Does Boredom Breed Creativity?
Natalie Tongue investigates how to make the most of self-isolation through varying cultural pursuits, from meditation to a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel
By no means is a worldwide pandemic a productivity contest, however, it is important to keep the cogs that fuel our brains turning. With that in mind, I have compiled a few ways in which you can make the most of your time in lockdown when you need to fight that boredom.
This is undoubtedly a turbulent time, which can be detrimental to mental health. Meditation has been proven to have a positive impact on mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Sit in your garden, on your floor or bed, or anywhere you feel comfortable and undisturbed, and meditate. Feel connected to yourself. There are many online videos offering instructions, and many apps. Mindshine is offering their app services for free while the pandemic is ongoing. Why not give it a try?
“Sit in your garden, on your floor or bed, or anywhere you feel comfortable and undisturbed, and meditate”
Do you miss being able to step into cultural hubs such as museums and soak up the beauty of a previous age? Or are you simply fed up of staring at the same four walls? Why not embark upon virtual museum tours and explore new surroundings and new history? In connection with Google Arts & Culture, many world-class museums and galleries are currently offering virtual tours: the British Museum (London), Guggenheim Museum (New York), Musée d’Orsay (Paris), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul), Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), Uffizi Gallery (Florence), MASP (São Paulo) and the National Museum of Anthropology (Mexico City). These can all be found on the Google Arts & Culture website or app. However, the array is not limited to this selection, with the Musei Vaticani also offering a virtual tour of the world-renowned Sistine Chapel.
Try something creative – have you ever thought about painting or sketching? There’s no time like the present. If you want to improve or try a new style, there are lots of free tutorials out there. The website Artists Network offers a range of tips and tutorials on various different mediums. Many artists are offering video tutorials over Instagram as well, such as @rebecca_vincent_tattoo whose weekly drawing sessions have so far covered flowers, shells and flower-heart wreaths.
“In connection with Google Arts & Culture, many world-class museums and galleries are currently offering virtual tours”
Write something! Enter a writing competition, such as the Cambridge Prize for Short Stories. There are dozens available to choose from and many free to enter (a quick internet search should help you find them). Start a blog. Submit an article to that journalist you really love.
Learn a language – I know, I know this is the thing that everyone suggests when there’s not much to do. But seriously, you should give it a shot! There are so many websites, apps and podcasts out there to help you along. Radiolingua.com offers free podcasts titled ‘Coffee Break Swedish’, for example, in a range of languages that guide you through the learning. These can be found on Spotify.
Culture, education and the arts don’t disappear with the closing of public spheres. There is a lot to soak up from the comforts from your home.