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6 Winter Hobbies for People that Want to Stay Indoors

6 Winter Hobbies for People that Want to Stay Indoors

Winter can last for several months. If you hate the cold or simply don’t like snowboarding and skiing, then you can get cabin fever very quickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do keep yourself entertained until spring comes.Here are a few great hobbies that you can try without leaving your home.

1. Acrylic Painting

Painting can be a fun and therapeutic way to spend your free time. Many people get frustrated working with oil paints, because they take over a day to dry. They also can drip, which can ruin the picture. Novice painters often apply too much paint, which can ruin the picture.

Acrylic paints are better for beginners. They will dry within an hour and you don’t have to worry as much about using too much paint.

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If you are getting into acrylic painting for the first time, you may want to read this post from George Zapo. It has a number of ideas that can inspire you.

2. Scrapbooking

Do you have a lot of fond memories that you enjoy looking back on? Scrapbooking can be a great way to do that.

Go through some of your old pictures. Try to find common themes between them. You can put them together in a collage that tells a unique story. Here are some scrapbooking ideas people have tried:

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  • Recap everything that happened over the past year.
  • Create a scrapbook that reminds you of times that you struggled and persevered. You can look at it for inspiration in other difficult times.
  • Compile all of your silliest pictures. You can have fun laughing at it when you have a light-hearted get-together with your friends.
  • Put together all of the photos of your children over the years. You can use the scrapbook to document their life for years to come.

The possibilities are endless. Alida, the editor at The Realistic Mama, has a great post on scrapbooking ideas.

3. Explore New Cooking Ideas

Most people cook the same five dishes all the time. There is nothing wrong with that, but it can get monotonous after a while.

If you want to make cooking fun again, you should try some preparing some new cuisines. Here are some ideas:

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  • Try preparing cuisines from a country that you have never tried before. Most people have tried plenty of Chinese and Italian dishes, but have never eaten Jamaican, Indian or French food. It can be fun trying something new.
  • Have you seen Celebrity Chef? They usually have the participants use a “special” ingredient in their food. You may want to try making a variety of dishes with a certain staple, such as potatoes. You need to get creative to come up with a number of dishes with one ingredient.
  • Have regular pot lucks with your friends. You will taste a number of dishes that you never heard of before but may want to try making on your own.

You have to cook anyways. You might as well have some fun with it!

4. Become an “Amateur Expert”

You don’t need a Ph.D. in history to become an expert on the Russian Revolution. You don’t need to a degree in botany to learn everything you can about growing plants.

You will probably be waiting several months for the snow to thaw. You can use that time to read everything you can about a topic that fascinates you.

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5. Start a Book Club

Reading is a great past time. If you and your friends are all bookworms, then you may want to start a book club. Here are some basic things to consider:

  • Everyone can take turns recommending a book and hosting the event.
  • You will give everyone a certain time frame to read the book.
  • You can try to keep things as low-key as possible.

Your friends may encourage you to read some books that you never would have tried before. You can also find many niche book clubs on GoodReads.

6. Collect Coins

Coin collecting is a hobby that dates back at least 300 years. There are a number of great websites where you can buy a Golden Eagle and other gold coins. You may also want to follow River Cohen on Twitter to learn more about collecting gold coins.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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