We’re all doing what we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home. While we’re still working, it’s been easy to log off at 4:30 and get sucked into another night of bingeing Netflix. Sure, we can do whatever we want with our evenings, but we might be living like this for a while and as a designer, I need to stay creative.
So, how can people do that while flattening the curve? Here are some suggestions: [/intro]
Find your inner child
Children have this amazing gift where they can turn anything into a game. When we grow up and leave Neverland behind, our imagination, positive attitude, and other aspects of our inner-child get buried under layers of responsibilities, obligations, and schedules.
With our schedules looking more open than ever, it’s the perfect time to dig up your youth and get creative. Try taking inspiration from the children in your life or think of ways you had fun as a kid. If you need some ideas to get started, here’s a list of our childhood favourites:
- Family game night! Our go-to games are Trapwords and the Monopoly card game, Monopoly Deal.
- If you follow us on Instagram, you already know we’re huge fans of jigsaw puzzles! But don’t overlook Crossword puzzles and Sudoku games, too.
- Movie marathon nights — with a twist. Instead of just sitting on the couch, create a fort in your living room with pillows and blankets to watch all your Disney favourites. Don’t forget the popcorn!
- Catch up on some video games or get nostalgic and break out your old Super Nintendo. Who’s up for some Mario Kart?
Create something. Anything!
Are you someone who’s put off hobbies and learning new things because you don’t have the time? Do you have a half-finished DIY project sitting around because you never got a chance to take it to the finish line? Well now is your chance! Studies show that engaging in creative pursuits every day can improve your overall brain function, mental health, and physical health.
With these uncertain times, we need to take care of ourselves and dedicating a few hours each day to a personal project is a great start. What you can create is endless, but if you’re looking for some inspiration or ideas, we’ve got you covered:
- If you’re feeling crafty checkout Crayola or Pinterest for some adult and kid-friendly activities. They also have a large library of free printable colouring pages!
- Have a sweet tooth and love baking? There are plenty of online tutorials like this one that can teach you how to decorate and plate your food with everyday items.
- Start a sketchbook and draw something new every day in different mediums.
- Like to dance? Join the online Tik Tok challenge and choreograph your own dance video.
Get up and move
Next time Netflix hits you with an “are you still watching?” take it as an opportunity to get up and move. With fitness classes and gyms no longer options, it can be hard to find the dedication or motivation to stick to your workout routine. Our bodies are made to move and there are plenty of ways we can stay active with a little bit of creativity. From swapping barbells with heavy objects around the house to joining in on social media challenges like “do ten pushups, give ten pushups”, there are plenty of ways to stay active.
Here are some of the ways our team is staying fit:
- A few of our favourite local fitness facilities like Big Bliss and Limitless Performance are offering webinar workout classes you can do from home.
- Keep it simple and go for a walk, jog, or run. There is no better time than now to take the long way home!
- Working from home? Challenge yourself to do ten squats or pushups every time you get up from your desk.
Get organized and declutter
I know what you’re thinking, “what’s creative about organizing and decluttering?” Well, it’s more about the after effect. It’s a popular misconception that creative people thrive in chaos. For many, being organized gives us the headspace we need to focus. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, looking at too many things at once overloads your visual cortex and interferes with your ability to process information. That means if we spend a few minutes or hours upfront organizing and decluttering our workspaces, we’re more likely to be productive, efficient, and creative!
Check out some of the resources and tools we recommend for getting organized:
- If you’re working from home and need some help keeping your day-to-day tasks straight, we use Jira and Trello to stay on track.
- If you need some inspiration or advice on getting your home organized, consider watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a reality series following an organizational consultant who helps families declutter their homes.
Take advantage of technology
This one is a no brainer! With how advanced technology and social media have become, it’s easier now than ever to stay connected with people without interacting in person. These days, you can even fall in love with someone from across the world and share your journey on TLC’s 90-day fiancé. Seriously, am I the only fan of this show?
Outside of technology leading to some great TV, we’ve seen social media and digital technology greatly improve the social distancing experience. Here are some of our favourites:
- All the fun Instagram challenges like post your favourite things using only emojis, see a pup post a pup, and have a drink give a drink.
- #519together is a local movement encouraging people to buy gift cards from small businesses that may be struggling during this time.
- The Netflix party app, which allows friends and family to watch movies together from different homes.
If nothing on our list piques your interest, then enjoy being bored. While these are dark times, it’s not every day the world slows down enough for us to catch our breath. Take a break and allow yourself to be bored (it can boost creativity, too!), or use it as an opportunity to get rid of the distractions and be creative.