8 WAYS TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY // easy things to do in lockdown

Creative ways to keep busy in lockdown - calligraphy image

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I think it’s fair to say most people have officially hit the lockdown wall.

An entire year on from the initial stay-at-home demand that changed all of our lives, we’re all feeling penned in and fed up. Looking back, we were lucky that the first lockdown fell just as the seasons changed, and we enjoyed a particularly warm Easter. With the back doors thrown open and the birds singing, it just didn’t feel as oppressive as this time round, with its cold, wet days and dark nights.

Lockdown 3.0 has been much more up and down for me – on the positive side I seem to have (crosses fingers, legs and eyes) finally conquered my six-year battle with chronic, crippling insomnia, on the negative side, I’ve noticed my anxiety ever-so-slightly creeping back.

I’m determined not to let it find its way back through the cracks, so I’m using these last few weeks of Covid captivity to concentrate on creative ways to keep busy in lockdown – things that inspire and bring me joy.

CREATIVE WAYS TO KEEP BUSY IN LOCKDOWN

SORT THOSE PICS: if you’re anything like me you have a gazillion photos either trapped in your phone, or piled into a box. With young children and life running at its usual pace it’s rare (impossible) to find the time to go through them all. So one of the very first lockdown tasks I undertook was to sort out my mountain of photos and slot them into photo albums. Not only did if feel great to get it done, I had a lovely wander down memory lane.

LEARN THE LINGO: these days it’s so simple to start learning a foreign language. Rather than attending lessons in a draughty village hall, all you have to do is load a language app on to your phone. The lessons are simple and can be completed in as much time as you have to spare – whether it be an hour, or a few minutes waiting for your kids to come out of school.

TEACH YOURSELF CALLIGRAPHY: this was one of my most fun and creative ways to keep busy in lockdown. I’d always admire beautiful penmanship and a few years ago I took part in a calligraphy workshop that I absolutely adored. Of course, physical classes are currently out of the question, but there are loads of books and online classes that will teach you the art of gorgeous handwriting. Order your calligraphy pen, paper and ink online, search YouTube for a tutorial, and teach yourself from the comfort of your own home.

GET PLANTING: I’ve always considered myself a bit of an undiscovered green thumb – by that I mean, I’ve always thought I could transform our back garden into something gorgeous, given the budget, time and inclination. I haven’t quite gotten all three of those ducks in a row yet, BUT… I have managed to keep my living plant wall alive, which is certainly the first stop towards my gardening dreams, right? The back garden might be still on my to-do list but I have loads of plans, including lots of weeping pear trees and planters full of lavender.

START SCRAPBOOKING: once the domain of American housewives, scrapbooking has become a fun way to creatively document your life. Experiment with pens, coloured paper, ribbons, sequins, glitter; keep ticket stubs, invites and event flyers and incorporate them on the page. Try different styles of lettering, from handwritten to cut-out collages (click here for free fonts) and add drawings, polaroids and photocopies to make each page pop.

FIND & FORAGE: This is something I’ve become slightly obsessed with over the past year. There’s a whole wild food movement dedicated to people who forage for edible plants and use them to make amazing dishes. Search Facebook to find groups that will give you advice and inspiration – everything from which mushrooms are safe to pick, to where to find fields of wild garlic.

BAKING UP A STORM: All this time at home has turned me into the muffin Queen. What started as a way to pass time has turned into something I actually quite enjoy (no one was more surprised than me!). These days you can find me in the kitchen baking blueberry muffins for the 10-year-old’s school lunchbox, and creating delicious dishes from leftover fruit to reduce food waste.

WALK IT OUT: Since we got our sweet sausage dog Frankie, the most enjoyable part of my day has been taking him for a walk. I’ve discovered loads of lovely trails around where we live (and will explore further afield once lockdown has lifted), and find that time really helpful to clear my head for the day ahead. I find the fresh air and change of scenery also inspires creativity too – whether it be an idea for a blog post, or a cute pic for the ‘gram.

So those are my creative ways to keep busy in lockdown – what are your Covid-coping ideas?

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