It has been 16 months since Malaysia imposed its first lockdown on 16th March 2020. In the months since, we have been through several versions of the lockdown, each lasting months with countless extensions.
For some reason, despite imposing these lockdowns, the cases keep rising, but I am not here to talk about that now.
Instead, I will look back on the past 16 months, and rate the home-based hobbies I have picked up, dropped, or continued since March 2020. If you are feeling pandemic fatigue like most people are, perhaps these hobby ideas can inspire you.
There are quite a few lockdown hobbies one can pick up, even if one is trapped within the four walls of one’s home, such as:
1) Creating a TikTok account – and posting on It
In 2019, I was one of those people who thought TikTok was only for the tweens and teens, aka not my age range. Next thing you know, I have downloaded the app, and even joined in on some TikTok trends.
At a point in time, I had random Tiktok earworms in my brain. My TikTok fever died down in half a year and I have stopped posting, but I do still find myself mindlessly scrolling down my TikTok FYP feed from time to time. It was fun while this lockdown hobby lasted, but I don’t intend to do it again.
2) Airfrying my food
I bought an airfryer during one of the lockdowns. I can’t live without it now. From juicy tender chicken breasts to baked potatoes, the airfryer and I are now inseparable.
3) Playing the Kalimba
I ordered a kalimba because I saw one on TikTok and thought it looked cool. This fad lasted for a week before my kalimba never saw the light of day again.
Crocheting is the same story as the kalimba. I now have balls of yarn and will go back to crocheting something proper someday. Maybe.
5) Listening to audiobooks/ Podcasts
Tired of continually looking at screens – from my laptop screen, the TV screen and to my phone screen – during all my waking hours, I chose audiobooks and podcasts as a way for me to relax and close my eyes while still learning something.
For podcast recommendations, I particularly liked listening to The Michelle Obama Podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, and WorkLife with Adam Grant.
6) Animal Crossing New Horizons
The Animal Crossing series of games have always been popular, but this edition was definitely released at the right time in March 2020. 16 months later, my Switch lets me know that I have clocked in around 420 hours on this game – definitely the longest I have spent on any game.
It turns out that when you are stuck indoors, a game about living on a deserted island far away from anyone else is comforting. Plus, it also lets you live the dream of being able to pay off the mortgage of a large house – what’s not to like?
I started watching the anime Haikyuu on Netflix during the pandemic.
I’ve also rewatched it at least five times since then. I never thought I would get so invested in a story about high school boys’ volleyball teams, and yet here I am. It was good emotional support for me, and it still is.
8) Being a Plant Mum
Plenty of people picked up plants as a lockdown hobby. I like plants. Plants do not like me. I purchased two pots of plants and one died within months. Now, the other is barely scraping by. Still, I did feel comforted looking at them when they were thriving, so thank you for your service.
9) Staring at the ceiling
I know where to find the slight bumps on the ceiling now, if I want to find them. This also leads to a lot of spiralling thoughts about how I am trapped here and have no way out, even though I am doing my best not to get COVID and spread it.
I don’t recommend this lockdown hobby at all, but it is one of those that creep up unexpectedly from time to time – and suddenly I find myself doing it.
10) Starting a YouTube channel
This year, I wanted to learn how to edit videos with proper video editing software. I also wanted to do video features that were longer than what TikTok or Instagram would allow in videos (apart from IGTV), as I also wanted to keep a lengthier record of bits and pieces of my life.
So, YouTube it was.
Initially, when it was all new, I did like learning how to edit videos. I could sink 4 – 5 hours into carefully clipping and compiling clips for a short 8-minute video.
Unfortunately, while I wanted to do more, there is only so much to document when you are stuck at home. I also noticed that my videos increasingly became more negative the longer the lockdowns lasted, so I have stopped for now.
I will pick up this lockdown hobby again eventually, but for now, I will just continue to indulge in the hobbies I rated 5/5 instead while waiting for the pandemic to end.
When will the pandemic fatigue (and the pandemic) end?