Seven cool new hobbies to pick up during quarantine

There is no debate in saying that success is attributed to a combination of skill,  discipline and hard work, but even the most successful of people can attest to the fact that productivity is also an effect of creativity, patience and happiness. Several studies  published on the US National Library of Medicine found that a drop in performance in the workforce is often a result of ‘burnout’, a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. In countering these effects, we have listed seven active and enjoyable skill-levelling hobbies that promote a healthier and happier work-life balance. 

A thrilling, fast-paced tile-based game originating in China. Playing the game involves a level of skill, strategy and a whole lot of luck. Not only does it improve a person’s memory and sharpens the mind by training the brain to make faster decisions and better observations, it is also a social game which many enjoy bonding over. 

Rock Climbing
This extreme sport is no doubt a test of strength and flexibility that increases the body’s endurance and fitness level rapidly, but it also works out a person’s mental fortitude, improves focus, and reduces emotional stress. The city has plenty of indoor climbing facilities as well as popular cliff-side spots for seasoned climbers. (Check out our guide to extreme sports in Hong Kong here.)

Music therapy is no stranger to the studies of emotions and brain function, such as an increase in attention span, coordination and language skills, but did you know that learning the piano can also reduce heart and respiratory rates? In sync with the tempo and rhythm of the musical notes can help regulate the body’s breath and heart beat, reducing cardiac complications and lowering blood pressure.

Cross Stitching
With nothing but a punch needle, one might find relief from the overwhelming pressure of urban lifestyle. A past-time that has been enjoying its spotlight on social media and online niche-craft stores, the calming process of this activity helps develops creativity, patience and discipline as well as allow the body and mind to reconnect, serving as an effective stress reliever. On top of that, you can create beautiful keepsakes and mementos to gift your loved ones afterwards.

Although a hobby that is often imagined for older bodies, it is an activity that can surprisingly burn a lot of calories. From pulling weeds to planting flowers, it can help burn up to 400 calories per hour, relieving stress and promoting creativity at the same time. An upward moving trend in the city at the moment, small-scale gardens of potted flowers and herbs on balconies and rooftops are the perfect alternative for apartment dwellers.

Martial Arts
Practising any type of martial arts often come with the discipline and philosophy of its practice. Training emotional management, self-discipline and both mental and physical resilience and fortitude, one can find that a boost in self-esteem, assertiveness and emotional stability would be an advantageous outcome of exploring the positive effects of learning this physical art form.  

There may be more to card games than we assume. Bridge in particular is a social game that is enjoyed even by the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Involving a level of strategy, deduction, concentration and visualisation, it is a game that helps  sharpen the mind as well as build meaningful social interactions and strengthen communication and teamwork skills.