Graphic by Mai Nguyen
Right now, during quarantine, it’s the new norm to be agonizingly bored; therefore many often find themselves questioning how they can fill the time. Hobbies are a routine activity done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time, not professionally and not for pay. As we practice social distancing, we are given the opportunity to make new hobbies or cycle back to older ones. Though, with the currency of being bound to our homes, how does the enjoyment of these hobbies devolve when it’s seemingly required?
When I was younger, writing was a pastime that rivaled any kind of heaven. From fairy tales to journaling about my day, my paper would be penned with anything that was to my heart’s content. However, as a high school senior, I now find myself pumping out essays with diluted enthusiasm.
Losing interest in hobbies can also occur in the workplace. My friend, who’s an artist, aligned with this. She used to love her hobby of drawing, but when that creative expression segwayed into being her profession, her coveted hobby turned into an almost overwhelming chore. Author Jaya Saxena paralleled this concern in her opinion, “‘Is a hobby actually leisure if we are making money from it?’ She then questioned, “‘At what point does payment turn that hobby into a job?’” Although money can be a motivation, it can’t buy back the relaxation that was once, someone’s personal haven.
It may seem with social schedules now being “free”, one should write a screenplay or find an end to the irrational number, pi. From the passing weeks, one can’t help but believe that productivity is the most appealing. According to analysis, “those who engaged in a creative hobby performed between 15-30 percent better at work.” Be that as it may, there shouldn’t be any societal pressures to be your most proactive self during this time, as quarantine is an adjustment for everyone. No matter if you’re either an employee, student or other. Some may not want to “ruin” their hobbies by feeling inclined to do them.
For instance, studies have shown that forcing hobbies onto kids decreases not only their enjoyment of it but additionally their sense of self. Live Science reported about a study focused on what psychologists refer to as, autonomy. Autonomy defines the basic need to feel like one’s acting based on their own values and not those of others; being self-governed rather than someone else’s image. Controlling parents can pick at their child’s autonomy by elbowing them into a hobby. Live Science analogized, “when the kid picks up his clarinet it’s not out of a desire to play music, but due to a sense of obligation or a fear of disappointing his parents.”
It’s okay to want to distract from the boredom of being trapped indoors, yet keep in mind that it’s also okay to find it difficult to enjoy what’s not your choice.