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Looking for Inspiration during Lockdown

Alix M Campbell

Contributor

With many people working remotely during this pandemic, we’re mostly limited to our own spaces at the moment. No commute to work, no brainstorming with colleagues, no browsing through inspirational shops, museums or galleries – how can you keep the creative spark going being confined to the same place day after day?

Listen to podcasts or watch documentaries

If there ever was a time in our lives when we could binge-watch Netflix guilt-free, then this is it. But Tiger King aside, there are probably some documentaries you always wanted to see, but never did due to your agenda being filled with all types of social engagements. Prepare yourself a relaxing cup of tea, maybe some popcorn if you can find some in your pantry and get cosy on your couch.

The same goes for podcasts. No matter what topic you are interested in, there’s probably a podcast out there discussing it. If you don’t already have 10 to 20 new podcasts downloaded on your phone but never even opened them (guilty!), then have a little browse through this collection of best podcasts you can listen to this year.

Take virtual tours of museums and art galleries

Do you sometimes feel like you should spend a day in the museum instead of lazing around the house? This was pre-lockdown. Nowadays you’re even encouraged to spend your weekends and your spare time on your couch. Throw your guilty feelings overboard. No one cares at the moment if you’re having breakfast for dinner in your pajamas.

If you still feel like you need your cultural fix for the day, you have plenty of options. Some museums around the globe have opened their virtual gates for you to explore their exhibitions from the comfort of your own home. Grab a glass of wine or a bowl of cereal, whatever you prefer, and hop online to discover the beauty and the wonders of our world.

For some interactive fun, you can get busy re-creating your favourite works of art with whatever you have at home, inspired by this Twitter challenge by the Getty Museum.

Pick up interesting snippets from talking to friends and relatives

Many people have been using their time in quarantine to catch up with friends and relatives they haven’t been in touch with for a while. Life was just too busy. Spending more time at home now in front of the news, you’re probably also craving to hear different words than pandemic, crisis, ventilator or toilet paper.

Grab your phone and give someone a call. Ask them how they’re doing and feel free to talk about other topics than the coronavirus. You might get new ideas for a creative project by conversing with someone you normally never get to talk to.

In her book The True Secret of Writing, Natalie Goldberg introduces a writing exercise where she picks a time of the day and a place and shows up every day for a week to write about everything that’s happening in front of her eyes for twenty minutes without a break. She chooses a café, but you could sit on your balcony or by your window and write what you can see outside. You might even be able to pick up and jot down some interesting bits and pieces of dialogue between your neighbours.

Join free creative online classes

If learning something new was one of your New Year’s resolutions, you’re probably also experiencing an exceptional time at the moment as many companies are offering free courses. Whether you want to ramp up your physical fitness with a virtual gym class, improve your writing skills, get creative, join a cooking class or learn a new language, now’s the time to sign up and get started.

Hunkering down and getting busy learning can take your mind off the stress that has everyone on their toes at the moment. Acquiring a new skill can help you feel more confident and accomplished in a time when anxieties and insecurities are the daily norm.

It’s hard to see the silver lining when there’s so much negativity out there, but by using your mind to create, learn and explore, you’re opening yourself up for the simple joys that can be found even in times of hardship.

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