With lockdown in place, we asked our bloggers; If time, money, distance or any other barrier (such as the pandemic), were not an issue, what dream hobbies would you take up? Read below for the answers.

Quick link to blogs Grace, Chiara, Tabitha, Ellie, Beth

Grace’s Dream Hobbies

Our everyday lives are so busy and so full of things to do that we are often feeling under pressure and sometimes forget to take a break and relax. Relaxing can take many different forms, but one way that is often not used or acknowledged is relaxing the mind. I myself am a regular daydreamer, and admittedly sometimes I spend time in class wondering what my perfect holiday would be, or what I would do with a thousand pounds. Here are my 3 top dream hobbies:

Guided Meditation

involves intentionally thinking about a peaceful place or scenario. The imagery imagined is usually a beach or a calm lake, and this activity is known to be stress-relieving. I haven’t done this too many times, so my first hobby would definitely be learning meditation on a sunny beach and dedicating more time to it.

Painting

has always fascinated me, from admiring my classmates’ work to staring at the extraordinary artwork found in the Tate. However at school, during KS3 art lessons, painting always proved to be much trickier than the effortless paintings seem. Investing some time in using the acrylics and the watercolours sitting at the back of my cupboard to practice painting would be my second dream hobby.

Reading

I am already a fan of reading, but I haven’t been reading as much as I would like to. Reading allows us to enter a whole new world and forget our worries, stresses, pressures and concerns. Book series that include magic or supernatural powers, like Harry Potter, are definitely books worth spending hours reading. This series would certainly be in my list of books to re-read.

In summary, I would like to invest in hobbies that are relaxing and satisfying. Staying calm and serene is something that we don’t often think about, so spending time doing calming, tranquil activities would definitely be the way I would spend my time that is not impacted by money, time or the pandemic!

Grace, 14, London

Quick link to blogs Grace, Chiara, Tabitha, Ellie, Beth

Chiara’s Dream Hobbies

Baking

When thinking of hobbies I’d like to be more involved in, baking was the first one to pop into my mind. Learning and developing my cooking skills over the past few years has been such a joy, so often providing me with an opportunity to get away from my desk and allowing me to just concentrate on good food and good times! Baking also seems like such a nice way to share the gift of food with others. It’s a bit more complicated to bring a hot meal in for somebody, especially because many may have more particular tastes and dietary restrictions, however, cookies seem like a beautiful (but more simple) way to brighten somebody’s day. Dessert is what children (and adults, for that matter) look forward to after a nourishing warm meal, regardless of how small the dessert may be. It seems like baked goods always sweeten and lighten the atmosphere a little. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll dedicate more time to it, and I encourage any readers to do the same if they’re interested.

Art

has always been a cathartic activity for me – allowing me to release stress or anxieties, whatever pent-up emotions they may be. I’d been thinking for a while that it’d be nice if the drawings wouldn’t just stay in my sketchbook, though. Aside from the desire to show others a piece that you’re proud of, which I do anyways, a personalised drawing could make art more than just something enjoyable for myself and allow me to share that joy with others. For Christmas I therefore tried my best to hand make the gifts as best I could. I’m sure that reminds some of what they might have done as children, and perhaps it is indeed not the most ‘adult’ thing to do. However, I’ve received quite positive responses so far (though that might have more to do with my friends’ and family’s general attitude of gratitude than my skill). It seems safe to say that most of us enjoy gifts into which thought was put. A gift that not many others except the giver and receiver can understand is personally my absolute favourite kind! By using arts and crafts, you have to put thought into a design, for that particular person, as well as put effort into the process itself.

In case some of you are interested in trying this, I’ve shared a few ideas. You could make bookmarks, keychains, clay pins, cards and stickers. Of course some, like the clay pins and keychains, might require more equipment, which I appreciate not everybody can (or would like to) purchase, however, even a simple painting of their favourite place, a noughts and crosses game made with rocks, or an old blank notebook turned into a colouring book for them, I hope, would be greatly appreciated. Tutorials on how to make a lot of these things are on YouTube, but I’m sure you guys could come up with your own ways as well. Another way to showcase creativity!

Knitting

Adding onto the idea of using your art skills to make presents, I received a beautifully made scarf from my sister and grandmother for Christmas. Personally, I find sewing and knitting such an admirable and useful skill. Damaged clothes can be repaired, thrifted clothes can be repurposed and gifts can be made! I really hope I take up knitting at some point, even if it’s as a grandma. Doesn’t the thought of sitting in a rocking chair, listening to the birds chirping outside and knitting some gloves for a friend sound so warm and cosy?

Chiara, 17, Northampton

Quick link to blogs Grace, Chiara, Tabitha, Ellie, Beth

Tabitha’s Dream Hobbies

Scuba Diving

The sea is a place where I have always felt at home. When I was little, no matter how bitingly cold the water was, and how many menacing things could have been lurking in the depths, I was like a fish. I would go out as far as I’d dare and spend hours frolicking around, snorkelling and searching the seabed for creepy crawlies, with my bright pink goggles on. Deep down, underneath my fear of fish with sharp teeth and stinging jellyfish, I want to be that little kid again. I still find the ocean fascinating; alien creatures with glowing protrusions, deep-sea bacteria that can live in extraordinarily high pressures and temperatures, and animals without brains or with brains in their arms. So, if I had the bravery, money and time, I would love to be a scuba diver.

Fossil Hunting

Another fascinating past-time, which also just happens to have a lot to do with the ocean, weird creatures and the outdoors, is fossil hunting. Like every other kid ever, I used to love dinosaurs (and I still kind of do), so it has always been my dream to find them. Imagine being the person to crack open a rock and discover a new species of prehistoric life. And just think, that under our feet all over the world there could be thousands, upon thousands of hidden monsters waiting to be unearthed. It’s exhilarating.

Performing

Okay, so his one’s not so much of a big dream, but I’d really like to join an amateur dramatics group. I have been singing in private ever since I can remember, and I jump at the chance to dance and act in school musicals and clubs. Some of my best memories from high school come from fun in rehearsals and the thrill of performing, and now that I’ll be moving to a very academic sixth form next year, I’m worried that that won’t happen anymore. Inevitably, most of my time will be spent on schoolwork, so I’m writing this as a sort of reminder to not let my creative side die. I need to remind myself that just because something’s not hard work, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. In the hectic reality of exams, more than ever I’ll need something fun.

Tabitha, 15, Leicester

Quick link to blogs Grace, Chiara, Tabitha, Ellie, Beth

Ellie’s Dream Hobbies

The recent extension of the newest lockdown has all of us dreaming about a life where we are free from any and all limitations. A life in which we didn’t have to worry about money, time or COVID-19. What would we do with this endless freedom? Having plenty of free time to dwell on this question, I’ve come up with my top three picks for hobbies.

Learning Languages

When considering how to condense my biggest goals into just three hobbies, I easily discovered where my priorities lie. Sitting at the top of the list, as a goal I’ve had in mind since before COVID-19, was to finally learn Japanese. With three independent writing systems and needing to recognise around 2,000 kanji to get through daily life, it’s no wonder that Japanese is considered one of the hardest languages to learn. However, it is also this reason that makes it so appealing. With mastering the Japanese language comes unlocking a beautiful and complex culture. I would be able to open my eyes to a whole new perspective on history, entertainment, fashion and more.

Playing the Guitar

Coming in at a close second, a dream hobby I think a lot of people would share with me, is to finally take guitar seriously. As it stands, my guitar waits patiently for me in the corner of my room, lucky if I pick it up once a month to see if I remember how to play Wonderwall. Each time I pick it up, the same success stories of self-taught guitar heroes flood my mind, and I’m caught up in the innocent hope that I could do it. I could be the next Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix or the next Van Halen!

Ice Skating

In an attempt to make some improvement, while the ice rinks aren’t open, I’ve picked up roller skating as an alternative. Though, as similar as they might appear, nothing can compare to being on the ice. Once I could skate with confidence, I would not hesitate to dive into figure skating.  It was Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu that initially sparked my desire to skate, and I would watch the YouTube videos in awe as he circled with an inhuman elegance.

While in a lot of ways the virus has limited our freedoms and confined us to our homes, it has made us ask where our priorities lie.  All of us have come to the realisation that there are many passions we have held back on, for various reasons. So, it is my hope that once we’re in the clear, everyone picks up the hobbies, they’ve always wanted to indulge in only ever dreamed of.

Ellie, 16, Leicester

Quick link to blogs Grace, Chiara, Tabitha, Ellie, Beth

Beth’s Dream Hobbies

Exercising at the Gym

Going to the gym helps with anxiety and is good for my self-esteem and it makes me feel good knowing that I am doing something healthy and trying to keep fit. I really look forward to going when the gyms are open again and it is safe, but in the meantime, I will make do with lifting some weights at home and going on my mum’s exercise bike. We all need exercise for our mental health as well as physical health, so I do think physical activity is a hobby worth focusing on, whatever type of exercise it is.

Fashion

I really like looking at fashion trends and putting outfits together and researching ideas. I snatch ten minutes (okay maybe twenty or thirty minutes) now and again to look at clothes as it gives me a break. I enjoy buying clothes and I also enjoy selling them on Depop. It is a great way of recycling and making a little bit of money. My aim is to work in fashion at some stage in the future.

Travelling

Going through this pandemic, as we have all had the shared experience of doing, has made me realise that I want to get out and live life. No more staying in. I feel that I have missed out on a year of development!

One thing I have learnt in life is that we all need dreams so never give up on your hobbies.

Beth, 17, Leicester

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