God has created us to be creators therefore we are creative by nature. We reproduce, we plant and make food, build houses, create lifestyles. We create jobs or work at jobs that others have created. You should be getting the picture. None of us can claim that we “are not creative”. It is in our DNA. Being human is all about being creative.
Unfortunately, our lives had become so busy that we all aren’t that creative anymore. Some of us had become so busy and distracted with either accumulating wealth or just surviving that we let others create on our part and we are/have to be pleased with ‘buying’ other people’s creativity. We do that by shopping for bread instead of baking it ourselves, buying clothes, furniture, home decorations etc. You get my drift. Of course it is impossible to make and build everything ourselves. It is also unnecessary, because if we don’t buy other people’s creations, neither they or we will accumulate wealth/survive.
The point is that we modern people had become so busy that most of us don’t create anything at all anymore. We don’t even fix things anymore in our consumer culture. We just replace by buying new stuff. We don’t all have to build our own houses, bake our own bread, brew our own coffee, build our own furniture, make our own clothes… but SOMETIMES we can and we must make or build our own things – because IT IS GOOD FOR US!
Why Creativity is Good for Us
When we are creative it makes us healthier by building our immune systems and our confidence, it lowers our blood pressure, it balances our mental state, it makes us happier, it makes us resourceful and then guess what? It makes us even more creative. You can read more on your own time about the advances of creativity from people who knows more than I do here:
So, Now What?
For now my job is to help you to use the next weeks where you will definitely not be too busy because you can’t go anywhere, to be at least a bit creative every day. And who knows, maybe you enjoy it so much that you make time in your busy schedule to keep doing it when life returns back to ‘normal’ once again. So here goes.
First Things First
- Thank your Creator for another healthy day and pray for the people who have to work to keep us healthy and safe. If you have friends working, send them a short thank you message.
- Pray and do Bible study. And think about your life. Now is a good time for introspection. (You can also read this blog entry: https://fieliesdekock.com/2014/03/17/article-on-writing-thinking-about-life/
- It is important to keep a bit of routine to maintain a good mental state. So, open the curtains and windows to make sure your living quarters have enough air for all the people cooped up in the small space together.
- Make your bed immediately when you wake up. This will give you your first sense of accomplishment and gives you a mental kick. (My poor family even need to make their own beds in a hotel – even though the hotel staff does it again!)
- Make sure everyone in the household has chores. This will not only make living together easier, but it will give everyone responsibilities which will help in making everyone feel useful. Remember, everyone can contribute, even if it is in the smallest way!
- Don’t try to do everything you decide to do at once. Choose one or two activities a day. Make a manageable list if you want to. Remember that this free time is given to you. Don’t see it as a punishment. It is a gift. We have never been handed time on a plate like this. Let’s make the best of it and enjoy it!
- Stay up to date on what you need to ensure the safety of your family, but don’t overload yourself with too much information, because it will have a negative influence on your mental state.
- Make time every morning to sit together for coffee and a talk. Check everyone’s health and mental state and take action if needed.
- Play the radio or music in the house, so that there is a lively feeling in the house.
Ideas for the Rest of your Day
- Write something
- You won’t be able to write that book you are dreaming of in three weeks, but whether it is a memoir or a novel, spend half an hour every day doing research on how to go about the process and write the outline.
- You can also follow my Instagram account @thewritingclub.dieskryfklub and do a writing prompt every day for the duration of the lockdown.
- If you are a writer consider a specific writing schedule for the duration of staying home, such as writing a short story a week, a chapter a week, a 100-wod story per day, a poem a day etc.
- If you have a hobby or have something that you are good at, consider starting a blog.
- Teach your children to write a story. I will post a blog entry to help you with this shortly.
- Start journaling. Read my blog entry about journaling here: https://fieliesdekock.com/2014/03/17/article-on-writing-journal-writing/
- Playing games with the family
- If you live in a house play games in the garden. Teach your children games you have played on the school playgrounds when you were young.
- Play board and card games in the house.
- Remember to also play make-belief games with your little ones!
- Watch movies. Make sure to take turns to watch a favourite from each family member – big and small.
- Work in the garden together.
- Catch up with family and old friends on WhatsApp, Skype etc., but don’t just forward messages, pictures and videos. Write nice conversational news messages from your family or make fun videos where all family members get a turn to talk or give a message.
- Spend some time on neglected hobbies or start a new one. Maybe examine the possibility of making money from your talent. Watch ‘how to’ videos on your interest and learn how to become better at what you love to do.
- Read! And get your family to read. And read stories to your little ones! Read my blog entry here: https://fieliesdekock.com/2013/08/27/teach-your-child-to-read/
- Finish unfinished projects and things that broke and is mendable. Make it an opportunity to teach your child/ren to fix things.
- Get exercise.
Even if you live in the smallest of flats, you have to get some exercise. Search the Internet for exercise ideas in small spaces. Rolene Strauss, former Miss SA, promised on the radio this morning that she will post exercise videos for the duration of the lockdown period. Follow her on https://www.facebook.com/OfficialRoleneStrauss/
- If you have one tucked away somewhere, dust off and switch on that forgotten treadmill!
- Learn a new skill
- Get out a cookbook from your shelve and learn to cook or bake something. Start sommer with a lekke bread or beskuit. If you don’t have cookbooks, Google a recipe.
- Watch YouTube videos to learn something new.
- Or use a good language app to finally start learning a new language. We use Duolingo. (https://www.duolingo.com/) You can download the app on your phone.
- Since we live in the Southern Hemisphere, do some Autumn cleaning. 😊
- Clean those neglected places you know about but never get to cleaning.
- Sort out your pantry and fridge and freezer if you haven’t done it before stocking up.
- Sort out not-used clothing and keep it in bags to take to charity shops after the lockdown.
- Clean out, sort out and declutter cupboards, drawers and all other spaces one at a time.
- Sort out your photos and back it up on a hard drive if you can too. Use an app or software and make movie clips for family viewing during the lockdown.
- Spice normal things up!
- Make mealtimes fun! If you live in a house, set a table outside or on the stoep. You can also let the children ‘play’ restaurant-restaurant and have them serve the dishes. In between meals they can sell you coffee (or something stronger if you are in stock).
- If you live in a flat or when it rains, a table in the sitting room will do too. Just a change of scenery is sometimes needed to lift the spirits.
- Think outside the box to change the way you do things to spice it up a bit.
A lot of what we are going to do during the next few weeks, we will do while sitting or lying down. Apart from making sure you get enough exercise, also make sure that you don’t sit too much! Sitting for long periods of time can cause other problems that you really don’t need right now. As I’m saying this, I’m going to stop writing now, because I was following my own advice and wrote this whole article standing up behind the bar counter, a la Ernest Hemmingway, and I need to sit down now!
Stay healthy! Stay safe!
© 2020 Fielies De Kock
Awesomest wife. Finest mom. Hopefullest writer. Foreverest dreamer. Living in a coastal village in the Overberg, South Africa, with a husband and two dogs in a small heritage house, and an adult, recently-graduated, job-seeking son in the garden cottage. His CV is available on request. 🙂🙂🙂