be ultra productive being online without the need for being physically present.
How easily we could work from home ‘full-time’ just as effectively in this full bloom era of technology.
I am sure some people might cringe at this emotion 😉
Whilst WFH can have its own benefits, there are some major challenges I feel, we, as humans, still need to tackle.
Don’t forget we are used to working in this model for thousands of years, i.e. stepping out of the house, out of our comfort zone to earn a living.
Yes, we can work from home, zoom people, play online games, do meetings on a virtual whiteboard.
Still, you can’t replace the beauty of human touch and a hot-desk arrangement in the middle of a concrete jungle (pun intended) with a 50*50 instagrammable workstation!
Can you ?
Yes, we all mourned about our 9-5 back then, how daunting the train journeys could be that could cataclysmically suck the last ounce of little energy left in our bodies!
I remember how I used to miss my train by a few seconds and how I used to run a full marathon in my mind to beat the crowd to attend my first meeting of the day whilst twiddling my thumbs standing on the same platform and gaping at my watch which barely had moved.
Although I have my loving partner by my side, spending undivided time and attention with him was certainly the thing I would always cherish, but…
I really missed People.
I missed those witty, grumpy, poker faces!
Missed those ‘got my period’ faces, ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed’ faces, ‘yuhoo! I am back from the vacation’ face!
‘I could not say bye to my kids today’ faces, ‘ I am a happy baby if I get a seat’ face and ‘yeah! that’s how I look without makeup’ face .. and so on!
Smirks, greets, smiles, grins I was so used to seeing pretty much every day suddenly disappeared!
Loads of unsaid stories in those 55 mins journey remained unfinished; those 50 randoms ‘mornings’ you get from people escalating with you suddenly dozed off.
That feeling when you go into the cafe (all alone) but still surrounded by dozens of people that never failed to create that harmonious buzz around you, which you never wanted to shush, all came to a halt.
A halt we never saw coming!
So, what did we learn?
Well, I learned rather accepted, how I always have this void, this confusion in my head no matter which side of the pandemic I was – how I complained about my routine when I was used to going to the office and how I am whining the same way when I am full-time working from home.
Btw, I am generally not too much of a moaner ‘type’!
I realized that I complain when I feel trapped in the same routine, the routine and the life I build around it is the problem!
When you follow the same routine, you feel trapped – be it going to the office OR working from home OR full time travelling.
So, the trick is to shake up your routine!
How do you do it?
One thing that kept me from falling was rediscovering my enthusiasm.
Today, I will share 7 workable and practical tips with you that you can use for your lifetime to maintain that healthy balance between pleasing your soul and following your materialistic instinct.
6 Hobbies and Habits to Start at Home Now!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Pick your forgotten Passion – Pick a Brush!
Think back, think about a childhood hobby you truly enjoyed apart from teasing your siblings. Ha!
Where does it take you?
To a guitar class, you wish you had taken seriously?
To writing a journal?
To paint, sketch, singing, knitting, playing soccer, music/video editing ?
In my summer holidays, my parents would send me to explore my passion, my hobbies mainly so I do something valuable with my time and not bother them much! 😛
And I remember how I fell out from some of the classes because I hardly had any interest in them, but to some – I really clung on.
One of ’em was Painting!
I used to paint the bedsheets, pots, tiles, my mom’s dresses and guess what!
I had completely forgotten about that and I don’t know, how!
It was so thick and hazy in my memory that I had no recollection of it whatsoever until I really went down the memory lane and stumbled upon this faded and folded page of my childhood scrapbook buried under the thick layers of adulthood debris.
I ordered some acrylic paints and painted a vase in just under a couple of hours and was so thrilled to show it to my partner.
He was stunned if not flabbergasted! 😀
It was not bad, and I was really pleased with the outcome as it not only helped me feel good but also reminded me that I am more than just a machine!
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Tips to help you get started
- Your childhood passions remain true-blue friends, so think back, really back, hone those skills whilst you have some extra time on your hands.
- Stop spending money on gewgaw things and try to DIY more, be it painting an old jam jar into a candlelight holder OR making a wall hanging yourself or painting a pot; if not anything, it certainly brings an extra charm to your living space.
- Start small before you order the whole cart of intricate stuff.
- Explore your rediscovered passion for a few days, see if that still keeps you captivated, then go crazy!
- Please share it with friends, put it on social media; it really helps when like-minded people come and comment on your work with tips and suggestions; too bad to turn down the free tips?
2. DIY Projects
I am very excited to talk about this particular hobby I picked on.
I never appreciated my house more as I did this past year; I usually keep decorating my house, re-arranging some tchotchke here and there.
Yes, I had ‘participated’ in relatively bigger projects like painting the living room feature wall to making small improvements with bathroom fittings, arranging the dining table and bedroom sheets etc.
However, for major projects, I have always relied on my partner for being the DIY expert.
But this year, I really felt like joining forces with him and do something more creative with the lil patio space we have in our garden.
We both love plants and are generally a big admirer of natural beauty; I certainly missed going to cafes more than the pubs during the lockdown, and deep down, the desire to have my own cafe invigorated this spark of DIYing our Patio.
We kept it simple and thoroughly enjoyed the process and the end result is in front of you, well, down below. 😉
Here are some pictures to inspire you, do tell me in the comments section how do you feel about this ?
This is the embarrassing ‘Before’ Picture of our Patio.
And here are some ‘After’ pictures!
DIY Tips to Get You Started
- You really don’t need to go overboard with your first project; start simple & small.
- If you are a garden lover, get some decent pots and plant some flowers and vegetables yourself.
- Enhance your patio by simply putting in some nice Rattan furniture OR a Bistro Set, an egg chair (only if you get that in stock), and some plants.
- Lights – go for solar lights OR the electric LED ones that don’t consume much electricity. Here is the link for the Amazon LED Lights you see in the picture.
- Do a feature wall for any room with basic pastel colors like sage green (my personal favorite) or Teal.
3. Make Books your Friend
Ok, meet my new friends – Books!
Did I tell you how I have underestimated the power of being coddled into the arms of books!
I was not much into reading and spent most of the time thinking about what would be the best book for me to read…
What should I start with, what could help me at this stage of my life when I am no longer a student or a spinster, what would be the best pick for a 30-year-old, etc.
Cut to 2020.
This is one habit I am slightly gloated about as I’ve found a new companion who I look forward to meeting every day, well, at least I try to make arrangements.
and I like that feeling!
Reading has many advantages, one of which is your ability to empathize with other people, other million viewpoints, perceptions, helps you tackle some inherent notions, encourages you to conquer some stereotypes no matter what book you pick.
This is something you’d find very useful once you make time for it.
Bonus - it also helps you build your vocabulary!
It takes your mind off the frivolous topics, endless social media feeds and makes you feel calm and content from within – don’t believe me?
Also, try to build a sustainable habit around this routine :
After you finish your work and do your evening walk(yes, you must), get yourself a glass of golden milk or tea, set your couch with your favourite cosy blanket for the side table grab a bookmark, and a pencil and off you go.
Some of my favourite picks are here
Wabi Sabi : Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life by Beth Kempton
Creativity, INC. : Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation
Atomic Habits : James Clear
4. Slow Cooking
This is one thing I genuinely enjoy lately by allowing myself to enjoy the process of cooking.
By decorating the plate of food for no one, but me, chopping the carrots while listening to some blissful music, and not being compelled to gaze at my wrist!
I know we can’t do that every day probably because of gazillion tasks we have inculcated ourselves in but would encourage you to start to enjoy the ‘making’ of the food by indulging yourself in the slow cooking process.
It will not only tickle your taste buds but will soothe your mind and would not consider that as a chore to do.
Here are some of the pictures from my kitchen to drool over.
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Helpful Kitchen Tips
- Keep your kitchen clean – make it a habit of cleaning your worktop whilst preparing the food and trying not to do it at the end of the cooking process.
- When you enter the kitchen, put some music on and an apron – turns the whole game around!
- Come out of the mindset of preparing a full-fledged meal – you can make some excellent pancakes and a mocktail for supper and ditch the idea of dinner sometimes only so you can focus on the present and give yourself in to enjoy the process.
- Include new and healthy options in your diet – to start with, for, e.g. you could introduce sourdough bread instead of the wheat loaf, not only it is healthy but would help you buzz your creativity with the new item in your kitchen.
Let me know if you think a detailed cook-book would help you more in the comments below.
5. Pick An Instrument
Like you all, I always wanted to learn the guitar but never find myself in a place and ‘the perfect time’ to learn it, excuses are many, but I won’t list them down here! ha!
But, I am highly fascinated to see my partner playing piano or guitar or trying his hands on literally anything in the kitchen and making something out of ’em, which is perpetually soothing to the ear.
So I challenged myself to learn one song on the ukelele in 15 days, using primary and simple chords.
I did it! <3
- Start with literally any instrument you like.
- You don’t have to spend a fortune on it, you can borrow an instrument from a friend OR buy a used one from Ebay, it’s totally ok.
- Any instrument you pick make sure you practice 30 mins every day, same chords until you are bored to death!
- Then pick a song and hum along.
- Record the piece on your phone and share it with your family and friends and turn the boomerang effect to work in your favour. 😉
The feeling was beautiful as the first time my song made sense to my ear!
I am not a shabby singer myself, but I have always grappled with coming out in public and sing.
So, this is something I may be going to do next, and now when I have put this out there in the universe, I am sure the compelling energy will do its magic someday!
6. Exercise and Yoga
Walking, running, cycling, exercise, and yoga are superfoods of fitness.
Yoga and exercise have many scientific advantages; they not only help us to manage stress, anxiety, and mental imbalance but also make us feel good about ourselves about our very existence.
With the new culture of working from home, we often move less than usual now, making us feel bloated, dull and depressed.
But if you make this as part of the 'essential 5's of the day, you are gold!
- Walk for at least 3-5 kilometers every day, you will feel a change in the way you think, in the way your body and mind respond.
- Pledge to choose different paths every other day to kill the monotony.
- Stroll in the morning on the odd days and in the evening on even days.
- Learn to admire the beauty around you, take a picture of the trees, shrubs you see and look up online when you are back to understand more about their origination, their names, species.
- Take a stroll with your partner, sometimes a friend, OR just by yourself, but make sure you do it every day!
- Along with that, do 15-20 mins of stretching OR basic exercise at least 4-5 days a week.
- I find sun-salutation extremely helpful to kick start my day, followed by deep breathing and chanting for 15 mins.
- I play yoga essential music from my playlist to amplify the feeling of morning bliss, try this.
7. Boggle your mind – Change your habits
Start small with simple and fundamental changes in your routine.
Make your bed
This has helped me to start my day on a good note. Seeing things in a sorted state right in the spring of the day is very rewarding to the mind.
Make your mind a happy place for your dreams and passions to flourish.
Learn Rubiks cube
Tickle your mind with some quiz, some math puzzle now and then, learn Rubik’s cube and keep it handy when you are attending any office meetings, helps you focus, and gives your mind that satisfactory feeling when you complete the puzzle!
Social Media Detox
Do this, now!
I know in this era it’s tough to stay off social media; you are on your phone reading my post, aren’t you?
We all are aware of both pros and cons of being on social media, so I won’t bore you much, but I would like to say regardless of you being the consumer OR the creator, give your mind some breathing space by not feeding it unnecessary, useless, unworthy information that only takes up your time and adds no value.
Instead, you feel more drained out and less enthusiastic about your own life and passion.
Trust me, I have had it all and that’s when I said to myself – I need a new hobby! 😀
So, limit the use and rather spoil yourself with other things, because after all we only have a limited amount of energy and a few hours in a day!
There you have it, a list of simple and easy hobbies that you can directly use or take ideas from.
So, which one of these is your favourite ?
Do let me know your picks that are not on the list, would love to hear back from you. <3
Let’s connect on ra5hi.