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Boredom, creativity and how to feed your brain when you’re stuck inside for ages…

Some people say that everything happens for a reason. And when it suits me, I’m happy to go along with that.

I’ve become a bit of an expert at dealing with isolation in recent months.

This isn’t me, but it’s how I’ve felt at times.
[Photo: Ryan McGuire at Gratisography]

I injured my ankle badly last June, and since I live in a top floor flat (no lift), I’ve been pretty much stuck at home for months. And even though I’ve been a bit more mobile in recent weeks, I still can’t get out and about that much.

So now I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, all this time nursing a rubbish ankle can be put to good use by sharing a few of the ways I’ve found to dig my brain out of a creative rut, stop the boredom from driving me crazy, and get those all-important ideas flowing again.

Creativity. Imagination. Inspiration.

Whatever you call it, it’s really important when you work in the creative sector. In fact scrap that. I reckon it’s actually pretty important for most people’s wellbeing, no matter what work they do.

Of course, there’s a special kind of joy in suddenly having time to watch all the films you want to watch and to read all the books you want to read – and to generally hibernate for a bit.

But after a while, I found my brain got stale.

 You see, when you’re out and about, you’re exposed to new and different things without even realising it. So when you’re isolated inside, you have to proactively go looking for those things that you wouldn’t naturally gravitate towards, and which aren’t part of your normal routines.

So I thought now might be a good time to share are a few of the online resources I’ve used over the last few months to keep me interested, learning, and curious about the world. They won’t suit everyone – they are after all still things which, on some level, I find myself interested in.

In fact, they might provide you with an oddly accurate insight into the inner workings of my mind.

Scary thought, that… 

Apollo 13 in Real Time

Moon in shadow
[Photo: Stephen Walker on Unsplash]

Follow the Apollo 13 space mission as it happened (but from the safety of your own sofa).

Pick up a few first aid basics with the British Red Cross

wooden jointed dolls do first aid
[Photo: Succo on Pixabay]

It might not be as thorough as a full, in-person course, but it’s better than nothing and you never know when it’ll come in handy.

Explore the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House at night
[Photo: Eriksson Luo on Unsplash]

Find out how it all started, explore backstage and generally get a bit nosey.

Learn to crochet

Three balls of wool
[Photo: Les Triconautes on Unsplash]

These step by step videos by Bella Coco really do make it as easy as it can be to learn online. And she has some fun starter projects you can try, too (I haven’t finished any yet, but then I’m no role model for this stuff).

Make something easy with your hands, for the sheer joy of it

Messy play with paint
[Photo: Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash]

Print off one of Paper Joy’s brilliant freebies or order online, and let yourself be a child again. Even better if you have actual children, but that didn’t stop me.

Watch other people making things with their own hands for the sheer joy of it

Potter incising clay
[Photo: Andy Kelly on Unsplash]

The Great Pottery Throwdown has been one of the great joys of the last few months. Making everything from cafetieres and chess sets to fireplace tiles and functioning toilets, this lot have impressive skills.

Find out all about the man behind Paddington Bear!

Paddington Bear toy
[Photo: Rod Long on Unsplash]

Heart-warming stuff for unsettling times – what’s not to like? This little guy has enjoyed a bit of a revival with the films, but this gives the bigger picture!

Work on your spy skills

[Photo: Ryan McGuire at Gratisography]

For all things espionage and secret codes, The Spy Museum in Washington DC has you covered (just don’t tell anyone… looks over shoulder nervously).

Get into online volunteering

Person working on laptop
[Photo: Andrew Neel on Unsplash]

Zooniverse has been part of my life for years now and there are just SO MANY projects you can get involved with – as little or as much as you like. If you’re missing being a part of something bigger or contributing your time for free, I can’t recommend it enough.

Delve into the collections of the V&A museum

Five costumes from V&A costume collection on mannequins
[Photo: John Cameron on Unsplash]

I’ve linked to the costume collections here because quite frankly they’re amazing, but if that’s not your thing, they have loads of other gems for you to lose yourself in for a bit.

Throw yourself down a weirdly satisfying rabbit hole

Pile of cake brightly multi-coloured cake sprinkles
[Photo: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash]

This one’s strange, but it’s oh so compelling (that might just be me). This is a link to one post on Neon Yolk’s Instagram feed, but start scrolling through and if you’re anything like me you’ll never stop.

So there you go! I’ll try to add more ideas as they come to me, but if you have suggestions, get in touch.

2 thoughts on “Boredom, creativity and how to feed your brain when you’re stuck inside for ages… Leave a comment

  1. Hi Megan,

    I loved reading your post! It started of like I was reading my own story.. I have been stuck to the top apartment (no elevator) for over a year. A tip my boyfriend gave me was to start watching sport games on television. He said it would be calming (as I couldn’t do anything, I was literally broken and the fixing operation went wrong).

    I now know a lot about quite a few sports and have some conversation topics / ice breakers on hand.. (They have now stopped but will start again at some point, likely before all social life is possible again..)

    Next to that would now of course be networking online and reading like LinkedIn posts for information and inspiration and to support each other in difficult times like these.

    I hope you are healing well! I am sorry you had to be so homebound! Thank you for the amazing tips in your blog!

    With kind regards,

    Suzanne

    Like

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