How to find a new hobby in lockdown
Looking to add a new pastime to your repertoire? We’ve got 40 top ideas to give you some inspiration when trying to find a new hobby in lockdown.
Looking to add a new pastime to your repertoire? We’ve got 40 top ideas to give you some inspiration when trying to find a new hobby in lockdown.
Lockdown is a strange time for us all, no matter what our living arrangements are. Whether you’re working remotely, furloughed, or waiting for the world to wake up again, the days can feel… long. Your usual pastimes might not be enough. It could be time to find a new hobby.
Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Our list of 40 new hobby ideas is here to get you motivated and inspired to try something different. From relaxing, to energising, to expressive, there’s sure to be something for just about everyone.
First things first – it’s maybe not the best idea to throw a dart at a random list of hobbies to choose one. Unless, of course, darts is your new hobby. Instead, try thinking about the kinds of things you like to do.
Are you the creative type or do you prefer being active? Do you want escapism or tangible gains? Narrowing down your wants may make it easier to choose an activity that’s suited to you.
Is there something you used to enjoy as a child? Maybe you had a particular aptitude for something when you were younger but didn’t have the time to keep it up. During the COVID-19 lockdown, time is something many of us have in abundance.
Another point worth considering is whether or not you want your new hobby to be similar to your existing ones. It can be nice to find something that complements your existing skills, but it’s often refreshing to have a change of pace.
Although your goal when trying to find a new hobby in lockdown is likely to fill time, it’s worth considering exactly how you want to spend that time. Jigsaw-puzzling, for example, is a less physically intense pastime than weightlifting.
Here’s some inspiration to get you started:
With all the stress of the world at the moment, finding a relaxing hobby seems like a sensible idea. They can give you some calm amidst the storm, and even help with your mental wellbeing.
As the great Joseph Addison once said, ‘reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.’ Reading can be the ultimate form of escapism, helping you discover new worlds, learn about different cultures, and explore new ideas. If you’re looking for somewhere to get started, here’s a list of some classic novels to consider.
You may have heard the theory circulating that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during quarantine in the plague years. So, no better time to start penning your ideas down, right? If you need a bit of a primer, you can check out our courses on writing fiction and how to make a poem. Those who want to channel their creativity towards the silver screen should give our screenwriting course a try.
Yoga is good for both your physical and mental wellbeing. It can help with strength, flexibility and balance, and just about anyone can get started. It’s a practice that’s around 5,000 years old, so there’s plenty of tips and information around, too! Yoga with Adriene is a YouTube channel that can guide you on your relaxation journey.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and paying attention to the current moment. It’s about noticing your thoughts and feelings without judgement, often done through meditation. The two practices can be hugely beneficial, improving both your physical and mental health. Our courses on mindfulness for wellbeing and maintaining a mindful life can help you get started.
Knitting is one of the most timeless crafts around, and it’s had somewhat of a resurgence of late. As well as being incredibly chill, it’s also a practical pastime that can yield hats, scarves, tea cosies, and more. All you need to get started is some knitting needles and some yarn (worsted, medium-weight is good for beginners!). From there, you can try some beginner projects to get a feel for it.
UK-weather permitting, now might be the perfect time to start gardening as a hobby. Whether you want to plant a shrub, sow some indoor seeds, or tackle your weeds, taking care of your garden can be rewarding and beneficial. As well as a sense of satisfaction of a job well done, it can also reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. Check out the Royal Horticultural Society’s guides on getting started.
If you’ve been looking for a creative way of displaying your memorable photos, a scrapbook could be just the thing for you. As well as all of your favourite snaps, you can use all kinds of decorations and memorabilia to give your creation some flair. It’s a relaxing hobby that can help you appreciate all the good you have in your life.
Of course, you probably already listen to music on a regular basis. However, there’s never a wrong time to start discovering new bands and artists that you like. As far as finding a new hobby goes, this is a fairly limitless one. Try jumping into an entirely new genre, ask your friends for recommendations, or using a tool like Gnoosic to find new music.
Colouring is a hobby that’s suitable for people of all ages. It’s a relaxing and creative pastime that can give you focus and let you express yourself. Plus, it’s simple to get started with. All you need are colouring pencils and some templates, many of which you can find for free.
As you may have noticed by the sudden demand for flour, baking has been one of the most popular new hobbies in lockdown. And, it’s not too late to get involved in the fun. You can try your hand at baking sweet treats or savoury delights with these simple BBC Good Food recipes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can get involved with a sourdough science project.
If baking isn’t your thing, but you still want to get creative in the kitchen, cooking can be a great way to relax. From trying new recipes to cooking up something entirely unique, you’ve got the freedom to experiment. There are learning opportunities too. Whether it’s learning about nutrition, mastering the basics of a healthy diet, or finding out how super superfoods are, the possibilities are plentiful.
For those seeking a more introspective hobby, journaling can be incredibly therapeutic. It helps you organise your thoughts, relieve feelings of anxiety, practice gratitude, and let you reflect on your life. It’s also a project that you can start with ease – all you need is either a pen and notebook or a word processor. Don’t overthink it, just start writing and see where it takes you.
For some of us, our pent-up energy needs to be directed to something more physical. Despite the lockdown measures affecting much of the world, there are plenty of ways you can find a new hobby to keep you fit:
There are many forms of dance, and many ways to practice. What’s more, you can easily make a start at home. You can start small by putting on some of your favourite tunes and getting active for a few minutes each day. Those who are looking for a more structured approach can check out lessons on YouTube from the Passion4dancing channel.
Running is one of the easiest keep-fit hobbies to get into. All you need to get started is a pair of suitable running shoes and somewhere to run. Along with bringing a host of health benefits, running can give you some time out from whatever is going on in your life. The Couch to 5K programme is an excellent resource to start with, giving you three runs per week until you can run 5K without stopping.
If the Rocky movie series taught us anything (and it taught us a lot), it’s possible to train your boxing skills in all manner of ways, including at home. If you’ve always fancied getting into the sport, there are plenty of boxing resources available to get you started. Plus, you can practice things like stance, footwork, and basic punches at home.
If running is a bit too high-impact for your joints, but you still enjoy getting out and about, cycling can be a great alternative. Aside from a bike and helmet, there’s not much you need to get started with cycling. However, as a new hobby, there are plenty of different areas of interest you might want to get into. Will you choose road cycling or are you more of a mountain biker? Either way, you can find cycling routes nearby to get you on your way. You can also read the latest COVID-19 recommendations around cycling.
Despite what many people think, weight lifting isn’t just for bodybuilders. As well as building muscle, it can help improve your posture, balance and bone health. You don’t even need loads of equipment when you first get started. You can start with some simple bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and pull-ups. From here, you can move onto a simple dumbbell workout.
Skateboarding is one of those hobbies that has quite a steep learning curve. However, once you start making progress, it can be incredibly rewarding. If you’ve always fancied yourself as a future Tony Hawk, now might be the time to get practicing. All you need is a skateboard, protective gear, and some smooth concrete. This wikiHow guide on skateboarding gives an excellent intro to practicing the basics.
Although Venice Beach is off-limits for now, you can still get into roller skating (or blading) as your new hobby in lockdown. Much like skateboarding, all you need are some skates, protection, and a place to practice. Start slow, learn to fall, and soon you’ll be rolling with the best of them.
Some people may find that they want their new lockdown hobby to be more skill-based than some of the ones we’ve mentioned so far. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available. Here are some ideas:
Whether you can already play an instrument or not, there’s never a bad time to learn a new one. There are so many possibilities here; we could dedicate an entire post to just listing them out. You’ll find all kinds of resources for whichever instrument you choose, including hours of video tutorials.
Learning a new language brings many benefits and can be extremely rewarding. Plus, with all types of language courses available, you can choose one that sparks your interest. If you practice your new hobby in lockdown, just think of all the places you can use it once travel restrictions are lifted…
If you enjoy writing and sharing your interests and opinions, blogging could well be the hobby for you. It gives you a platform to organise your thoughts, express your feelings, and connect with people across the world. It’s also a highly useful digital skill to master. It’s simple to get started, and there are plenty of blogging platforms available.
You may not immediately think of acting as the most obvious new hobby for lockdown, but it’s worth considering. There are plenty of acting exercises you can do from home to boost your acting abilities, and many books on acting you can get started with.
Woodworking is one of those hobbies that can come in handy in so many ways. It’s also pretty easy to get started with. Providing you have a sharp knife, wood saw, hammer and screwdrivers, you can get started on a variety of simple woodworking projects.
For those who like graphical representations of data, data visualisation could be the new hobby you’ve been searching for. It involves creating images, charts, graphs, and maps that show people what certain data sets mean. It’s a skill that allows you to flex your creative and analytical muscles at the same time.
On the theme of creating visually appealing content, graphic design is a skill that can easily be learned from home. You can start by looking at some content creators you admire and thinking about the skills and techniques they use. You can also find plenty of free graphic design software to get started with, such as Blender, Krita and Adobe Spark.
The Game of Kings can seem like a tricky one to get started with. However, once you’ve mastered the basic rules, chess is a hobby that can provide hours of entertainment (and frustration). The website lichess.org will walk you through the fundamentals of the game, and some higher-tier skills for when you’ve improved. You don’t even need a chessboard.
Many of us have spent the lockdown playing video games to a greater or lesser extent. But if you’ve ever fancied dabbling in creating your own game, now’s a good time to get started. With courses in video game design and development, as well as those that help you create your own adventure game, you have all the tools you need to get learning.
If your inner artist is trying to find a new hobby, these skills are some that you can easily explore from home:
If you’ve got some paintbrushes and paints knocking around, you can easily jump into painting as your new hobby in lockdown. YouTube recently added 12 seasons of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. So, you can listen to his dulcet tones as you begin to master your new craft.
Photography is a pastime that’s become increasingly easy to get into. After all, most of us carry a camera around with us just about everywhere we go. Although your smartphone may not be the connoisseur’s choice of equipment, it’s more than sufficient for learning some of the basics of photography with. You can take an array of photos of the family pet, for example. If you’ve already mastered the fundamentals, now might be a good time to take your skills to a professional level.
This is a hobby that will probably require you to order a few bits in, but it can definitely be just as rewarding as any of the hobbies on our list. It’s also a skill that you can dive into and get creative with. For the future Michelangelos among us, this is definitely one worth considering. You can sculpt using a variety of materials – everything from clay to marble, depending on your confidence levels, space, and budget.
If you’ve already completed hobbies eight and twenty on our list, you might want to try your hand at composing your own music. There’s a whole heap of resources available to get you started with. As well as an entire course dedicated to writing your first song, you can find free software such as GarageBand, Sibelius First, and MuseScore.
Many of us want to simply find a hobby that helps us escape the day-to-day for a time. There are plenty of great options here for you to try:
It’s highly likely that you already watch films on a somewhat regular basis. However, watching films as a hobby means you get to delve deeper than you usually would. Instead of enjoying a movie at face value, you get to look at the cinematography, writing, set design, and more. Sound appealing? Our course on film education is a great place to start.
If you’ve always wondered what it’s like to be on the non-acting end of the camera, now’s your chance to get into film making. You can start by learning how films go from script to screen. From there, you can start penning your own screenplay or shooting simple scenes. With free video editing software such as Lightworks and Shotcut, you can begin getting a feel for composition and editing. If you’re interested in how films connect with audiences, we also have a course for that.
‘What’s LARPing?’ we hear you cry. Well, it’s an acronym for live-action roleplaying… If you’re still not sure, it’s a real-life fantasy game where you dress up as your character and play as them. Think Dungeons & Dragons but on a grander scale. Although you can’t gather with your comrades during lockdown, you can find a group, work on your character, and start building your costume.
Puzzles are a great hobby to get into for many reasons. Not only are they brain-teasingly satisfying, but they also help improve your memory and problem-solving skills. Things like jigsaw puzzles are a great way of taking your mind off your surroundings for a while. All you need to do is pick a puzzle and get started.
Many people assume that board games equal misplaced Monopoly money or outdated Trivial Pursuit. But there’s so much more to offer. Games like Catan or Ticket to Ride are equally good ways to alienate your loved ones. If you want something on-trend, give Pandemic a go. If you like fast-talking, Articulate! is the game for you. For those trying to find a new hobby to share with their household, this is a good option.
RPGs (roleplaying games, for the uninitiated) are games where you take on the role of a character in a fictional setting. You then have to act as that character, making decisions for them and progressing their story. In video game terms, this means titles like The Witcher 3, Skyrim, and the Fallout series. In board-game terms, think Dungeons & Dragons and Gloomhaven. RPGs can be the ultimate form of escapism.
As we live through a defining part of history, it can be nice to go back and immerse yourself in a different time entirely. Our array of history courses gives you plenty to seek your teeth into. If you’re into podcasts, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is worth checking out. For history books, you’re spoilt for choice.
So there you have it, 40 excellent options when it comes to finding a new hobby. Hopefully, it’s given you some inspiration about what you want to try. But there are some final considerations:
Is your new hobby something you want to make money from? Possibly not – it could just be something to help pass the time. But if it is, then you might want to think about where to invest your time.
As a side project, creative pursuits can be an excellent choice. Whether it’s woodworking, knitting, or painting, handicrafts tend to be pretty popular side earners. If you get good enough at a sport or physical activity, you can even think about progressing to teach.
If you’re thinking about developing your main source of income, there are plenty of strong options available. Digital skills and coding are increasingly sought-after and can complement a range of other professions.
Price is often a determining factor in finding a new hobby. Those that require a lot of specialist equipment can be pricey. Learning a new instrument, photography, and woodworking can all be expensive. However, it’s also possible to keep costs down by working with what you do have, and borrowing what you don’t.
Of course, there are plenty of free hobbies too. There are tons of free e-books available on Project Gutenberg, while writing only requires a pen and paper or computer. You can also often learn the basics of an activity before you choose whether to invest further.
You don’t have to make your final decision about your new hobby in lockdown just yet. You can spend some time trying a few different options to see which one is right for you. In fact, you can check out our list of courses related to new hobby ideas for some further inspiration. They can help you find a new hobby that’s perfectly suited to lockdown.