Being indoors for long periods at a time is a challenge, although I did find positivity in the situation.
I finally reconnected with myself again. I was able to reflect on what I’ve been through for the past couple of years and focus on what I aim to do on the journey ahead. I used the time to figure out where my passion lies and what I need to do to fulfill that passion.
I’ve realized that time is really just a concept in our minds. It doesn’t stop, fast forward, or rewind for any of us. As much as I wished to have better allocated my time with more productive efforts, I knew my mind and body needed to rest and regenerate for what’s to come. Throughout my self-care, I took the time to do activities that are creative, healing, and calming. I found myself reminiscing the most exciting activities and the most soulful memories of my childhood days and incorporated them into what I love doing now.
Here are some activities that have helped remove the creative drought, and eased the storms going on inside my head.
Be Inspired Checklist
WATCH TV SHOWS / MOVIES
Oh, yes, the typical binging of cinematic entertainment. I’ve been switching between shows I hadn’t seen before and old ones that bring a sense of nostalgia which helps reconnect me with my inner child. Shows and movies are great escapes into different storylines, some of which are relevantly relatable or helpful. Not every show or movie is mere entertainment, as many can even educate you, even if you don’t realize it immediately.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
Music has been therapeutic for me in so many ways. I have playlists to compliment my moods, such as: “chill,” “happy,” “sad,” “dancy,” etc. My current go-to playlist is soundtrack albums. The Sound of Music and The Lion King soundtracks are perfect for uplifting my moods, and I just feel happy listening to them. Music is a great soothing sound for anything, isn’t it? I need music when basically doing anything as they not only help me focus, but I get to have random dance sessions in between my tasks. Also, with the comebacks of NCT’s sub-units, my ears have been well-fed these past couple of months.
UPDATE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
By update, I don’t necessarily mean posting current activities online and getting those perfect Instagram shots. I mean updating your information on these platforms. Go through your old posts, and delete ones that no longer reflect who you are today. Set things to private. Set things to the public. Change your bio. Update your online resume (i.e. LinkedIn). Think of this as your online spring cleaning.
ORGANIZE COMPUTER FILES & EMAILS
Okay, this may be stressful for some of you, but it doesn’t have to be! I personally enjoy organizing my files and emails, at least when I find the time to (which is typically when a semester ends). Being organized digitally is just as healthy as being organized physically. You’ll find it easier and quicker to look for files knowing where things are. I generally organize my emails and files in the same manner (school, finances, work, etc.). I love having my digital space free of clutter and unnecessary files that I probably will never look at again.
Cleaning has always been my go-to stress reliever (and procrastination inducer), though restrooms are my least favorite places to clean, so I do try to prevent mess there as much as possible. I feel that having a clean environment also declutters the stress in my mind. When things are organized, I don’t feel confined in my own space, and it’s as if I’m able to breathe better and fresher. A simple cleaning or reorganization gives us the feeling of accomplishment and the motivation to tackle the next task waiting for you.
GO FOR A NATURE WALK
I’m on my laptop and phone a lot, and when I go out, I’m wearing a mask. Breathing in fresh air is one of the most calming techniques to relax my eyes and just think. Even a simple look outside your window is helpful. Try going outside, find a comfortable place to sit, and just calmly breathe for 10 minutes.
I LOVE yoga. I’ve been doing yoga for about two years now and it has changed my body for the better. I started doing yoga because I wanted to improve my flexibility. Little did I know, it also relieved my backaches, controlled my breathing, and shaped my physique. Yoga is a great tool for meditation to calm daily mental stress. I find that doing morning yoga 30 minutes after waking up helps me be more energetic throughout my day and my body feels thankful for it. Exercising is challenging as it is (believe me, I know), but our bodies need care as well. We may not see any external changes, but it’s what is brewing on the inside that’s vital. Take care of your body. Your body needs you to work just as much as you need your body to work. If yoga isn’t your cup of tea, there are other physical movements that can be done in the comfort of your home. A simple walk around your home or your apartment complex isn’t too bad either. Remember to wear a mask outdoors, though!
CATCH UP WITH LOVED ONES
I haven’t been with my family for about two years now. During the lockdown, I have felt homesick and I’ve been missing them more and more each day. Time zones aren’t too bad, and I’m super grateful that I can at least video call them every other day. I was also able to catch up with close friends, and our conversations would last between 1-2 hours. It’s hard being away from family and friends, so take advantage to communicate any way you can, as much as you can. You’ll never know how one simple phone text or video call can turn someone’s day brighter.
HAVE DEEP CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS
I’ve done tons of these with my friends. From these conversations, we’re able to understand each other better and open our minds to each other’s perspectives. Sharing our inner conflicts with someone we trust can help calm the storms in our minds, even without them validating or giving advice to our struggles. We appreciate people who listen to us instead of judging our inner turmoil.
I’ve been journaling daily for a year and a half now, and it’s life-changing. For the past year, I’ve journaled mainly to just form a habit. I never really had a plan or focal point. I’d typically write down things I’m grateful for and some affirmations. Lately, I’ve been on a bullet journal video binge on YouTube, and I plan on starting mine soon. Journaling is an amazing tool for calming down the mind and being in the present. It’s a great way to look back and reflect on the progress you’ve made, be it your own personal growth, thoughts, and habits. I’ll be writing a full blog post about my journaling journey and giving advice on how you can start yours.
Let’s face it, sleep is a beautiful thing. With everything else, however, too much or too little of it is unhealthy. I typically sleep between 6-8 hours at night and an extra 2 hours during the day. Is it the healthiest amount, I don’t know. I just listen to my body. When I’m not occupied with other things and my body feels like it needs to shut down, I will rest. I do have an alarm set up for the morning, but not during my naps because it helps me know much rest my body needed. Sleep has been fundamental to me in keeping my moods in check. When I have the proper amount of sleep, I feel lighter and more energized. Getting sleep also helps more ideas enter my mind by the time I wake up because my brain is free to allow these ideas to emerge.
LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE
I began studying Japanese in high school, and lately, I’ve been refreshing my memory of the language. I’m also learning Spanish and Korean. It’s difficult, but learning other languages has been mentally rejuvenating, and I’m also able to understand more about their cultures. I love being able to read, listen, and speak in another language, especially when the time comes for me to visit these countries, I’ll be able to feel like a part of their community more. Learning a new language takes lots of practice, studying, and patience, but the challenges that come with it are worth it as you get to expand your friendships, your skills, and your vision of the world around you.
EXPAND KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS
School assignments kept me busy throughout the semester. In addition to schoolwork, I’ve been trying to re-educate myself on general school subjects, such as Math, English, and History. I’ve been a bookworm far before entering the design industry, and I miss the bookworm lifestyle. If school isn’t your cup of tea, there are many other learning avenues. On YouTube, for example, you can learn how to build a house, fix your sink, or even create a movie. When you learn, you’re discovering other possibilities for completing tasks, and you may even create your own way of getting things done. Learning doesn’t have to bore you, and you should never stop. Sometimes what you discover may not be in a textbook or even follow certain rules, and that’s completely okay.
These activities have helped me a lot these past couple of months and I’m glad to have had the time to experience each one steadily and comfortably.
We often forget that our lives are constantly on the move and that we overlook the simple things we take for granted. Sometimes we also prefer doing more than one activity at a time so that either one can lose the full value they can provide.
The next time you tackle a task, do your best to not rush it. Give it your undivided attention. You’ll never know what you can discover about it or about yourself.