Passion projects are fueling big life decisions, according to new research.
Over a third of the 2,000 Americans surveyed said they picked up at least one new hobby during the pandemic.
Of these, three in four said their passion project has inspired them to consider a major life change, like a big move or a career shift.
Among those who picked up a new hobby, 94% revealed their new hobby helped their mental health through this challenging year.
Additionally, 93% said it gave them a sense of purpose while they spent so much time at home — and that it led them through a journey of reflection and self-discovery.
For nine in 10 (89%), their hobby taught them something new about themselves.
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mixbook, showed many of these new hobbies were creative.
Among the hobbies respondents have taken up during the pandemic, cooking and baking came in at the top with 63%, while 41% are playing video games.
A quarter of respondents have gotten into hiking (24%) or started to paint and draw (27%), with 28% getting zen with new meditation habits.
A quarter of respondents are getting flexible thanks to yoga (24%) and 18% are embracing their musical side by playing an instrument.
One in two respondents shared that they have walked down memory lane through old photos, reminiscing about the good times, and looking to share them with the people who matter most in their lives.
Six in 10 respondents created a photo book during the pandemic after sifting through their memories. Of those who made a book, 98% said it made them feel a deeper, more meaningful connection to the special moments and people they care about most.
While one in five saved their photo book for themselves, 17% have already given it to a loved one.
“The process of making a photo book empowers our creative expression, helps us remember and share happy moments and memories with loved ones, and gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment,” said Michelle Marie Ritchie, CMO of Mixbook.
“Ultimately taking up a hobby like photo books provides us with numerous mental health benefits.”
Of those with a newfound hobby, three-quarters got an end product from their efforts, such as a piece of art, photo book, clothing or food.
Eighty-five percent of survey respondents plan on giving the products they created from their new pandemic hobbies as holiday presents this year.
Two in three (68%) believe these homemade gifts and mementos will be more meaningful than any store-bought item as they look to nostalgia to find comfort during these times and to connect, even from a distance, with the people they love.
“The value of homemade, personalized gifts is especially meaningful right now with so many of us feeling isolated and disconnected,” said Michelle Marie Ritchie, CMO of Mixbook.
“These types of gifts enable us to share our love, establish a sense of togetherness, and show those we love just how much they matter to us. A few of our favorite photo book ideas this year are creating a family recipe book together, top family vacations over the years and family history books.”
TOP HOBBIES STARTED IN THE PANDEMIC
Play video games 41%
Organize photos 32%
Play board games 31%
Print photos 25%
Create personalized cards 24%
Make a photobook 19%
Play an instrument 18%
REASONS TO GO THROUGH OLD PHOTOS IN PANDEMIC
To reminisce on old times/remember the good times 34%
To organize them 27%
To share them with someone 23%
For something to do 22%
To look for a specific memory 21%
To reconnect with an old friend or relative 18%
To create a photo book for my memories 15%
To do something with my photos (to print or create) 8%
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