Many of us are forced to stay at home right now. To some of you this may be welcomed, to others it may be torturous. Whether you are working extra hours from home or struggling with finding things to do, it is important to have productive hobbies that you can do in your free time. You will find below some fun meal ideas, a new recipe for your crock pot, a simple workout routine, tips for learning to draw, and some inspiration to pick up one of your old instruments!
Learn to Cook a New Recipe
Even in quarantine, you still have to eat! Be creative, if you have some extra time, you can learn to cook a new meal! Don’t worry if you’re not much of a cook. There are plenty of online instructional videos to help even the novice chef learn to cook. Below is a very simple recipe to try for delicious Crock Pot Chicken Tacos.
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 1 jar of salsa (any kind, preferably something spicy)
- Juice from ½ a lime
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 3 TBSP of cilantro
Place all ingredients in the crock pot and cook together on low for 4 hours. Once cooked, take the chicken breasts out of the crock pot and shred them. Then add the shredded chicken back into the pot with the salsa mixture to warm it up for a few minutes. Once warmed, serve on your favorite soft taco shells and add your favorite toppings!
If you have a fire pit or a place to make a small campfire, it can be a great family activity to take the kids outside and roast some hot dogs and s’mores! Don’t forget during this time to support your favorite local restaurants as your budget allows. Local businesses are really suffering due to this crisis but most have made accommodations for us to help them in small ways, such as takeout food!
Home Workout Routine
During quarantine, your cooking may be too delicious for your own good. With gyms closed and many working from home, most people are living a very sedentary lifestyle right now. It's okay to take a break to relax, but it's not healthy to stop activity and exercise all together.
Complete this full-body workout 2-4 times per week to stay in shape without the gym! You can also raise or lower the repetitions depending on your fitness level.
Repeat this circuit 3-4 times:
- 10 burpees
- 50 Russian twists
- 10 tricep dips
- 60 second plank
- 20 air squats
- 10 push ups
- 20 alternating toe touches
Drawing for Beginners
If you’re looking to relax after your workout, one great hobby to learn is drawing. It can seem intimidating for a lot of people to learn drawing, especially if you remember it being difficult in art class as a kid. Below are a couple foolproof tips to become better and develop your artistic skills.
Pencils are one of the most forgiving art tools since you can adjust and redraw easily as needed. All you need to get started is paper, colored pencils, and an eraser. Check out this great video for the basics of drawing with colored pencils.
It is best to use a photograph or online image as your guide in drawing. The photo will show what something will look like in 2-D, help you get the proportions correct, and you can mimic the shading and highlights of the photograph in your art.
To begin, use the lightest shade color you have (or a writing pencil) to draw an outline of the entire object, using your photo as the example. Study your photo, zooming in if you need to, and observe which colors you see. Pick out the appropriate colored pencils based on your perception of the image and start in one area of the drawing. Move your way across the page shading with the colors as you go. Be sure to layer with several shades of colors to bring your art to life.
Learn to Play an Instrument
Do you have a piano sitting in your house that no one plays? An old guitar sitting in a closet? You may want to dust them off and try to learn. Luckily, you don’t have to learn complicated sheet music with dozens of notes to play. Learning chords provides a quick way to play an instrument, even if you don’t know how to read music.
To play the chords on a piano, you can simply start with the C major chord, playing the chords C (notes C, E, G), F (notes F, A, C) and G (notes G, B and D). Those three chords are the basis for many songs. For guitar, this video is helpful. With these basic chords you can find chord charts online to play songs like Let It Be by the Beatles, Count On Me by Bruno Mars, Sweet Caroline by Neal Diamond, and Let It Go from the movie Frozen!
Whether you love trying new hobbies, or you are fearful of the unknown, taking advantage of this extra time in your home is a great opportunity to grow and try new things. You might surprise yourself!