It’s been one year since the pandemic began and lockdown became a part of our lives….time enough to ask the question ‘Does lockdown stifle or encourage creativity’?
Birthday flowers given to me by a neighbour – perfect for my daily warm up exercise to get the creative juices flowing.
I believe the answer to this question ultimately lies in the attitude we bring to each day. This applies whether in lockdown or not.
Most importantly do we have a routine that works for us? Pre lockdown many might have had routines imposed upon them. Certain trains to catch, times to be at the office/school etc…but without those imposed routines, life is quite different.
A year ago, at the beginning of the first lockdown, I was very aware that many people were in what I call the ‘New Years resolution’ mode. Excitement reigned as people ordered all sorts of art supplies, knitting, and sewing kits, and of course cook books galore and indeed it seemed that many got stuck in.
We had beautiful weather during the first and second lockdowns…which allowed people to be creative with their gardens, balconies and windowsills. Generally speaking spirits seemed high as creativity blossomed throughout our communities. The little rainbows that began to appear in neighbourhood windows were uplifting…..and I am sure fun for the children to make, plus it helped them to feel that they were part of the bigger picture, and consequently making a difference.
Having posted tutorials on my blog for many years, I was delighted to see thousands of others doing the same, catering to all sorts of creative endeavours. Then there were the millions of people jumping on board the ZOOM experience, all of which seemed to be a great idea.
It gave me hope that through this pandemic experience – lives could be changed in many positive and lasting ways.
Working from home meant that families were able to spend more quality time together. Without long commutes people appeared to have more energy and zest. We were able to take time to hear the birds…..
I could see by mid summer that people were getting restless….I didn’t hear so many people talking about their new hobby or what they had just learned through an on-line seminar…I started to hear people say how bored they were and that all they wanted to do was get back to ‘normal’………….
TO ZOOM OR NOT TO ZOOM….
Even those who had taken on Zoom with great gusto….were beginning to say how tired they were of their screens and communicating with groups of people in little boxes. And then I began to hear people say – that they had so many ZOOM appointments that they didn’t have time for themselves or to pursue the hobby that they had begun to enjoy! Fragmentation was taking hold which is a big enemy of creativity.
In other words the wonderful new lessons we were starting to learn at the beginning of lockdown were being lost.
Summing up…I believe that lockdown has encouraged creativity for many people…..
However, as was the case pre-pandemic – we need to bring consistency, structure and most importantly routine into our lives so that we may benefit fully from this time. The attitude we bring to each day is vitally important.
Enjoying a creative endeavour during this period will not only bring a sense of fulfilment and tangible evidence of who we are, but will also be highly beneficial for physical and mental wellbeing.