As we all continue to cope with the impact of COVID-19, many of us have taken up hobbies of all sorts. It has been our way to decrease the stress of being home while also balancing work, motherhood, school for our kids (whether it be remote or in-person) and the myriad of other duties added to our plate as a result of COVID-19. Here is a list of new or renewed hobbies for the year to get you through:

Gardening Hobbies

Getting your hands dirty in the Spring sounds like a good way to de-stress. Not only will your garden be beautiful, but the kids can get involved as well. While their help may be minimal, it is a fun experience and a way to make memories with our kiddos. It can also serve as a learning tool for kids to learn about seeds and the germination process, while also seeing the literal fruits of their labor. YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest all provide us with swoon-worthy photos and videos to emulate. Take a look at some of them, make a plan and get out there and get your hands dirty.

RELATED READING :: My COVID-19 Victory Garden + 12 steps to building your own garden

Hiking Hobbies

Another option to consider is hiking. In this age of technology coupled with staying at home, many of us have increased our screen time. Hiking provides an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and appreciate nature. So let’s put away our phones, tablets and other distractions, lace up our shoes and spend some quality time with the ones we love. Here are a few options:

  1. The Green Belt
  2. Guerrero Park
  3. Northern Walnut Creek Trail

Crafting/Sewing

I don’t know about you all, but I cannot sew an item to save my life outside of replacing a button on a shirt or repairing a minor tear. And while sewing an item from scratch may not be your thing, maybe crocheting or knitting is more to your liking. Either way, it can help with your stress level while also creating something fashionable.

With all of the closures my ability to craft for parties and get-togethers have come to a screeching halt. I, for one, am ready for a good party to make custom items for my kid’s birthday parties, to make items for their class parties and creating things for family gatherings.

Writing Letters

How many of us have sent a birthday message through text or Facebook? How many of us have sent an email checking up on a family member or friend? I admit that I am guilty of doing this. Several times last year, my grandfather mailed me a typed card for my birthday along with a check, also typed on a typewriter. For Christmas, he also mailed both of my children (his great-grandchildren) a typed card with again, a typed check on the typewriter. And this has been his way of communicating with all of us since we were children.

This has motivated me to take up handwriting letters and cards not only to my family but friends as well. Receiving a letter in the mail gives me a warm feeling. Not only did I receive a piece of mail (that isn’t a bill or trash), but I received something that someone took the time to handwrite and mail to me. It lets you know that you are special and you are loved.

Baking/Cooking

Since I have been home for almost a year now, my grocery bill has grown exponentially. I mostly attributed this to a growing 8-year old boy who eats all day. Then I attributed it to the kids being home more, which is partially true. However, it is mostly due to cooking more. Cooking more breakfast meals, more lunch and more days cooking dinner. The days of eating out have diminished, due to most options being take out rather than the ability to eat in. Cooking and baking are also good skills to teach our kids; teaching them to measure, how to safely use a knife and how something can go from simple ingredients to a tasty and filling meal or dessert. Like gardening, cooking can also create a mess, but it can also create beautiful memories, which we all need during this time.

Photo Credit :: Amy McLaughlin Photography

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Janina Roberts, M.A., LSSP, a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology married to her college sweetheart, Allen, Sr, for almost 14 years. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Trinity University. She and Allen have two children, Allen, Jr. (7 y.o.) who is very active in sports and a loving gentle soul and Aelicia (2 y.o.), who is very independent and a spit-fire. Janina is what some would call a military brat who moved frequently. She was born in Louisiana, moved to Las Vegas, NV then Abilene, TX where she graduated high school. Janina is currently pursuing her Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership while also working full-time. She is avid party planner especially her kid's birthday parties and loves eating ice cream from Amy's. On the weekends you can find her at the track field, at basketball and football games cheering on her son, AJ.

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