Isolation: Active Mind
Keeping our minds active is crucial to keeping our minds healthy. Although keeping our minds active and twitched on can be difficult when you’re not getting near as much stimulation as you normally would. As a result, staying motivated and focused can be amplified in difficulty - Especially when you throw stress, anxiety and grief into the mix.
We have to to be kind to ourselves and remember that its okay not to be as mentally active as maybe we normally would be and not put too much pressure on ourselves. On the other hand, as well as being kind to ourselves, it's important to not become overly idle. The more we allow our brains to switch off, the more we get wrapped up in our surroundings and become to get frustrated which can enhance the feeling of being trapped.
Remember, keeping an active mind, in turn, can help you keep an active body and vice versa, we are endless streams of energy. So, here are 7 ways to keep your mind active and stop it from turning into mush during isolation.
Meditation can be a bit of a struggle to get into and many people think it may not be for them when they first give it a go, but meditation can be for everyone, and its a great way of staying calm and staying in the moment. Its way too easy to dwell about all the things we’ve missed out on already this year and trigger our anxiety about what the world could potentially be in a few months time. Meditation is a method to keep you grounded and present.
Indulging yourself in a new book or feeling nostalgic over an old book is a fantastic form of escapism. However large texts can be overwhelming and you might find yourself lacking in motivation, or your mind might start wondering every time you sit down to read. If this is ringing bells with you I recommend taking some of the pressure off of yourself and picking up a comic, magazine, graphic novel, or scrolling through your favourite blogs and articles. These require a lot less concentration but at the same time are a great distraction, and still keep your mind active. Plus it's a much less passive way of entertaining yourself than watching hours of reality TV (which is also fine, sometimes).
3. Get Growing
Although many of us may not be as green-thumbed as we’d like, or maybe we’re never tried to grow anything other than a baby in our tummy. Despite this though, Now more than ever may be the perfect time to give it a go and start growing. It can be done literally everywhere as long as you have access to water and sunlight. For me, there is something very therapeutic and hopeful about a tiny green shoot sprouting from a bed of soil, and watching the little guy develop into a herb, spice, flower, or plant and can be really encouraging in this uncertain time. Also cooking with your homegrown spices is an incredible feeling.
4. Live Streams
One great thing about worldwide quarantine isolation is everyone is in isolation too. We are all in the same exact boat, everyone, including celebrities, bands, artists, athletes, etc and it has not been uncommon for our favourite celebs to take to social media. The likes of Eryka Badu, Jazzy Jeff, and Naomi Campbell have all done a variety of live streams destined to keep us entertained during isolation. Although their version of isolation is much different from ours it's reassuring to know we’re all in this together.
5. Painting By Numbers
I am a huge fan of colouring books and often have creative splurges where I just want to draw in my sketchbook patterns, designs, creatures, and characters. However during quarantine, like a few other creatives I know, I have experienced a bit of a creative block. There is so much going on in our minds that having to think of something else is just another stress. If you're similar, painting by numbers packs can be a great solution for you, you won’t have to think about which picture you should draw today or what colour you want your painting to be. All the anxiety triggering elements are taken away and at the end of it, you have a beautiful painting that you created - which almost certainly will get your creative juices flowing.
It is rare that we get a large amount of time to just do nothing. Which is both a blessing and a curse. All the things we normally do and used to do for fun may become incredibly boring and mundane due to the repetitive nature of our hobbies and interests. Therefore, this is the perfect time to discover something new, whether it be learning about a new culture or finding a new video or discovering a new blogger. Your mind stays active and alert because its new and exiting and thanks to the internet new discoveries are endless!
7. Catch Up
Catching up on all the little bits that you’ve infinitely been putting off will help cross things off your to-do list and keeps you emotionally on track. This will likely ease your stress and you’ll feel much less guilty for just relaxing when you need to.
Lastly, but potentially the most importantly, in this increasingly wild unprecedented times, it's massively important to keep in contact with people we love and care about, luckily technology has given us the ability to communicate with everyone easily so take advantage and stay up to date. It may even beneficial to catch up with colleagues and people that aren’t necessarily within our circles to increase feelings normality, and gives us a chance to reconnect with people who may surprise us and offer support - anything can happen!