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Editor’s note

Satshya Tharien is a ray of sunshine on social mediavariously described as an “enthu cutlet” and a “happy pill.” Food-obsessed, quirky and bubbly, her Instagram posts, blog titled ‘Chumma Cooking’ and YouTube channel are a must-follow for the twenty-something crowd. Who better to advise us on how to survive these dog days of the pandemic?

Over to Satshya...

I live by the motto of ‘Try one new thing every day’. In the pre-pandemic world, that meant trying new food or attending performances. But being confined to my home 24x7, I went full cottage-core. From art & crafts to micro-gardening, here are some activities that brought me joy during the lockdown.

 

Stitch Kits: These canvas kits are really easy to use and much easier to handle than the more delicate cloth embroidery ones. They come with a set pattern & coloured threads, so you don’t have to possess any artistic skills (and works kind of like ‘colour by numbers’!). Whenever I took a break from work, I would put on a podcast or call someone and work on this. It’s really calming and gives you a sense of progress and accomplishment. This particular kit was a gift from my aunt, but several are available on Amazon.

 

Polymer clay: I’ve been seeing a bunch of small businesses spring up during the lockdown selling polymer clay earrings, so I decided to give it a shot. Polymer clay is a lot like Play-Doh—except it hardens when you bake it. It was extremely easy to use and you can make anything from coasters (see below), to earrings to fridge magnets. It’s a really fun and relaxing family activity, and we’ve gifted our creations to our neighbours :)

 

Microgreens in a jar: I took up the challenge of growing microgreens because I wanted to up both my gardening and culinary game at the same time. I got four jars from Radicle Parenting (beetroot, mustard, fennel & parsley). It was an absolute delight seeing them grow and blossom over the course of about 10 days. I ended up growing too attached to my ‘plant babies’ and just didn’t have the heart to eat them. I’ve held onto the jars and now experiment growing different herbs in them!

 

Monopoly: turned out to be quite a fun family activity—so much so that Saturday is now nicknamed ‘Monopoly Day’ at home. The rules are straightforward enough for anyone to participate and it can keep you occupied for anywhere between 1.5-3 hours. Other great family board games are Game of Life, Taboo, Pictionary and of course, Ludo.

 

Tie-Dye kits: Tie-Dye suddenly exploded as the hottest fabric pattern in the mid 2020s. There are specific kits like these that you can get online but I used the leftover acrylic paints from another art project to tie-dye an old tshirt. There are multiple tutorials online and all you need is a t-shirt, a few rubber bands and dye (either liquid or powder). People now tie-dye pants, bags, book covers and even socks! Apart from a fun art project, it’s a really cool way to upcycle old clothing—AND make some money on the side if you get really good at it.

 

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