Finding happiness in hobbies during the coronavirus crisis

These are strange and challenging times. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, we are seeing major limitations imposed on our normal daily routines as a measure to keep us and our communities safe.

This means self-isolation and social distancing for many of us, with temporary but severe restrictions on our freedom growing by the day. While we’re all experiencing a huge amount of worry and disruption at the moment, there are positives to find among the doom and gloom.

We’re naturally all concerned for ourselves and loved ones, especially those who are older or have health issues. But the best thing we can do is follow the expert advice. And if that means staying at home, let’s make the best of it!

Here are some of the ways in which being stuck at home can be turned into a positive:

Taking pleasure in pastimes

Working on the DeLorean Time Machine model

In ordinary life, most of us would say we’d love to have more time to spend doing the things we enjoy. This may be our moment for that.

Whether it’s exploring a new activity or working on existing hobbies and interests, self-isolation could mean you suddenly have more time to do it.

And for those of us who love model-making, this could be a great opportunity to work on our projects. Maybe you have some catching up to do on your build. Or there are tweaks and adjustments you’ve wanted to make. Now could be your chance to tackle these.

Owing to the crisis, we’re naturally all expecting to experience some delays from publishers such as Eaglemoss. Modding your models is a great way to extend the build and add some personalisation at the same time.

If you’re up-to-date and are awaiting parts, why not take a look at the parts you already have and find ways to improve them. It can be a little daunting modifying your model if you’ve not done so before. But this could be as simple as painting screw heads silver so they blend into the model better. Or, if you’re uncomfortable painting your model, metallic markers work very well for this also.

Model maintenance is something that is often overlooked and is something else that can be done to kill time in between issues. Occasionally I will go back over parts in between deliveries and will check if anything needs tightening or gluing for a stronger hold, for instance.

It’s not uncommon for parts to slowly work their way loose as the build increases in size and weight, and gets handled. So it’s a good idea to catch them before they get completely hidden.

Fun family time

With schools closed across many countries, many of us are faced with entertaining children at home. This is going to call for some serious creative thinking to ward off the boredom and cabin fever.

But it’s also an opportunity to enjoy some real quality time together. With such busy lives, we’re often not able to spend as much time with our families as we would like – so maybe self-isolation can be a chance to redress that balance. Whether it’s helping children with their learning, playing games, getting creative or watching a movie together, it could be a great moment to connect and catch up.

Maybe it’s also an opportunity for the children to get an insight into your own hobbies, to pass on skills and to share your passion and enthusiasm. If you’re an avid cook, they could get involved in preparing meals. You could teach them a bit about your profession or pastime. And for us model-makers, maybe it’s a time to let the young ones in on our hobby, giving them a chance to participate in our building projects.

There’s lot of ways to involve the little ones with partwork models, and if you’re concerned that involving them may risk mishaps or damage, why not set them tasks that are risk-free. You could for instance put them in charge of the instructions and turning the pages. Or setting them loose on some spare parts. Most of us end up collecting a box of spare parts during these builds so perhaps this is a good opportunity to put them to good use.

My three-year-old, for instance, enjoys starting the screws for me to tighten, and also likes being tasked with finding the right parts and pointing to them in the instructions. My ten-year-old is excited to now be building his very own 1:18 Spitfire. But he also enjoys helping with some of the larger, more exciting parts of my other builds. Either way, now is a great time to catch up on doing what you love most together with those you love the most.

Community spirit

No-one wants to be in the situation we now face. But it’s heartening to see some of the ways in which people have responded to the challenge of the coronavirus crisis. There’s been a welcome show of hope and solidarity among communities.

We’ve also seen a rise in people looking out for each other. Yes, there’s been some panic buying and selfishness from some. But there are also groups springing up to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, and people doing food shopping for one another.

Ironically, being forced to stay apart is, in another way, bringing us closer together. With so many groups appearing in local areas and through social media, there are countless ways in which we can support each other and show kindness.

For me, it has been encouraging to hear from so many people in the model-making community reaching out and checking on each other’s well-being.

We can’t pretend that what the world is going through isn’t difficult, worrying and painful, especially of course for those who are directly affected. But for many of us, the main thing we can do to help is to follow the advice to stay at home and minimise contact.

So, while we’re doing this, why not make the best of it. Enriching our daily routine with activities we enjoy, spending time with those we love, and supporting those around us, will help us through the weeks and months ahead. And when this difficult chapter is over, we might even emerge from it stronger and with a renewed focus on what really matters.

I’d like to wish good health and happiness to all my customers, and to your friends and families. I look forward to staying in touch and feel hopeful that we can all pull through together.

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