5 Ways That I’m Spending My Time

With the current circumstances meaning we’re all having to stay at home, a lot of us have been discovering new ways to spend our time, myself included. Over the last few weeks I’ve picked up a few new at-home hobbies, so I was thinking it might be fun to share them with you. Maybe there’ll even be a couple of new ideas for some of you to try for yourselves. Here’s how I’ve been spending my time. 

Reading

This is something that it seems so many of us have been turning to during lockdown, myself included. We’ve had some really uncharacteristically lovely weather here in the UK over the last few weeks (and a few very on brand dreadful days too) so I’ve been parking myself up in the garden to read a few chapters whenever I can. 

A flatlay image of Normal People by Sally Rooney and a dark green Chilly's water bottle.

I’d describe myself as a bit of a ‘holiday reader’ to be honest, because I really don’t read a lot other than when I’m on holiday. I’ll go months without reading and then bash out 3 books a week on holiday. But being at home over the last couple of months has made me reach for a good book more often. My most recent read was Normal People by Sally Rooney which I ordered a few weeks back. I knew the series was coming to BBC3 and wanted to read it before I saw the series. What a read!

Running & Skipping

Running has been my go-to form of exercise for around a year or so now. Throughout university I played lacrosse as part of a society and so for three years it was my main way to workout. However, after graduating last year I haven’t kept it up (other than a chuck around in the garden) and instead opted for running. Since then I’ve been running a few times a week every week and have been gradually working my distance up. 

I’m someone who hates at home workouts. The whole following along with a Youtube video thing is just something that I’ve never enjoyed which is why I love running so much. But I’m sure we can all agree that after a while, doing just one type of exercise gets a little boring. Which brings me to my latest form of exercise, skipping.

A flatlay image of a black sports bra, a purple skipping rope and a dumbell.

As well as my usual runs I’ve been exercising outside using my skipping rope. I bought it a couple of years back as a bit of fun but I hadn’t used it in such a long time. Since we’ve had such amazing weather here I’ve been trying to make the most of it by heading into the garden whenever I can. So I’ve been spending my time outside skipping. 

Honestly it’s such a great workout and it’s also a lot of fun. I love that skipping involves a lot of coordination because it reminds me of my time as a dancer when I was younger. It actually almost feels like a dance when you start trying out new moves and tricks. If you’re looking for a new way to keep fit and have fun whilst you’re doing it then I’d definitely recommend ordering yourself a skipping rope. 

Learning Photoshop

Considering the fact that a) I’ve run my own blog for almost 3 years and b) I have a Fine Art degree, you’d think I’d be somewhat skilled when it comes to using Photoshop. But I’m almost embarrassed to admit that until very recently I’ve barely ever even used it. Last month I finally signed myself up to the full Adobe Creative Suite (there was a banging discount so I HAD to) and decided to work my way through each program. Starting with Photoshop.

So I’ve been spending time everyday getting to grips with the software. For now I’m focusing on super simple designs while I’m getting used to it. We’re talking a background and one more layer level basic. But, considering I don’t have much experience using Photoshop, I’m actually really into the few pieces that I’ve made so far. Plus it’s a lot of fun for me to get back into art!

An image of me wearing an & Other Stories paisley mock neck top and denim jeans with a lilac background. An image of me wearing an & Other Stories white jumper and denim jeans, with a mustard yellow background.

Recently I’ve taken a fair few photos where I was liking the photo itself but the background just wasn’t working. So I thought why not test out my beginner editing skills and create a new background completely? A lot of tedious editing later and I’d completely removed the background of my first photo. Then I just changed the background colour and voila! 

They’re really simple images but I think they turned out okay for a first project! I’m a big fan of the way they look like they’ve been cut out and stuck on coloured card. They’re giving me all the scrapbook/collage vibes and I’m 100% on board with it. It’s definitely a technique that I’m thinking of exploring some more in my future edits. Let me know what you think! I might even pop a few of them on my Instagram. Our feeds can always do with a bit of colour right? 

Listening to Bossa Nova

You’ll know already that I’m always listening to music, but recently I’ve been listening specifically to Bossa Nova music. Ever since I shared my 3 playlist picks from Spotify, I haven’t been able to stop jamming to the Bossa Nova playlist. Other than to work on this month’s playlist for The Legend Slot of course! 

I’ve been listening to the playlist so much that I’ve even picked out tons of favourite songs. My favourite three are Bim Bom by João Gilberto, Agua de Beber by Astrud Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim and Carta Ao Tom 74 by Vinícius de Moraes. The whole playlist is perfect listening for a sunny day, especially if you’re sipping on a cocktail too! But if the weather isn’t looking so glorious outside then it also makes for the perfect cooking playlist. 

Working On My Italian

Learning languages is another hobby that a lot of us have picked up during lockdown which is amazing! I always loved languages during school and I actually even studied Spanish at A level. Over the years I’ve managed to keep up with my Spanish to a conversational level, which is super useful as I love travelling to Spain on holiday. But I made the decision to try and pick up another foreign language throughout 2020. 

I’m one of those people who hates travelling to a country and not knowing the language. Even if it’s just a few key sentences to help me get by. I think that’s probably why I feel so comfortable travelling around Spain. One destination that I’ve been wanting to travel to for a while now is Italy. But I don’t want to travel until I know at least a little bit of Italian. Given my knowledge of Spanish, I thought that learning Italian wouldn’t be too difficult as there are quite a few overlaps in the two languages. So earlier this year I set myself up on Duolingo to learn the basics.

An Aperol Spritz cocktail with a garden scene in the background.

I have to admit I’ve been learning Italian very casually since January. I’ve only picked up a little bit of the language so far. But during lockdown I’ve been dedicating a bit of extra time to learning. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to put together some more advanced sentences and maybe even understand a few words in Italian TV shows and films! And until I get to take a trip over there I guess I’ll have to settle for homemade pizzas and Aperol Spritz’s at home for now (ain’t so bad eh?)

Have you picked up any new hobbies during lockdown? How have you been spending you time at home? Let me know in the comments!

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Female Original

Read next: The Legend Slot: Led Zeppelin.

*Photography by The Creative Exchange and Samantha Gades via Unsplash (skipping rope and featured image).

82 Comments

  1. Kelly
    May 10, 2020

    I’m completely the same when it comes to reading, I’m definietly more of a holiday reader. But now that I’m home for the foreseeable I’m trying to get into reading again, and the sunny weather has been the perfect opportunity!x

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 10, 2020

      Now is the perfect time to catch up with reading! Enjoy! 🙂 x

      Reply
  2. Amanda Manthei
    May 10, 2020

    This is great! I love to read! I haven’t considered skipping rope, but now that you mention it, what an awesome work out!

    Could you tell me more about the deal you got on Adobe! I would love to learn photoshop, but it is SO expensive! If there’s something I should be checking out to get a good deal I definitely want to know about it!

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 10, 2020

      Skipping is honestly such a fun workout! For Adobe there was an offer on last month that gave me 40% for a year. I’m not sure if its still on but keep an eye out in case they have anymore offers x

      Reply
  3. Lauren Kenny
    May 10, 2020

    Well done for keeping yourself busy! It can be hard to be motivated sometimes. One thing I have done in lockdown that I wouldn’t normally do is paint by numbers and I have been finding it so fun 🙂

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      Painting by numbers sounds so fun! I’m sure it’s really calming and relaxing too 🙂 x

      Reply
  4. Alice Myles
    May 10, 2020

    I’m the same with reading! Sometimes I’ll have bursts when I’ll read a book in one sitting but usually it’s a holiday activity! I’m excited to get more of my TBR pile done during lockdown though!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 10, 2020

      It’s so easy to just forget to read! I’m loving chipping away at my TBR pile at the moment 🙂 x

      Reply
  5. Lucy
    May 10, 2020

    I love reading, it’s one of my favourite pastimes! Now with staying at home for the foreseeable, I’ve had more time to read now and I’m getting through so many! I’m also exercising everyday, but not running, I don’t do running! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 10, 2020

      Hahaha I hated running for years but then suddenly got into it about a year or so ago! It’s great to have more time to read, it’s such a lovely relaxing way to spend time 🙂 x

      Reply
  6. Nancy
    May 10, 2020

    Love that you’re making the most out of your time during the pandemic. Oooooh! IT is great that you’ve been working out!! Always good to keep it up. Love that you’re learning how to use Photoshop. This skill will take you further! Thanks for sharing all of the things you’ve been doing during the lockdown 🙂

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 10, 2020

      Thank you so much! I figured that Photoshop would be a great skill to learn for future job applications, plus it’s really useful for blog content too 🙂 x

      Reply
  7. Jaya Avendel
    May 10, 2020

    I have been learning French casually but, I am ashamed to say, unlike you, I have not gotten motivated to learn it.
    I am loving exercising, though, and trying out a couple new moves I picked up while watching HIIT workouts.

    I love that you are learning Photoshop! I can only meddle with it.

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 10, 2020

      Oooh HIIT sounds like a really great intense workout! I wish I had the motivation to try it haha. I’m definitely still a beginner but it’s fun learning how to use Photoshop 🙂 x

      Reply
  8. Emily
    May 10, 2020

    Sounds like you’ve been productive! Ive just bought Normal People so I’m going to read that soon, and I’ve been using Duolingo too, but to learn Spanish not Italian

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      Oooh I hope you enjoy reading Normal People! I absolutely loved it x

      Reply
  9. Hannah Louise
    May 11, 2020

    Sounds like you’ve been keeping busy! I’ve been tempted to try and learn photoshop too so now might be the time!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      Learning a bit of Photoshop has honestly been so fun! You should definitely give it a go if you can 🙂 x

      Reply
  10. Nikki - Notes of Life
    May 11, 2020

    I’m glad you enjoyed Normal People. They talked about the book on Richard & Judy’s Book Club programme and I friend o fmy has thoroughly enjoyed the TV series.

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 12, 2020

      Oh cool! I loved the book so much, and the TV show has been great so far 🙂 x

      Reply
  11. Serena
    May 12, 2020

    I’ve also been reading a lot during lockdown and practicing a language – in my case, Spanish! I studied it until A Level and a bit at university, but I haven’t practiced it since so I thought I’d spend more time learning new words during lockdown!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 12, 2020

      Oooh that’s amazing! I could definitely do with brushing up on my Spanish a little as well 🙂 x

      Reply
  12. Gemma Jayne
    May 12, 2020

    I am so glad for running and I guess one good thing to come out of lockdown is how much time I have dedicated to my running routine! I have ran much more than I have been when I was going to work. I also have been learning a language but for I choose German, and I am getting there slowly but will be good at the end of it to be able to speak it fluently! I do want to learn Spanish, Italian and Japanese as well! I do know phrases and sentences in French but that is also something I could work on too. Great post! 🙂 xx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      It sounds like you’ve been really productive! I’d love to know some German as I’ve never studied it before x

      Reply
  13. Rachael
    May 12, 2020

    Reading in the sun has definitely been one of my favourite things to do in isolation! I love that you’re learning photoshop and working on your Italian. Such a cool way of spending your time. Thank you for sharing xx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 17, 2020

      It’s such a lovely feeling sitting in the sun with a good book! I’m really enjoying working on Photoshop and Italian – I’ve still got so much to learn 🙂 x

      Reply
  14. Daisy
    May 12, 2020

    Oh wow! You’ve definitely been keeping yourself busy! Haha! I’ve been doing the reading (as you know!) and your Photoshop attempts look amazing! I’ve tried Photoshop but I’m hopeless! xD

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      Aw thank you so much! I’ve got a long way to go with my editing skills but it’s been really fun getting to grips with the software x

      Reply
  15. Tia Teilli
    May 12, 2020

    I just binge watched all 12 episodes of Normal People.It’s of the most beautiful tv shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.
    Great post! xx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      I’m about 8 episodes in and absolutely love it! It’s really true to the book as well x

      Reply
  16. Charity
    May 12, 2020

    I have definitely enjoyed being able to read more too during this time. I will be sad when I have to go back to work and can’t read as much!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      I love how calming reading is. It’s definitely what we all need during this time! x

      Reply
  17. Riana Ang-Canning
    May 12, 2020

    Sounds like you’ve been having a very productive lockdown! I was struggling with my reading at first but have been picking it back up. I’ve also been doing lots of baking, writing, colouring and exercise videos.

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      I think the lovely weather makes all the difference when it comes to reading. I found that I read more when it was sunny since I could sit outside 🙂 x

      Reply
  18. Sophie Wentworth
    May 12, 2020

    It sounds like you’ve been so productive! I usually read a lot but I oddly haven’t read anything since lockdown started. I’d love to learn a new language. I’ve wanted to start skipping for so long but I need a better quality rope, I need to sort that out ASAP because I can’t see myself back in the gym soon x

    Sophie

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      I’ve loved getting into skipping over the last couple of weeks. It’s great to spend a bit of time outside in the garden – plus it’s actually a pretty intense workout! x

      Reply
  19. Black Pistachio
    May 13, 2020

    I’ve been reading books via the Kindle app. I normally read a lot of film articles online so books have taken a backseat but since the quarantine, I’ve read more books and it’s been great getting back into it x

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      I’ve loved reading a few great books during lockdown. Glad you’re enjoying spending time reading 🙂 x

      Reply
  20. Macey @ Brine & Books
    May 13, 2020

    I used to hate running when I was younger, so for the last couple years of high school, I used to do the Youtube workout videos. However, I fell completely out of love with them over the last two years, and I fell head over heels for running; I’m totally with you there!! Normal People sounds like such a great read, and I’m so tempted to place an order for it asap. I started brushing up on my Spanish and learning Italian over this quarantine as well! xx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 18, 2020

      Running is actually so much fun once you start dedicating time to it! Oh you HAVE to read Normal People, it’s amazing! x

      Reply
  21. Jenny in Neverland
    May 13, 2020

    One new hobby I’ve picked up that I’m spending quite a bit of time on is playing pool! My Dad and boyfriend bought a pool table at the start of lockdown and I’ve been practicing loads and I’m loving it!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      Oh that’s so cool! I used to play pool all the time back when I was at university. What a fun lockdown hobby! x

      Reply
  22. Sue Berk Koch
    May 13, 2020

    Learning Italian! I hadn’t thought about tackling a new language. Great idea! I’m going to check out that app!

    http://www.susanberkkoch.com/blog

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      I’m very much a beginner but it’s a lot of fun learning! You should definitely check the app out 🙂 x

      Reply
  23. Laura Jane
    May 13, 2020

    I don’t know if I’m a holiday reader (maybe more of a plane one), but I do go through phases where I’ll not read for months and suddenly get through multiple books in one go. I think I hate to admit when I buy a book that’s not very enjoyable – I’ll try to force myself to finish.
    Learning another language right now is amazing! My biggest school regret is not taking language seriously.
    https://thestyleoflaurajane.com/

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      I’m exactly the same! If I start a book and know I’m not going to be keen on it I’ll be determined to finish it…and it’ll take months! X

      Reply
  24. Alex
    May 13, 2020

    You’ve been so productive during this time! I’ve been meaning to start skipping, I’ve had a rope sat in my amazon basket for so long. This is the kick I need to get it ordered! I’m so glad you read Normal People! It’s one of my favourite books and I love hearing about other people enjoying it!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 13, 2020

      I loved Normal People so much! I’m watching the series now and am loving that too. Definitely order yourself that skipping rope – it’s the most fun I’ve had doing exercise in ages haha x

      Reply
  25. Alyssa | Blogsbyalyssa
    May 13, 2020

    Love this post! I’ve been listening to new Spotify playlists and lots of audiobooks in the evening to wind down before bed, and also getting back into blogging after the longest time which is great! Hope you’re doing well with everything going on!

    Alyssa 🙂
    http://www.thewisewillow.com

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      Thank you so much! It’s great that you’re getting back into blogging after a long break – I hope you’re enjoying working on it 🙂 x

      Reply
  26. Chloe Chats
    May 13, 2020

    Sounds like you’ve been super productive! I feel like I haven’t done much… I am doing home workouts though to keep me active, even though I’m stuck at home all the time I still have to squeeze everything between working so my main hobby has been playing Animal Crossing to de-stress from work and blogging!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      The new Animal Crossing looks great! I’ve been playing the old 3DS one, New Leaf, and its been so calming 🙂 x

      Reply
  27. Aimsy
    May 13, 2020

    You really have kept yourself busy during this time, which is fab! I bet all of these have been a welcome distraction to what is going on. I bet skipping has been so much fun too…I haven’t done it since I was young, but I bet it is great exercise. Like you, I like to know a little of the language when I travel, but I find it so hard to retain! My GCSE Spanish has gone out of the window because I haven’t used it (use it or you lose it I guess) but bizarrely I can still remember ‘un sacapuntas’ (pencil sharpener) which is extremely useful (not!)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! Really liked the post!

    Aimsy xoxo
    https://www.aimsysantics.co.uk

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      I’ve had so much fun working on my skipping. It’s actually such an intense workout as well! I struggle to retain multiple languages at once as well – my GCSE French has completely left my brain haha. Glad I kept up my Spanish though! x

      Reply
  28. Lindsey
    May 14, 2020

    Looks like you’re being super productive during lockdown

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      Thanks! It’s been fun working on certain skills x

      Reply
  29. I am such a holiday reader too! I can go months without reading and then read a book a day when I get a chance. I have had photoshop for a while but I’m just not very good at it. Maybe I just need to dedicate some time to sit down, work through the frustration and learn it!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 17, 2020

      I kinda love being a holiday reader tbh! I’m always at my most chilled when I’m holiday so it’s nice to just bash out a few books. I think learning Photoshop will definitely take time x

      Reply
  30. Hazel McKenna
    May 14, 2020

    I loved this! I’ve definitely been doing way more reading than usual. I keep telling myself I’ll start learning German again but haven’t got round to it yet.

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 14, 2020

      Ooh I’d love to know a bit of German! I’m very much at the beginning of my Italian but hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a bit more 🙂 x

      Reply
  31. Amanda
    May 14, 2020

    I’ve been reading so much and listening to podcasts! These are awesome ways to spend your time though! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 18, 2020

      Sounds like a really relaxing way to spend your time! Thanks for reading 🙂 x

      Reply
  32. Lauren
    May 15, 2020

    Sounds like you are keeping yourself very busy during this time! Keeping busy is a great way to get through these uncertain times! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 17, 2020

      Agreed! It’s been great picking up a few new skills 🙂 x

      Reply
  33. Megan Elizabeth
    May 18, 2020

    We are definitely spending lockdown doing similar things. Listening to music and practising photography in particular for me. I have to say I’m guilty because I’m more of a Netflix watcher than book reader!

    Megan | https://meganelizabethlifestyle.com/

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 18, 2020

      Great minds! I’m definitely watching plenty of TV as well haha. I’m currently working my way through Desperate Housewives 🙂 x

      Reply
  34. Alisha Valerie
    May 18, 2020

    Since being in lockdown I’ve been reading more and have been really enjoying it. Great post! I’m sending you so much love. Stay strong, stay home, stay safe. ♡

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | http://www.alishavalerie.com

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 18, 2020

      I’ve really enjoyed reading a few great books! Thank you so much, you too 🙂 x

      Reply
  35. Emily Adventuring
    May 19, 2020

    These are some great ways to be spending your time – I’m also doing a fair bit of reading – although audiobooks in my case! I’m also enjoying practicing my languages too!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 22, 2020

      I’ve been meaning to try out audiobooks! They seem like such a great way to enjoy a book 🙂 x

      Reply
  36. Hannah
    May 21, 2020

    Love this post and love the little hobbies you’ve started up. I wish I’d started running or skipping, but sadly the only running I do is to the fridge for more snacks haha! I’m a holiday reader too but have been trying to make much more of an effort xxx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 22, 2020

      Haha love it! I’ve really enjoying picking up some new editing skills on Photoshop (still got a lot to learn though!) 🙂 x

      Reply
  37. Meaghan
    May 22, 2020

    You should definitely have a go at Italian – I managed to get up to 50% fluency on Duolingo at one point – it’s such a lovely language and relatively easy to learn! 🇮🇹

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 27, 2020

      I’m definitely going to continue with it! I think because I know a lot of Spanish it’s slightly easier to pick up than other languages. It would be great to have a real understanding of it 🙂 x

      Reply
  38. Lindsey
    May 26, 2020

    I have been reading and working out a lot during the lockdown and I actually really enjoy that time.

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 29, 2020

      They’re both great ways to spend your time! Thanks for reading 🙂 x

      Reply
  39. Stephanie
    May 31, 2020

    You have cool hobbies! I love reading as well but I don’t really take the time to do it!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      May 31, 2020

      Thank you! I definitely don’t read anywhere near as much as I’d like to but I’ve been enjoying reading a couple of books recently x

      Reply
  40. Kristyn
    June 20, 2020

    It’s so interesting to find out how people have been spending their time during the pandemic. I love that you were skipping! I used to be on a skipping team when I was a kid!!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      June 24, 2020

      I didn’t know that skipping teams were a thing! I so would’ve joined if I’d known haha. x

      Reply
  41. Mariam
    July 3, 2020

    These are such good ways to spend time! I’ve been reading and working out too and it’s been great!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      July 7, 2020

      Sounds like you’ve been really productive! x

      Reply

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