With the onset of coronavirus, the world has suffered in both general well-being and for socio-economic reasons. Intermittent lockdowns have taken a toll on the mental well-being of adults and children alike. For working professionals, working from home has become the new norm. For children, online classes are no more a novelty. The pandemic has turned simple things like seeing friends, or meeting family a risk factor, not just for one person but the entire group or locality.
This lack of freedom to do what you like can affect one’s creativity and mental health. To avoid that from happening, here are some ways to combat monotony during coronavirus lockdown:
Engage in Activities That Enhance the Reward System of Your Brain
Human emotions are generally driven by necessities, such as food and avoidance of pain, and rewards. When you engage in activities to your liking, such as learning to ride a bike or surf in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, dopamine is released. Something similar happens when you’re expecting to receive a reward. The brain can create an association with reward-related memories such that you are inclined to repeat them. Accolades and rewards boost your morale and motivate you to improve your skills.
Even if you can’t do the activity you’re planning, start getting the ball rolling.
Find a Medium of Expression
No matter your personality type, expression always heals the inner turmoils. Research has shown that expression through art or music helps manage stress and anxiety. COVID-19 has helped many realize that they can come up with creative solutions to some complex problems. The extra time gained by the work-from-home arrangement has encouraged some to pick up on new hobbies and learn new methods for stress relief.
The coronavirus lockdowns have motivated people to build communities to engage virtually and share thoughts and experiences. When people from different backgrounds and individual expertise network virtually, they collaborate and feed on the overall positivity of the network. This social process brings together strangers with common interests and erases isolation. Some can even build businesses with meetings on Zoom.
The feedback process has also become simpler with enhanced interactions over social media. It can help to keep you engaged and revitalize your spirits.
Touch Base with Nature
Before the spread of COVID-19, there must have been times when you worked endlessly without taking any breaks. This did affect not only your family life but also your mental health in the long run. Even now, when you’re remotely working, you may be stuck for hours on your chair, skipping meals, or extending your work hours.
Breaks are important to catch a breath and increase your productivity with work. Getting outside your house can help you embrace the nature you’re surrounded by and breathe in some oxygen. This can help to charge your mind and body for bigger challenges in the future. Some brisk walking, jogging, or pilates in the open environment can fetch you a good and effortless sleep at night.
The above four ideas can help you catch a breather when living in the difficult times of a pandemic. Creativity decays if left in isolation for a very long time. Only with conscious efforts of rejuvenating the routine life can it be modified for a healthy change. The current situation necessitates a change of lifestyle to combat physical and mental illnesses.
Your creativity should not be kept in hiding or under covers when it can actually heal.
What have been some helpful coping mechanisms for you this past year? Let us know in the comments below!
*Photos by Samson Katt