I think it’s safe to say we’ve heard enough times how unprecedented the era we’re living in now is so I won’t say it again. But the fact of the matter is that being stuck at home when you could be hanging out with your friends or going to concerts (RIP my plans to see BTS) sucks. Still, there’s a ton of stuff that you can do from the comfort of your own couch (or desk) that can make you feel a little happier and connected to the things and people you love.
1. Watch Live Stages
When I tell you that I watch iconic live stages at least once a month, that is not an exaggeration. Often I don’t remember the date but the outfit that the idol was wearing, so I head to YouTube and search for the song and scroll until I find the outfit that I recognize. It’s not a perfect system, but it works for me and 95% of the reason I watch live stages is to see what they’re wearing. Every one of TWICE’s live stages is worth watching if only for their outfits.
Even if fashion isn’t your thing, there are so many live stages that become almost like a blanket of comfort to rewatch when you just need something that warms you. I love watching the Butterfly live stage of RUN era Bangtan because it was so beautiful and simple. Find the ones that make you happy in the same way and watch them until you feel your mood lift.
2. Make Merch
Okay, this one is more involved but if you’re a crafter, this is an excellent way to get those creative juices flowing. I recently started making bracelets to accent cool Hobicore outfits, but I also embroider and I decided to embroider a little Shooky on a tote bag for my bestie. You can go further and get fabric paints and customize an old t-shirt or buy a cheap pack of white tees to imitate a classic design like the Love Yourself flower.
You don’t have to sell your items either. The beauty about creating is that it’s primarily for you and not for anyone else. If you choose to make some money out of making something that makes you happy, that’s great! But don’t pressure yourself and be creative!
3. Learn K-Pop Choreography
I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent learning choreography for my favorite songs. I don’t claim to be any good at dancing, but wow does it eat up time. I could spend half a day learning the choreography for a chorus and not even notice the time passing. It’s such a great way to get your cardio in and it’s so much fun. One of my favorite songs when I first got into K-pop was Magnetic by GOT7, so I decided to set aside some time on a Saturday to learn the chorus choreography and I had so much fun because it was song that I never got tired of hearing.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not a good dancer or if choreography is not something that you can pick up right away. Find a dance practice video that’s mirrored and at 50% speed if possible. From there, choose your favorite part of the song and pick one member to focus on. Take your time, be gentle with yourself, and be proud when you finish–even if it isn’t perfect.
4. Make (or Bake) a K-Pop Inspired Recipe
There are so many great K-pop songs that have food related titles. Why not get creative with some ingredients in your pantry? Make some ice cream cake inspired by Red Velvet or some blue orangeade inspired by TXT (and use my recipe) or do something completely unique and make Dark & Wild cookies with chocolate and macadamia nuts and a touch of spice (and let me know how that goes because that sounds freakin’ amazing).
If you don’t have any skills in the kitchen, don’t worry. Use a recipe as a base and then add ingredients that sound yummy or that will enhance the flavor. Do what feels comfortable and explore as you gain more confidence. And! Never be afraid to take shortcuts. Store-bought is always fine.
5. Buy Albums Online
I am the last person to promote irresponsible spending, especially when times are tough, but as always, K-pop artists depend on the fans to stay in business. If you buy albums, that shows the companies that there’s interest in the group and it helps to keep them promoted. Also, online K-pop album retailers depend on our sales to stay in business and with all the restrictions on international shipping, a lot of people have been discouraged from buying so if you can, definitely support your artist!
I recently bought the latest OH MY GIRL comeback album (which is adorable, by the way) from my favorite online K-pop retailer, Ktown4u, and I encourage you–if you’ve got the ability to–to do the same.