This year’s COVID-19 lockdown hasn’t been a walk in the park for anybody. Constant anxiety caused by the growing death toll and the threat of losing one’s job obviously harms people’s mental health. However, even the lockdown in itself (meaning the lack of social life, the inability to go out properly, and general thirst for something exciting) is not easy to endure. Since the lockdown started, the prevalence of depression and other mental health problems has skyrocketed.
Part of the problem is that many people, especially among the younger generation, who don’t have kids and can work remotely for the most part, suddenly got extra free time with most regular ways of filling it unavailable. Quite predictably, we had to unlearn our past entertainment options and come up with new ones. For the most part, they are nothing new (from working out to gaming to Zoom cooking classes). Still, if you are looking for a hobby or pastime idea, here are the most popular ways people entertain themselves during the lockdown.
Whether your idea of creativity is pottery, online salsa lessons, or rekindling your passion for drums, the lockdown is the perfect time to do so. Also, there are tons of creative hobbies that can unite the entire family. For example, consider filming your family members or roommates and making funny, quirky, or artsy video diaries about their day-to-day lives. Also, drawing or photography are also great options. After all, when it comes to creativity, it’s more about the sense of being productive; what exactly you’re doing doesn’t really matter.
Rediscover Online Dating
One would think that the lockdown is the end of online dating, but it’s quite the opposite. Research shows that the use of dating apps has surged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are using extra free time to get to know others and hopefully have dates lined up by the end of the lockdown. No reasonable Bumble user is seeing strangers after a couple of messages these days, but flirting via text conversations and sharing one’s entire life story over a video call is more popular than ever.
Online Gaming and Gambling
Online gaming has grown into a new Netflix of sorts. Everyone does it. It often becomes the main theme of Tinder bios. People connect thanks to video games. Since the beginning of the lockdown, Twitch, the live streaming platform for gamers, saw visitors increase from 2.3 million to 4.2 million. The same goes for online casinos. With most land-based casinos closed, gamblers found a great alternative in their online counterparts. According to the Gambling Commission, online poker has grown 38% and slots 25% since March. Chances are gamblers will remain loyal to iGaming even after the pandemic ends. Like the rest of the world, they got used to doing everything without changing out of sweatpants. In some ways, the quarantine has been liberating.
Go Camping With Your Family
This option is off-limits for those of us living a big city life with no picturesque countryside close by. However, if you’re the lucky neighbor of Yellowstone or Glacier, go for it. Research suggests that reconnecting with nature, especially together with loved ones, is one of the best things you can do to help your mental health. Considering this year’s events, it’s safe to assume you’re in need of a good retreat (just like the rest of the world). The summer’s over, but September and October are still warm enough even for east coasters.
All in all, do whatever makes you feel good, be it TikTok, slots, or mountain climbing. There are only two rules: be safe and keep others safe. So, either stay inside or go somewhere where squirrels outnumber humans.