Sports are cancelled. Concerts are postponed. School is closed. Traveling is banned or, at best, looked down upon. It’s become hugely challenging to entertain yourself during this global pandemic, but that in no way means it’s impossible.

Don’t let the COVID-19 quarantine fool you. This can be a hugely productive, entertaining, and valuable time, so if you’re looking for new hobbies to try or skills to learn, then here are 10 things to teach yourself while you’re stuck indoors.

1. How to Journal

This doesn’t have to be the traditional handwritten book where you document your thoughts and feelings (though it absolutely can be). You can also document your favorite things from the day on your computer, try your hand at crafting poetry or short stories in a private journal, practice daily doodles, or even improve your photography skills by journaling your day with photos. Get creative and set yourself loose. You might stumble upon new hobbies you love even after quarantine is over.

2. How to Garden

If you have a little bit of yard space, then there’s nothing holding you back from turning some of it into a flower or even fruit and vegetable garden.

If you live in a small apartment without any property, you can easily turn your windowsill into a lovely potted-plant garden. Plant some herbs, set them in the sun, water them regularly, and look forward to cooking with fresh basil, parsley, or thyme.

3. How to Cook

Speaking of cooking with fresh herbs, try following some online cooking classes while you’re stuck indoors to learn new skills and recipes. Find a recipe you’ve never made before and then follow a tutorial for how to make it. This is possibly one of the best skills to learn since you’re probably cooking dinner needs to be cooked at home anyway, so you may as well make it fun!

4. How to Bake

And while we’re on the subject of dinner, you know dessert comes next. Search for a recipe that sounds best to your sweet tooth (and  is a little more complicated than boxed brownies), put on your baker’s apron, and give it a go!

You could even create a virtual bake-off among your friends to show off your skills or compare your final products!

5. How to Speak a Foreign Language

There are plenty of language learning apps and programs ready to help you live your bilingual dreams. You can try Duolingo for free as long as you’re willing to endure some ads, but if you aren’t drawn to its game-like teaching style, there are plenty of other language apps to try! Practice for a few minutes a day and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you learn.

6. How to Interior Decorate

You know all those pins you have saved on Pinterest where the bathrooms are so well organized, the bedrooms are decorated perfectly, and the kitchens are absolutely flawless? While you don’t need to meet the standards you see online, try your hand at revamping the room in your home you like the least. Use your Pinterest boards as inspiration and transform your living space into the room of your dreams.

7. How to Meditate

There are countless benefits to regular mediation, including making this time in quarantine a little less overwhelming. Set aside some time in your day for deliberate peace and quiet.

Reflect on your day, what you’re going through, and focus on your breathing. If you’re unsure how to begin, you can find calming tutorials on YouTube to help you get the most out of your meditation time.

8. How to Dance

Maybe you already know some killer moves, but now is the perfect time to try your hand at some new dance techniques. Search Youtube for dance tutorials, turn on some good music, and bust a move! Or, settle into some live dance and theater productions. Professional companies from around the world are posting their programs regularly these days for the global audience.

9. How to Defend Yourself

Understanding proper self defense is a skill you learn without ever really knowing if, when, or where you’ll need to use them. They’re preemptive and often overlooked, but nevertheless, they remain important. Youtube is a great resource for introductory tutorials on different self- defense techniques. You can also enroll in an online self-defense class for guided practice.

10. How to Budget and Financial Plan

Even if you have a clear budget and stick to it well, no harm can come from reviewing your finances and exploring your options. You may want to consider refinancing a loan, cutting certain expenses you no longer need, or setting new financial goals for the future. Take some time to polish your budgeting skills and financial plans. These are skills to learn that will only help set you up for a better financial future.

Not sure where to start? AAFMAA offers free webinars each month with tips, insights and expert discussion on topics to help your military family build a future for success.

What else have you always wanted to learn but never had the time to tackle before? As long as it doesn’t require travel or a large group of people, give it a shot during this quarantine. It’s the perfect time to give yourself the time and attention you need to be happier and healthier. Let SpouseLink know how you’re staying busy during this time by sharing your thoughts and photos with us on our Facebook page!

More to Consider:

Solutions for Your Military Family:

Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.

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