During last year’s lockdown, there was one trend that emerged as a popular past time for residents suddenly stuck in their homes: taking up classic hobbies. Older pastimes experienced a dramatic resurgence with people once again taking up old-school crafts such as knitting, sewing, painting, gardening, and more. There was also an overwhelming number of people opting to get in the kitchen and improve their cooking skills.
These types of productive hobbies have been overlooked in recent years. Younger generations have been favouring video games and watching TV over the pastimes that our parents and grandparents frequently undertook. Even the simple act of reading a physical book has fallen by the wayside in favour of audiobooks. There is something relaxing about sitting down to flip the pages rather than multitasking by listening to a book while on a run or cooking the family meal.
Having a productive hobby is great for both happiness and mental health. Playing a video game all day doesn’t achieve anything except levelling up. Why not choose to improve your life skills instead, by growing your own vegetables or knitting yourself a new jumper? Research has found that hobbies can have meditation-like impacts on our lives, encouraging us to slow our pace, sit, and focus on repetitive actions. Not only that, but they can help us to reconnect with our identities, boost our productivity, and perhaps even become more efficient in other areas of our life. Plus, if you’ve ever brought the favourite dish to a potluck, then you understand the pride that comes with mastering a skill.
These interests are not only great for our wellbeing but for the sustainability of the planet as well. The world is being overtaken by fast fashion and fast food. Creating our own garments and growing and cooking our own food is a great way to cut down the impact of the supply chain and reduce packaging and waste. Think of our grandparents. They were already using reusable bags, sewing their own clothes, and growing their own herbs before it was fashionable. Going back in time with our hobbies can mean that we have a lower impact on the environment.
Knowing how to cook is an important aspect of adult life that many people have previously been uninterested in learning. Whether relying on takeaways, prepared food boxes, or simple meals, many simply don’t have an interest in improving their culinary skills.
However, during the lockdown resulting from Covid-19, people were forced to cook for themselves. During level 4, all takeaway options were completely closed, with supermarkets and pharmacies being the sole stores that remained open. Those who had previously shunned cooking as a fun pastime now had to cook for themselves. People began learning to make their own pasta, making pickles, and bottling fruit. Food items flew off the shelves as more people than ever before began cooking for themselves.
The real winner of the most popular new hobby during lockdown, however, was baking. Banana bread, sourdough loaves, and extravagant cakes began taking over Instagram and Facebook feeds everywhere. People dusted off the cookbooks that had been collecting dust off their shelves and got back in touch with their childhood selves through baking.
If baking wasn’t the lockdown skill that you mastered, and it ended up being more Nailed It than Pinterest perfect, there are many boutique shops selling cakes Auckland. Why not do your part for the planet by supporting local? Plus, purchasing a cake for that upcoming birthday leaves you more time to pursue the hobbies you’re actually good at.