In this useful post, I write about how to deal with the pandemic by recommending 3 creative things to keep you sane in self-isolation.
We may all need to find some things to do now that we can’t go anywhere.
Whether or not you feel this pandemic is overblown, you will be confronted with the fact that many things you normally do are not available right now.
This is a short list of creative things to keep you sane that you can do for free.
Regardless of what you choose to do, it is important to keep to a schedule. This will give purpose to your day even if you find yourself in quarantine.
3 Creative Things To Keep You Sane In Self-Isolation
1. Learn A Language
This is probably something you want to do.
Most people struggle to find the time to learn a language. But, we seem to have more of that now.
Here are some benefits to learning a language:
a) It makes you smarter.
Learning a new language creates new pathways in your brain. This improves memory and enhances your ability to multitask.
People with the ability to speak or read more than one language develop a secondary consciousness. This is like having two minds.
Your brain is able to split tasks between these areas allowing you to think of more things at once.
In addition to this, it shows you that you don’t actually think in any particular language. Once your brain realises it can think before forming words, you are able to come to conclusions at a must faster pace.
b) It staves off dementia.
You are using parts of your brain that are normally underused and creating new neural pathways. So, even if you do get dementia, it will take much longer to affect you.
Professor Stephen Krashen has suggested that reading, drinking coffee, and learning languages may reduce mental ageing to the point that it will never affect your daily life.
As a more tangible benefit, reading and learning more than one language increases your happiness and level of income. Those two are probably related.
c) It improves your first language and helps you makes friends.
You will find it easy to make new friends if you are learning a new language. Many people who are learning a language gather to practise speaking it weekly in any major city.
Right now that is a problem. However, if you have access to programs like VR Chat or Skype, you can join communities of people who share your language interests.
I have made several long-term friendships this way.
If you are at school or in a university environment, this will help you achieve more. It makes all other academic pursuits easier. If you are at school, doing well in a second language means that you will do well in the rest of your subjects. This is because once you know how to learn a language, you know how to learn anything and how to apply it.
In addition, speaking a major world language is a great career move. Many global companies will ignore lack of experience if a candidate has desirable language skills. French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese are all in demand as many global brands like Sony need people who can act as go-betweens.
A good starting point is Duolingo. It’s free and has apps on iOS and Android. You can also listen to podcasts and watch YouTube channels in your target language.
Anki is a good tool for learning. It is a free spaced repetition flash card program. You should use it to make cards for words and grammar you want to remember.
2. Write A Book
We have all been told that we are to stay inside. What better time is there to write your novel?
Writing fiction is a time that I can focus solely on things that make me happy. I don’t need to think of viruses or politics. I can just relax in a world I have created.
If you set yourself a goal of 1 000 words a day, you will have a complete book in just under three months. This is as long as we can expect this pandemic to last.
Given that so many of us have been cooped up, reading will no doubt be more popular than ever. So, why not take advantage of this? Make this a profitable experience.
Suggested reading: Five Ways to Finish Writing Your Book
Even if you don’t get published, writing a book will make you feel more confident and show you that you can do it!
3. Read Everything
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772- 1834) was the last man to read everything.
Before then, there were only so many books in the world. And, many gentlemen kept libraries that contained them all.
It was considered a sign of a well-bred individual if they had read everything.
Although you and I cannot do this anymore, I suggest that you stop putting off reading those books on your shelf and read them all. If you’re looking for more books, go to my Links page and purchase my publishers, 5-star novel, OF METAL AND MAGIC: COMPENDIUM ONE (also here, Amazon).
You can’t write if you don’t read. People who don’t read often, and particularly people who don’t read fiction, have trouble expressing themselves.
They lack the words. Reading builds a fantastic vocabulary. It also shows you all the best techniques for writing. Reading is the one tool that a writer cannot do without. So why not read more books? It will sharpen your mind, reduce stress, and help you express yourself more clearly in this trying time. More importantly books never coughed on anyone.
I hope these three creative things to keep you sane will help you get through the next few months.