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If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything it is: one, to wash your hands; two, to stock up on toilet paper; and three, to find an activity you can enjoy from home! According to the New York Times article, “The Case for Having a Hobby,” Americans are always on, making hobbies “… a thing of the past, relegated to mere memories of what we used to do in our free time.” This strain of the coronavirus has officially changed that, providing individuals and families the chance to pursue personal interests. As a result, hobbies are on the rise!

It is no secret that hobbies improve our overall health and well-being. In fact, Developing Good Habits states in “22 Benefits of Having a Hobby or Leisure Activity,” that “Spending time doing an enjoyable activity that is not attached to work or other commitments will help increase your happiness and satisfaction with life. It will allow you to spend time doing something that is only for your own personal benefit, and not the benefit of others.” Since people have spent almost two months indoors without commitment to standard work and social schedules, hobbies have not only provided a means to pass the time, but have served as an outlet for millions of people to alleviate stress and anxiety.

One family we had spoken to in Arlington, Texas recently decided to take up marble racing, building various tracks with their children and watching numerous matches online. “Our kids have lost their marbles over marbles!” said Damian, father of three. “We’ve been using toilet paper tubes, paper towel rolls, blocks, PVC – you name it. It’s been great! Who knew there was a whole community of people into this? I sure as heck didn’t!”

While Americans have enthusiastically taken on hobbies and interests, some have been limited as to what they can pursue due to a lack of space. The Washington Post reports in “Downsizing the American Dream: The new trend toward ‘missing middle housing’” that there is a growing movement “…aimed at building more housing for middle-income people at smaller sizes.” While this is great for both families and the environment, it does pose various challenges when pursuing new activities. In fact, Jacoba Urist argues in “The Health Risks of Small Apartments,” that living in a tiny space can take a psychological toll. Let’s face it, the inability to spread out and engage in leisurely activities while having to remain at home is not exactly beneficial!

One way individuals and families have been able to maximize space at home is by renting a self-storage unit. With storage facilities located in nearly every neighborhood, finding one close by is simple. Locations provide 24-7 security, climate-control, and drive up access, making it easy to find a storage unit that meets a specific need. Best of all, with low prices and move-in specials for new renters, finding a unit is convenient AND affordable!

In the words of Pulitzer-Prize winning author Phyllis Mcginley, “A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away.” So build that model train layout, take up that classic bottle collection (who are we to judge!), work on that old car…. Paint, craft, design – whatever else makes you smile. With self storage, the possibilities are endless. We will get through this season together, one hobby, toilet paper roll, and video call at a time. And, if you feel as if the emotional toll of this pandemic has been difficult to navigate, help is available. Please visit the National Alliance for Mental Illness for more information.

Let’s all continue to be there for one another, even though we may be apart.

To a happy, hobby-filled summer!