NEW YORK — Our passion projects during quarantine are fueling big life decisions. For many Americans in isolation, their part-time hobby may soon become their full-time job. A survey finds over a third of the country has picked up at least one hobby during the coronavirus pandemic. Three in four from that group say it’s inspiring them to consider a major life change like a big move or career shift.
Among the 2,000 people in the OnePoll survey, 94 percent revealed that their new hobby also helped their mental health through this extra challenging year. Additionally, 93 percent believe this new hobby gave them a sense of purpose while they spent so much time indoors. This group adds it’s led them through a journey of reflection and self-discovery. Nine in ten (89%) said their hobby taught them something new about themselves. The survey, commissioned by Mixbook, also revealed that many of these new hobbies are in the creative sector.
Hobbies to the rescue
Cooking and baking came in as the top hobby with 63 percent saying they’re spending more time in the kitchen. Over four in 10 people (41%) started playing more video games. A quarter have gotten into hiking (24%) or started to paint and draw (27%). Another 28 percent are getting zen with new meditation habits. One in four Americans are getting flexible thanks to yoga (24%) and 18 percent are embracing their musical side by playing an instrument.
With more free time, many Americans have taken to dusting off the old family photo books as well. One in two respondents shared that they have walked down memory lane through old photos, reminiscing about the good times, and looking to share them with the people who matter most in their lives.
Six in ten respondents actually created a photo book during the pandemic after sifting through their memories. Of those who made a book, nearly all of them (98%) said it made them feel a deeper, more meaningful connection to the special moments and people they care about most. While one in five saved their photo book for themselves, 17 percent have already given it to a loved one.
“The process of making a photo book empowers our creative expression, helps us remember and share happy moments and memories with loved ones, and gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment. Ultimately taking up a hobby like photo books provides us with numerous mental health benefits,” Michelle Marie Ritchie, CMO of Mixbook, says in a statement.
Two in three respondents (68%) believe these homemade gifts and mementos will be more meaningful than any store-bought item as they look to nostalgia to find comfort during these times and to connect, even from a distance, with the people they love.
“The value of homemade, personalized gifts is especially meaningful right now with so many of us feeling isolated and disconnected. These types of gifts enable us to share our love, establish a sense of togetherness, and show those we love just how much they matter to us. A few of our favorite photo book ideas this year are creating a family recipe book together, top family vacations over the years, and family history books,” Ritchie adds.