It's a Guy Thing

Passing Time During a Pandemic

How did our leisure time change in 2020?

Out of the many different tools utilized and deployed by governments across the world to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, by far the most common has been stay-at-home orders. This has included advice not only that we work from home where possible but also that we limit the amount of socializing that we do outside the home.

In this context, recreation and leisure time have taken on not just a whole new level of importance but also a whole new meaning. This is because not only are leisure time activities an important way of keeping ourselves occupied and distracted as the pandemic rages on, but we are also having to find new ways of spending our free time that comply with the latest public health guidelines. For these reasons, we have noticed marked shifts in how people are spending their leisure time.

But what are some of the shifts and changes we can notice in how people are choosing to spend their free time?

The importance of free time: staying sane amid the chaos

One of the most immediately noticeable changes in our relation with our free time over the last year lies in how important leisure time has become. Before the ‘new-normal’ of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders settled in, although free time was by no means unimportant, with the normal patterns of work, family and friends undisturbed by global events, for many people it took on much less importance.

This is not to say that leisure time was not important at all before the pandemic hit, it is simply the case that we had more to distract us in our daily lives. The result of this was that our leisure time was less of a focus as we lived our lives.

In COVID times, however, this is most certainly not the case. Not only has our relationship with leisure time changed, given that many of us are now working from home, but leisure time also serves an increasingly therapeutic function, given all the stress and chaos of the present world.

In this context, leisure time becomes an important form of escapism that not only helps us to create distance between home and work, but also plays an important therapeutic role in helping us to deal with the harsh effects of the measures taken to combat the pandemic.

Changing pastimes in the age of COVID-19

In addition to our leisure time taking on a renewed importance these days, we can also notice changes in how we are choosing to spend this time and what sorts of activities we are engaging in. The restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic have had an obvious impact on this, insofar as many activities are no longer rendered feasible by the requirement to adhere to social distancing requirements. This means that many popular pastimes, such as going to pubs, gyms or concerts, are off the table for the foreseeable future.

As such, many of us are either rediscovering old pastimes or finding new ones to try out for the first time. But what are some of the most popular activities we are trying out during the pandemic?

One particularly popular pastime that has surged in popularity over the last year is online casinos and online gaming more generally. With physical casinos across the world closed down for the foreseeable future, and sporting events either cancelled, postponed or running at a reduced capacity, gambling and sports fans have been flocking to online casinos as an alternative to their usual pastimes. As such, some of the top online casinos such as the Norwegian casino portal have reported record-breaking numbers of users signing up for the first time over the last few months.

Another set of pastimes that has increased in popularity is craft and home DIY projects. In the typical patterns of work and home life, it can often be difficult to find longer periods of time to dedicate to larger projects such as home improvements, recreational carpentry, or knitting and other homecrafts. With many of us finding ourselves with more time than ever on our hands, however, our schedules have suddenly freed up and enabled us to commit to these more time-consuming projects. For this reason, we are seeing a lot of buzz generated online around activities such as arts and crafts, cooking and home DIY.