While the details on where you should and should not be going during the COVID-19 pandemic are evolving constantly (remember to get in touch with your education provider or employer, or any bars/pubs/restaurants/cafes/shops you’re hoping to visit, directly to check for changes), 14 day self-isolation is now mandatory for all people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020, or think they may have been in
close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
Being confined to your home means it’s the perfect time to start (and master!) a new hobby. Let’s run through some easy and affordable indoor activities.
Winter is on its way, with temperatures dropping in the coming weeks. So, why not take up knitting? It’s the perfect activity for practising mindfulness, plus you can knit yourself a hat and scarf for the cold. There’s a huge range of step-by-step knitting guides on YouTube, and all you’ll need are some knitting needles and wool (check Lincraft or Spotlight, or order them online).
Convinced you can start your own podcast? Now’s the perfect time to start. Podcasting only requires some basic audio editing software (Audacity is a free and easy-to-use editor) and a computer with microphone capabilities. Choose a topic, write yourself a script (or ad-lib!) and get recording. If you need some Australian podcast inspiration, check out The Weekly Planet for movie/TV/comic book news, or Casefile for all your true crime needs.
You probably already have a pack of cards or some loose coins lying around – time to learn some magic! There are lots of tutorials available on YouTube, showcasing plenty of fantastic tricks for all skill levels. Then, once we no longer have to self-isolate, you can impress all your friends.
Post Malone, Migos, Denzel Curry… There’s never been a better time to be a SoundCloud rapper. Turn your room into a recording studio and start making music! Companies like Moog and Korg are offering their synth apps for free in response to COVID-19 so you can try your hand at music producing.
Panic-buying is inadvisable, but you might still be experiencing empty supermarket shelves. So, why not give gardening a go? If your accommodation has a garden (and your landlord allows it), you can start a small vegetable patch and always have fresh produce on hand – here are some of the best things to grow during Australia’s autumn/winter seasons. If you don’t have access to a garden, there are many things you can grow in pots (like herbs, and even tomatoes!).
If you want to keep learning while self-isolating, you could try practising a new language. Free apps like Duolingo make learning languages game-like and fun. Or, you could improve your English – click here to find out the best online resources.
You could also use your extra time at home to learn web design or coding – a skill you can actually put on your resume! Companies like Treehouse offer various online courses in coding to fit different goals and budgets, plus they offer a seven-day free trial.
Animation/illustration/creative writing/coffee brewing
Speaking of new skills, how about any of the above? Skillshare is a great online option that lets you learn a huge range of diverse skills from passionate creators, and it’s free for two months.
And, finally, a super simple hobby anyone can enjoy while self-isolating. You’ve probably got a novel around the house you always swore you’d read, but haven’t had time to – now you do! Alternatively, borrow something from your housemates or grab an e-book online. If novels aren’t your thing, try comic books (comiXology is a good online option), movie scripts, or even audio-books (try Audible, or LibriVox, which is free).