Life in Quarantine: What Has Helped Me
As some places are opening (hooray!) and some places remain closed, we are still finding ourselves wanting to get something out of this season. Many people are taking time off work and relaxing while others are still struggled to find some kind of peace in the midst of all this craziness. Whichever boat we are in, we are just trying to keep it afloat. Throughout this whole quarantine, I personally kept working as I am an essential employee. And trust me, I have been searching for new kinds of peace and satisfaction. In this blog post, I will be talking about some things that have been in my boat keeping me afloat, and I hope that you find them useful and place them in your boat as well.
The first thing that I did was try a new art medium. If you know me, you know that watercolor is my all-time favorite. I love the way the water moves the paint, basically doing the work for you. I love watching the colors melt into each other. I love putting my own spin on it and adding hand lettering on top of a painting. But I wanted to try something new, something fresh, something that I thought I wouldn't necessarily be into. That something was acrylic painting. I bought some cheap supplies at Michaels (because remember, you don't need the most expensive products to produce good art), looked up some inspiration, and started painting. Needless to say, at first I was skeptical. I was not a fan of how much paint you actually needed to use, or how little water you needed. It's a completely different medium than watercolor for me. My first painting was rough, but not too shabby (mountain painting below). After I experimented with the medium a little more, I tried to do a more complex painting where I actually loved the outcome (cloud painting below). If you are searching for something to do or a way to get those creative ideas out, try a new medium! This is the perfect time to do so, and I promise, you wont be disappointed. And if you end up not liking that medium, try a different one! It's that simple.
The second thing I did was listen to a new genre of music. I have a very specific music taste and I rarely like to go beyond it. But with doing an internship, two 6-week summer classes (at the the same time), and working my normal job, I needed something different to get me by. I am the type of person that cannot listen to music with lyrics while I am working. I too easily get distracted and end up not concentrating at all. Coincidently, one of my summer classes was a music appreciation class; and because of that class, I fell in love with classical and opera music. I love the energy the music brings, the vocalists, the emotions, everything! And because the operas were in Italian or German, I did not have to concentrate on the vocals and pay attention to lyrics. I encourage you to try a new genre of music, or even a new artist. Go beyond your comfort zone and regular music taste. You can even start listening to online books or podcasts just to change it up a bit. You will be surprised what you start to like. Below are some classical artists that I have been loving and I encourage you to check them out!
Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet, Overture-Fantasy
- Violin Concerto: Finale
- Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique"
Mozart - Symphony No. 25 in G Minor
- Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major
Puccini - "Madame Butterfly"
Lastly, something that me and probably a lot of other people have been doing is getting outside. The weather in Cleveland has been very beautiful lately and we should be taking full advantage of that! Something that has really helped me has been going on walks, longer hikes, and even kayaking. Being outside can be so peaceful and rejuvenating. It makes you look at the little details in nature and calm you. It helps you forget about everything that is going on and helps you to be still. If you're struggling to find comfort during this time, try getting outside. You don't have to go on some extravagent 10 mile hike (unless you really want to). Go for a walk around the block with your dog, go to a park for a picnic, take a walk on the beach, sit in your backyard and watch the sunset! Bring family and friends along to experience it with you.
I hope that you find comfort in the activities, people, and outings that you participate in. This season will not last forever, but as we are all experiencing it around the world, we might as well get something out of it. I encourage you to try something new today, this week, or in the next coming month. It could open up a whole new perspective for you!