Whether you spent your free time rehearsing popular TikTok dances or tie-dying old, forgotten T-shirts, the ever-anomalous 2020 certainly brought plenty of opportunities for hobby exploration, mostly in our own backyards. We may have logged more Zoom and Animal Crossing hours than we had ever intended, but we’ve also mastered talents and passions that we might’ve never discovered if not for this time at home. For better or for worse.

Here are some of the hobbies we think should be left behind as we enter the new year and some of the habits you should keep up in 2021.

LEAVE IT: 

Everything is Cake

It’s historically difficult to find divisiveness when it comes to dessert—they’re sweets for a reason—but 2020 proved us wrong once again when hyper-realistic cakes began popping up online, both tempting and confusing viewers left and right. (Is the toaster a cake? The remote? Are you cake? Am I?)

Baking absolutely anything else at home, however, is a hobby we can get behind. Adventures in sourdough, challah, and even homemade pizza seem far less frustrating and increasingly appetizing as we journey into the new year. If you insist on turning everything into cake, we simply ask that you refrain from shaping your creations into everyday items and leaving them on the counter or table. We’re still recovering from the last time.

BRING IT: 

Virtual House Shopping

With so many people working, learning, and relaxing at home this year, the Houston real estate market is booming. All that time in the house can inspire the need—or at the very least the desire—for more space, a new neighborhood, or simply a different wall to stare at. 

Though new digs may not be an option for everyone, browsing sites like HAR and Zillow has become more of a pastime than ever before. It’s easy and entertaining to get lost in the mansions, townhomes, and beachside-bungalows that could be yours with the right lottery ticket. Whether you’re keeping to the Houston area or daydreaming of far-off places to put down some roots, virtually touring houses online is a great method for curbing cabin fever and planning for your future all at once.

LEAVE IT: 

Hair Tutorials

If you haven’t yet taken a razor or a pair of scissors to your locks since March, kudos to you. It might be easy on your wallet, but rarely do a YouTube tutorial and a courageous heart make for a stylish and clean cut. 

A visit to the salon does everyone’s hair good, and whether your split ends now have split ends or you’re currently happy with your root color, we recommend leaving the cutting and coloring to professionals.

BRING IT: 

At-home Yoga

With the closing, subsequent reopening, and adjusted hours of gyms and studios, it’s been a difficult year for these businesses and their loyal followings. We know how restorative a regular yoga practice can be, and many Houstonians have discovered that keeping up the practice at home is more accessible than we might think.

Local studios, including YogaWorks and Black Swan Yoga Houston, offer individual courses and subscriptions for an at-home yoga experience, but you can also find Texas-based yogis offering free videos online to try out. BEYOGA has uploaded to their YouTube page several times in the past year, and it seems that the world has discovered Austin’s beloved Yoga with Adriene during this pandemic, as well.

LEAVE IT: 

Same Clothes, Different Day

We’ve all fallen victim to the ease of re-wearing a favorite tee or a comfortable pair of sweatpants, and during this time at home, you’ve probably noticed a snag here or a tear there that could jeopardize your daily routine of pulling off your pajamas and climbing right back into yesterday’s ensemble. Also, your laundry room misses you.

There’s a strategy to donning your preferred pieces without wearing them down, and it can also break you out of the habit of sporting the same clothes day in and day out. Capsule wardrobes include a few, sturdy pieces that can be worn together or separately to make up your everyday looks. If you love how a particular shirt fits, purchasing two or three in different shades can help ensure that you’re never at a loss for a top, and you won’t have to resort to what you wore to your last Zoom meeting for your next one. 

BRING IT: 

Puzzles and Board Games

Though there are plenty of fun and rewarding video games to kill your time with, there’s nothing quite like sitting down, either alone or with loved ones, to conquer the world, solve a mystery, or place that always-satisfying final piece of a puzzle. The tabletop bandwagon saw many new faces this year as we looked for ways to occupy our time at home, and with a plethora of options to choose from, there’s no wonder why. 

For those looking to spend less time with their eyes on a screen in the new year, picking up a game or two from local shops like Tea + Victory, Asgard Games, or Nans Games and Comics will both support a local retailer and fuel your latest hobby.

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