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Hobbies can help you in your day-to-day life, not just in the worst

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult two-year period that has thrown me and others into problematic times.

As hobbies have increased for many people during the pandemic, I have plunged headfirst into my schoolwork.

Now, in a world coming out of a pandemic, I’m starting to dive back into my old hobbies, like art. To those who picked up a hobby during the pandemic, or those who have always had one, keep your hobbies as they can bring much needed joy to your life.

The pandemic started in the last term of my freshman year of high school, pushing it and my senior year online. It forced one of my favorite classes, video production, to go online with fewer opportunities available, and the movie club to disband.

Since it was a time when I was starting to show off and learning how to make short films, which became one of my new hobbies, it set me back. Instead of trying to continue making short films and learning new video production techniques, I just gave up and immersed myself in school work.

The pandemic was often a time when I was trying to push the days forward, trying to reach an end that wouldn’t come for two years. It wasn’t until the spring semester of my freshman year here at the University of Iowa that I found my old hobbies again.

Since then, I have focused on more than school and work, beginning to rebuild what was lost during the pandemic. Hobbies, like video production, and later art, would be a light I didn’t know I needed to be as content as I once was.

Ironically, the creative hobbies I was redrawn to probably would have helped me during the pandemic.

With more free time and being stuck at home, people needed to do something with their time, so they were guided into new hobbies.

Often, new, mostly creative hobbies would help alleviate the growing general mental health issues brought on by the pandemic. There was a 500% increase in 2021 for people seeking mental health support, or around 5.4 million people. Mainly the growing anxiety and feeling of isolation caused by the pandemic.

In 2020, top creative hobbies included trying new cooking recipes, gardening, and art-related activities like painting.

While these hobbies can provide a much-needed mental health boost during the pandemic, they are also necessary for a post-pandemic period. Indeed, the world is still experiencing many major problems, such as the Russian-Ukrainian war, the recession and diseases such as Monkeypox and COVID-19, which are still very present.

Mental health isn’t the only reason hobbies are necessary. Many creative hobbies, like painting, can be turned into a business. When you create something, you can sell it on sites like Etsy, which can bring a small boost in income, for little more than the cost of arts and crafts supplies.

Even when global issues seem to be calming down a bit and the cost of living stops its meteoric rise, hobbies will still be an integral part of our lives in the 2020s. Art has come back into my life to stay, knowing how much point it has an impact on my daily happiness, as it helps me overcome difficult emotions caused by things like the pandemic.

With hobbies that are practically affordable for everyone and take as long as you want, it’s something everyone needs to add to their lives.