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.
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…
Follow the Apollo 13 space mission as it happened (but from the safety of your own sofa).
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.
Find out how it all started, explore backstage and generally get a bit nosey.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.