Now that the winter of our discontent is behind us we have the spring of the virus to contend with and it comes at no better time than Easter, which is just around the corner.
Being cooped up in doors, especially if you have a family with kids, can be debilitating and challenging. Having to be in each others faces day in day out requires patience, perseverance and some practicality.
So, after listening to James Altucher’s talk about writing 10 ideas a day in order to keep your mind creatively fit and nimble I thought of sharing 10 ideas that we can all do while in isolation, whether alone or with family and kids, which should help us stay somewhat sane over the Easter holidays and then some. And bear in mind these are action that don’t require a computer, TV or a mobile phone:
- Read – either to yourself or to your loved ones – find those classic books that you hated to read in school (or maybe loved) and now can enjoy reading. Make a point of sitting down an hour each day and reading it
out loud for your loved ones or quietly to yourself. Relieve those nostalgic moments when we were resistant or resentful for having to read them in school but now as adults might find something that will resonate with us. The classics include: Charles Dickens ‘Great Expectations’, Mark Twain ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, Herman Melville ‘Moby Dick’ J.D. Salinger ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, Harper Lee ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, F. Scott Fitzgerald ‘The Great Gatsby’, William Golding ‘Lord of the Flies’, Kurth Vonegut ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, Neil Gaiman ‘Coraline’, and the list can go on.
- Exercise – Jane Fonda workout anyone? No need for spandex peeps just a good 30min movement exercise should suffice. This can be anything from yoga, calisthenics, pilates, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to old fashioned aerobics exercise (if you still prefer the spandex look). Keep it fresh each day if you can just as long as by the end of the exercise you feel better, and out of breath, than when you started. High five your partner or kid if you got them to join in.
- Draw – find a pencil or some crayons, grab some A4 blank sheets of paper and experiment with the art of drawing, especially if you haven’t done so before. This can be anything form life drawing objects, subjects
that are around your place to copying an image from a book or a painting, to sketching cartoon figures that you recall from memory. That’s the great thing about art, the possibilities are endless. You could even draw your other half or kid while they are sat down reading the classic book of your choice waiting for you to unveil your masterpiece.
- Cook – Ahh, here’s the fun part, to experiment each day with a different type of cuisine even if you’re not sure of how to cook that particular recipe. As long as you have a decent selection of spices on your spice rack you won’t be too far behind getting it to be eatable (I hope). Decide from day to day the sort of dishes you want to prepare, maybe create a menu for the week ahead according to the ingredients you have in your cupboard and fridge? Experiment with all the ranges of cooking that you can from broiling to marinading, to sautéing to baking. Hey, even if you fall short of making it taste like a Gordon Ramsey dish be content that you’re just short of an extra spice or two so that next time you’ll be closer to getting it right. Just make sure to lay off the garlic too much.
- Sing – Yup, there’s no escaping this one, it’s definitely an awkwardness but who cares right? You’re in the confines of your own home so start it off with a good giggle which then leads to a laugh, a good hearty one, and then get ready to crack open your lungs and break into a good song that you’ve always enjoyed singing either in the shower or alone in your car but be sure to make it heard loud enough for the neighbours to cower in fright in the hope that they won’t invite the police round to join you in a chorus
- Play – bring em out! Those boardgames that you’ve stored in your loft, attic, basement or hidden in one of your cupboards which have collected dust for god knows how long. Trivia Pursuits anyone? Or maybe it’s time to play with papery money for a change to the tune of Monopoly. Chess, backgammon, Scrabble, Cluedo, Connect 4, Draughts, card games even! Charades is a great one if you live in a house with several peeps or perhaps make it a quiz night every night – with the family – but make sure to choose a theme or a topic each time so as not to bore them to death. But whatever you do make sure to leave out the Ouija board please.
- Dance – hey, you certainly can’t just sing without putting in a bit of a jig. Exercise gets you fit but dancing gets you buzzed man! Moving your body rhythmically to the music even though you don’t have the luxury of a dance floor is a great way of expressing your emotions and releasing some pent up energy. You will probably need a stereo system for this one so don’t hold back when you put a selection of your favourites and crank that mother up to 10… and then some. I would also urge you to dance differently to each song you choose and perhaps have a dancing contest if there’s more than just one of you, otherwise it’s the Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing with myself’ jig.
- Journal – can be done any time of the day but I find it’s more useful first thing in the morning, when you wake up, to write your thoughts on paper, your musings, your grumblings, your frustrations and mostly inspirations. Just allow whatever’s in your mind to spew forth onto the page what is also known as mind vomit – often unstructured and out of context – yet it forms the starting point for nothing that can quickly evolve into something remarkable. Give it a test run and sit down and write a whole page without giving it too much thought and see what your mind is capable of achieving. The miracle awaits.
- Meditate – I know, some of you are probably thinking not that namby pamby, wishy washy stuff. Isn’t that what those spiritualists get up to? Yup, I thought that too once, and to be honest sometimes I still do struggle to get a good round of meditation going but what I do find is that the moment I can somehow quieten the mind, and breathe fully and just let go I get a sort of detachment
from the mind and ideas come to me that I don’t normally access when I’m conscious. I find it’s a way of not just bringing insight, enlightenment and comfortable silence to our minds but to some extent injects true inspiration.
- Create – I left this for last because this can entail anything really, from writing a poem, to short stories, to playing a new tune, to performing a skit or a monologue in front of your house audience. To creating anything that your heart desires and share it with others. Yes, the point is of sharing and not harbouring or keeping it locked away from the public. Creativity is not just art but a necessity for us all to muck into and play with with the aim of reshaping, developing, altering, changing and through the process expanding our minds and allowing those creative juices to flow.
So, to round off this article you’ve probably noticed that each one of these ideas is to do with a form of action, and more than likely to do with creation too. Therefore, if you feel that you may still need an injection of something cool to do while in isolation then why not proceed to our link below and find out how you too can join our Lockdown short film competition and get the chance to create something inspirational and get thousands of others to view your work online.
Go on give it a go, click below.