Madison Childers

Sometimes you need a little escape from reality. With a pandemic going on and having no fall or spring break from school, it is easy to feel burnt out from trying to keep up with everything.

With the little free time we do have, it is important to stay relaxed. That can mean hanging out with friends, listening to music or simply having alone time to breathe.

If you’ve had to quarantine from COVID-19, positive results or not, you know that it can be the longest 10 days of your life stuck inside. I am an introvert and love being by myself, but when you are not allowed to go outside or be around people, it takes a toll on your mental health.

One good way to keep yourself and your mind busy is by finding a hobby. Something that helps you escape from the stress and hard times you might be facing.

Hobbies vary from person to person because of how different we all are. Some things that work for your family and friends may not work for you. Finding a hobby can be trial and error, but eventually you will find your sweet escape. The one thing that keeps you from becoming overwhelmed could be something that you interact with everyday. However, there are a few important things to remember when you are searching for what works for you.

First, the hobby has to be something you are interested in, not necessarily something you are already good at. It could be something you can learn, like at the beginning of COVID-19 last year when everyone was baking loaves of bread.

If you are interested in your hobby, it will not seem like work. The hobby will keep you focused enough to distract and relax your mind.

Next, it does not even have to cost anything. For me, I have found writing and working out to be the two main things that have helped. I can write on the notes app and when I am done, just delete it along with the weight that was put onto my shoulders.

You can find easy tutorials for working out online that do not cost a thing. My go-to hobby used to be some good old-fashioned retail therapy until I started to get nervous looking at the numbers in my bank account. Remember that hobbies do not need to be expensive and extravagant.

Lastly, you do not have to do it alone. Add a friend to check up on you and do it together. If it is something like working out, your friend or family member can hold you accountable. You can both try your hobby and do it together, so you are not alone. Start a book or a drawing club with people in your community. The hobby you find can be something your family and friends bond over when you may need it most. Who knows, maybe they need it just as much as you do.

Madison Childers is a junior majoring in journalism & electronic media. She can be reached at mchilde7@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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