The year 2020 has been very strange and for many of us. It seems unbelievable that we are already in the last quarter of the year. The whole year feels like it just zoomed past.
With the pandemic, personal loss, and so many other upsetting things happening around, it must have difficult for each one of us. Well, the year has certainly affected everyone in some way or the other.
This post is not about all that though. 10th of October was World Mental Health Day, and it is such a major topic even otherwise but this year especially, it seems so very relevant. Not many are vocal about it, but some around me have shared how this whole situation is affecting their mental health. I too have felt bit sad and hopeless sometimes, especially on reading scary and sad news around the pandemic. I too have struggled at times to keep myself calm and in control. And while the situation seems pretty rough and difficult, there will also be some good that will emerge out of it, if we give it a chance. Now, I don’t want to be preachy but I just thought to quickly share what I’ve been doing to stay motivated, it might help you too. And also to let you know that we are all in this together and that we shall be past this soon. Here’s what I’ve been indulging in.
I have resumed water colour painting. I used to paint many years ago and just like that stopped it when life happened. With the lockdown and plenty of stay-at-home time, I experiment with the colours, various mediums, think of art/design/colour palettes and it has been therapeutic. I got myself busy in doodling, painting, sketching and in fact I also launched my art shop on Redbubble.
I’ve also been recording some of my art videos. Planning, designing the artwork, recording, and editing, the entire process is enjoyable and helps keep up the creative spark. Being creatively busy is definitely helping me stay in a better mood and away from anxieties.
I never was patient enough to commit to gardening. I just never thought I had it in me, what it takes to grow a garden – time or skills or even interest. Plus being a traveler at heart, I didn’t really stay home for longer stretches of time, so obviously I couldn’t ever think of growing a garden (or having a pet. Reasons for not having a pet, is a story for another day.) This year though I’m home (perhaps the longest I’ve ever been) so I decided to plant some seeds and watch a tiny garden grow and thrive. And I must say I’m quite enjoying it.
Being a plant parent is believed to have the same mental effect as yoga or journaling – studies suggest – is what I read today. And I have a agree, tending to the plants, caring for and watering them, watching them grow has had some positive affect. I still don’t know much about plants, and how to take care of them and all that but growing a tiny garden is still for all its worth, I’d say.
A garden also means having some visitors to it. So far, butterflies, moths, leaf cutter bee and some common birds have been visiting my little garden.
Watch a leaf cutter bee at work in my balcony.
LEARNING NEW SKILLS
I’ve always tried to make healthy switches and positive changes in my lifestyle, as much as possible. Now with so much time at hand, I’m learning more and more about it. I also enrolled for a Conservation Course by NatGeo to educate myself about it formally. So many a times I’m busy thinking about creative ways to reuse and up-cycle things and it’s fun to execute the ideas.
I’m also learning a new language, and learning new skills with some online classes and short-term, certification courses.
Though I don’t step out much, except for a morning walk and to the grocery shop sometimes, I try and practice photography at every opportunity. I’m not a photographer but I enjoy clicking, composing. Composing and photographing food, my art works, garden and various subjects indoors, from my balcony and outdoor has kept me creatively busy. Of late, macrophotography caught my fancy. It was amazing to peek into the tiny universe.
Though I’m a foodie, cooking was never my strong skill ever. In fact I barely enjoy cooking as much as I enjoy eating. But experimenting with food and trying out new dishes has definitely felt good. Not to mention I did prepare and eat a lot of really good food during this stay-at-home time. And as of now, I’m back to being that person who enjoys eating good food but not cooking as much (until that changes again someday).
Apart from these, I’m also reading and writing as much as I can. I have also watched and enjoyed some good movies and series on Netflix. And I really want to say is come what may, let self care be of utmost importance to you, because you are loved, you are important and you matter a lot. I hope you stay healthy and take a really good care of yourself and do all that it takes to help yourself stay healthy and peaceful, today and every day, always.