A big, wide open stretch of time to get creative is something we often long for, but lack. And now, in the wake of isolation and social distancing, this unrealistic luxury has somehow become our new reality. With an abundance of time on our hands, people have taken to social media to showcase their creative endeavours whlist at home – unintentionally becoming #StayHome ambassadors. Here’s how some of us are getting creative across the globe.
I’d be amiss to not start in the kitchen. Now that we’re all working from home, this safehaven has become a frequented pit stop as I shuffle between conference rooms (aka my bedroom to my living room and back). While friends have tried everything from new cuisines to technical feats, my morning green juices inspired a new challenge – upcycling. Instead of dumping the pulpy goodness, I ventured into the land of juice pulp crackers…an equally tasty and nutritious snack.
Stepping up our snack-game also means stepping up our workout routines. While you’re lapping up the extra hour or two of sleep, try repurposing your work commute as workout time with popular apps like Keep It Cleaner and SWEAT that are keeping us in shape and indoors. Meanwhile, brick and mortar alternatives are getting creative and pivoting their businesses to online platforms so you can access anything from yoga flows to dance classes from your living room.
If you want to take the dancing a step further…you have TikTok. The popular millennial app has gained huge momentum as roommates and families occupy their time with anything from coordinated dance routines to DIY hacks around the home. You’re guaranteed to get lost in the feed for hours.
When you’re wanting something a little more challenging, there’s a whole world of online courses from coveted universities to tiny craft studios. By taking their education resources online, you can learn about anything from energy healing to economics from the comfort of your couch. For the more musically inclined, Fender are even offering three months of free guitar lessons.
For the singles who can’t mingle, social distancing is no excuse not to meet someone new. With dating apps encouraging “virtual dates”, people are getting inventive. The past month we’ve seen the birth of Quarantindered – a hilarious insight into dating apps during a pandemic, and Quarantined Cutie – a modern day love story courtesy of COVID19. Maybe social distance really does make the heart grow fonder?
Why not dedicate your spare time to the arts? Host a Sip n Paint happy hour via zoom or, if you’re artistically challenged like me, give writing a whirl. I’ve taken up poetry but friends have jumped into long awaited writing projects like novels and screenplays. Unprecedented times has given them no shortage of ideas for the next big blockbuster.
And while small businesses are doing it tough, they’re the ones being most creative. With forced closures, the small business community in my neighbourhood of Williamsburg has most certainly taken a hit. Despite neighbours and friends losing jobs the resilient bunch were proactive with alternative business models. Gyms and pilates studios shifted to online platforms, restaurants started selling dining bonds and care packages, and boutiques are promoting gift registries and gift cards. It’s not only their quick thinking and ability to adapt that I admire so much, but also the outpouring support from the wider community to get behind them. One of my favourite initiatives is R/GA’s Merch Aid. A simple e-comm site that sells exclusive small business merch created by local artists and designers.
And when it all gets a bit much, there’s online meditation apps that help you stay cool, calm and collected. A NY State of Mind is a great partnership between mindfulness app Headspace and New York’s Governor Cuomo. It’s a simple but seriously needed initiative to keep people’s mental health in check throughout such worrying and unpredictable times.
Despite the great devastation going around us, isolation (and maybe extra time?) is one thing our generation will have in common. It’s forced us all to find a new level of creativity and resilience and it’s truly heart-warming to see the unwavering sense of comradery its bringing to communities.
TEDxSydney 2020 will take place on Friday 6 November 2020. Read more