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During these troublesome or uncertain times, it can be good to get your mind off of the news or the events of the global crisis and focus on something that puts your mind at ease. It can feel hard because we are all trying to cope in our own unique ways, and being cooped up inside makes it even harder to feel like we can do the things we love. Being inside does not necessarily mean we have to feel bored though. There are many ways to take advantage of this newfound spare time.

This spare time does not feel as good because it is imposed, and not something we have to choose ourselves, but it does give you a lot of time to think and do things that you may have put off for lack of time, motivation, or just plain laziness. We are all guilty of it, but there are a lot of creative outlets to spend your time as we all wait out these global events.

Check out some of these options to make the most out of your time in social isolation.

1. Learning An Instrument

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One of the classic skills that people mean to learn but somehow never find the time for is learning an instrument. While it is true that learning an instrument is not the easiest thing, there are still many online resources for free or paid that can help you learn the basics and eventually get better at your instrument.

A lot of people have a guitar lying around their house somewhere that is collecting dust, or even a piano, that is just begging to be played. While the circumstances are not exactly great, you can easily take some time each day to commit to learning that instrument once and for all.

2. Gardening

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Now that spring and summer are quickly approaching, we want to spend more time outside. There is not much you can do now that many businesses and events are closed or canceled, but even from the comfort of your backyard, you can find some comfort in learning how to garden, or just doing some upkeep on your existing one. Even if you have experience already and you are a frustrated gardener, you might find helpful tips on this blog that you can use to further improve your skills and gain more knowledge about other plants you might be interested in growing.

There is always something new to learn as there are just so many plants, flowers, or vegetables that you can grow in your yard as long as you take the time to learn how to properly care for them. Gardening is a great, practical skill that is fun because you can yield vegetables for your kitchen and save some money on groceries. Likewise, it is a time-old tradition for people to garden and it is really good for destressing and keeping your mind off of the scary reality of what is happening.

3. DIY Crafts

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DIY (do it yourself) crafts are easy to make because they usually are composed of materials found around the home. This is a good way to sink some time into a creative outlet that keeps you busy, and you can end up making some fun creations to put around your home. Things like homemade candles are just one of the many interesting crafts you can do yourself. If you have children at home, this is definitely a great way to let them burn off some energy and keep them occupied for even just an hour or so a day.

There are plenty of websites or blogs online that allow you to find inspiration if you feel stuck and cannot figure out what to do. The best part, again, is that most of these DIY crafts can be done with stuff found around the home that you may even end up turning some of your old junk into something more functional or even into pieces of art.

4. Reading And Writing

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Modern life is really busy, and that can mean not having enough time to finish reading all of those great novels in your backlog. With this extra time, there is no excuse to not immerse yourself in the world of a book. There are a lot of books that you may not have touched and it is good to get your eyes off of your phone, computer or TV screen for a while. Many online retailers can ship books to your home as well so you can keep up with stories you feel you want to read. Similarly, if you have a journal or just a knack for writing, this is a great time to write down a lot of your feelings, your thoughts, or get creative and even begin your own novel. Segment some time out of your day and commit to reading or writing as this creative outlet is a therapeutic window into the soul, one that will help you grow as a person, which should be the goal of everyone in this time of social distancing and isolation.

5. Cooking

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Cooking is always thought of as a domestic chore and something that does not exactly feel very fun or inviting, especially after a long day at work. Well, if you find yourself bored, it might be time to start beefing (pun intended) up your cooking skills. Cuisine magazines and cooking shows can give you some inspiration on how to cook up really interesting dishes. It is good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while, and cooking is a great and safe way to do that. This skill is ever so important and making new meals that you may not have ever tried before is a great creative outlet. You might even surprise yourself and find a new taste or ingredient that you want to put in every meal from now on too!

A global pandemic is something that you likely did not expect to hear this year, but that is the reality for now. It is not something we really wish not to have to deal with, but there is only so much we can control. This free time we now have at our homes while we wait safely should be used to improve ourselves. Many of these improvements can come from really simple things like learning a new skill or committing to a creative outlet, and these options are ones that you can find or do in or around your home that should help you find some joy in these times.