Skills and Hobbies You Can Pick Up Online to Stay Sane

May 27, 2020

The combination of being stuck at home, not being able to see your friends, watching Legend of the Seeker on repeat, and taking virtual classes can really play tricks on your mental state. For UChicago students, far from feeling like a carefree summer break, this period of time can feel extremely tedious. Nevertheless, the quarantine can be a blessing in disguise. Apart from slowing the spread of the virus, it slows life down and grants us the gift of time. Here are seven skills and hobbies that you can pick up online in order to stay sane:

2) Games:

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3) Jazzercise! — If jazzercise brings joy to the Grinch’s life and has a dedicated place in his schedule, it should for you as well. Working out at home can be such a drag. Maybe all that your workouts need these days is some flair. This fitness challenge is a fun, high-energy blast from the past.

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4) Trivia — Trivia is an exciting pasttime. After that leisurely jazzercise workout, it’s time to take your brain to the gym (which complies with lockdown regulations). Here are several ideas to sharpen your skills and place you on the road towards MVP status for your trivia nights at the Pub when this is all over:

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5) Origami — Origami is the art of paper-folding, its name deriving from Japanese words ori (“folding”) and kami (“paper”). My first foray into origami was in second grade after reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. There is a Japanese legend that says that if a sick person folds 1,000 paper cranes, then that person would soon get well. Hospitalized with leukemia, Sadako spent long hours in bed folding paper cranes and never losing hope. The story and the art of paper folding is fascinating, and you can learn to fold anything from a crane to a star to reindeer. Jo Nakashima’s Youtube channel and this blog are good resources to learn.

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6) Reading — For me, there’s no such thing as reading too much. Reading literature is one of the great joys of life and does wonders for restoring my mental state. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find entire libraries of books online. Whenever I feel depressed or just exhausted with life, reading becomes my escape. A couple of recommendations:

These are tough times, but hopefully some of these suggestions help. See you on the other side!

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