Irish Hobbies: Pre & Post Lockdown

It is safe to say that the world has changed substantially since the beginning of 2020. The global pandemic instigated worldwide lockdowns which we are now just about recovering from. As we begin to get used to post-pandemic life and come out of our home-dwelling cocoons, some would say that we are better off from having experienced such an event and we should be grateful for how truly wonderful life is in 2021.

We may have lost out in some respects from the pandemic, but we have found a hell of a lot too.

Camping

The epicentre of the pandemic allowed us relatively little freedom. We could leave our houses once a day to exercise and to shop for staples, but other than that, we were required to stay indoors. Whether it is due to our rebellious spirit or simply because we are all fed up with our houses, the number of camping holidays has increased by 500% in some areas and by 195% compared with pre-pandemic levels according to ThisMoney.

Families especially are using the post pandemic freedom to frequent their local camping spots. Young children will have suffered through the lack of socialising with their peers at school, so an environment they can run around and have fun in has been much needed. What’s more, camping is a great way to spend time in nature. Nobody could argue that pre-pandemic, the world was much too caught up in the internet and binge watching Netflix. It is important that we remember the basic human need to walk in nature and to spend social time with each other in person.

If the post pandemic inspired you to go camping please let us know your experience!

Online Gaming

Nobody should be surprised to know that the pandemic lockdowns brought about a monumental increase in the number of people playing online games. The majority of the increases surrounded people playing on their PlayStations, Xbox consoles and PCs. Playing video games online allowed us to communicate with friends during a time when communicating with friends was difficult.

Conversing with a friend over a game of FIFA or Call of Duty became an extremely important pastime for many, especially those who were furloughed from work and had a lot of time to fill in their lives. Interestingly, there was also a large increase in the number of people playing online casino games too.

Being furloughed essentially meant being paid 80% of your usual wage without having to work, many decided to use a portion of this ‘free income’ by playing at online casinos. Some even mixed two pleasures into one by playing at online porn casinos, yes these do exist and are becoming more common and popular.

Overall, online gaming has its positives and negatives, now the pandemic is reaching its conclusion, expect online gaming levels to return to their pre-lockdown levels.

Reinvesting into Homes

hobbiesThe price of properties has boomed during the pandemic as a greater number of people and families have looked to upgrade into bigger homes. The increasing number of people working from home has meant that to keep a successful work/life balance, more space has been needed.

The average house price in the UK and Northern Ireland has rocketed from £150,000 in 2006 up to £256,000 in 2021; pre pandemic average house prices were around the £230,000 mark. Despite the inevitable end of lockdown periods, it was expected and has since been proven that many companies would continue to allow their staff to work from home – thus moving into a bigger home has proven to be justified for many.

Did you move into a new property during the pandemic? Let us know your story!

Outdoor Exercise

Regular exercise has been the order of the day for many of us. Having to combine work with home life and the lack of regular social communication cannot fail to have an impact on mental health. One of the best ways to stay in control of your mental health is regular exercise.

Although exercise bikes saw a big increase in sales, outdoor, or at least out of home exercising is the most ideal form. For a while, most of us were forbidden from exercising outdoors more than once per day, but of course, now that lockdown is over, we are free to exercise as much as we want, and it turns out that it became a new and healthy hobby.

There was certainly a surge in the number of people exercising during lockdown to manage their mental health and we expect that the trend has continued into 2021.

Holidaying in our own country – staycations

For the best part of 1.5 years, holidays abroad have been forbidden. The positive knock-on effect to this though is that a greater number of us have been forced to realise what a wonderful country we live in. The staycation trend in Northern Ireland is set to continue too, which is fantastic news for the NI economy.

With the potential for less airline flights in the future too, the planet, if it could talk, would surely thank us!

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