Life can sometimes get really busy as we rush around from one task to another. Some of us need to juggle classes, work, cleaning the house, taking care of others, and more. With all this time focusing on what we need to do, it’s easy to forget about the things we want to do. No, I’m not talking about those times that you want to go shopping, or you want to watch a movie, or you want to take a nap. I’m talking about exploring your creative side and discovering your passions!
I will admit, I tend to bounce between a lot of different things which sometimes leads to some unfinished tasks. These are mostly the ones that I want to do for myself such as trying a new recipe, redecorating my room, or trying out a new hobby. However, during the lockdown period, I found myself at home with plenty of time on my hands. So, I started exploring some of the fun and creative things that were on my list. This is how the lockdown helped me to rediscover my creative passions.
Cooking and Baking
Cooking and baking have always been my passions because I just love the process. From figuring out the recipe to shopping for the ingredients and then making it all come together. Every step is a fun one for me. During the Movement Control Order (MCO), I took the time to rediscover my love for the kitchen. This included cooking and baking my favourite food as well as trying out new recipes. I also got to improve my knife skills!
Western dishes such as pasta has always been my go to because of how easy it is. One pot for boiling the noodles and another to bring the sauce together. Moreover, there is a huge variety of sauces to choose from such as tomato based ones, olive oil based ones, and cream based ones. My other favourite is pizza! I had a pizza stone that I finally took out of its dusty box to try. Despite the unfortunate mishap with the shape, the crust was definitely crispier!
However, during this time I decided to explore more Asian recipes that always kind of intimidated me. For example, I always saw sushi as a delicate dish that requires lots of skills and the best ingredients. Nonetheless, I gave it my best try and was pleasantly surprised! I also cooked Japanese curry, kimchi pancakes, and more.
Meanwhile, with baking I revisited my favourite brownie recipe which had been at the back of my mind for a while. A good slice of warm brownies and some vanilla ice cream always hits the spot! Other than that, I tried my hand at Japanese milk bread, chocolate cake, and also honey butter biscuits. While some of my efforts were a flop, it was all about going through the process and experimenting.
Many of us might have grown up playing a musical instrument. For me, it was the piano. Unfortunately as I grew older, I found myself with less time to play. After all, it takes time to learn a new song and practice to be good.
While we were all stuck at home, I revisited some familiar songs on the piano and found myself playing them almost from muscle memory. This inspired me to find some news songs to challenge myself with. Music in general is a really lovely way for us to explore our creative sides.
Embroidery and Painting
Moving on, I also tried out embroidery. Some of us might think of it as something that grandmothers do in their big comfy chairs while sipping on some tea. However, the truth is that it’s actually a fun and cute way to put little bits of your personality on something. For example, I embroidered this bright sunflower on to a tote bag of mine which instantly brightened it up and gave it some personality.
Embroidery is still a challenge for me. My lines are still a little crooked and the spaces are sometimes uneven. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that while I can improve with practice, it’s still all about the process and having fun with it.
Using colours is also a great way of expressing ourselves! While I do enjoy unleashing my creative side, there are times I struggle to create what I see in my mind. That’s why during the MCO, I put on Bob Ross and his famous painting tutorials to follow along. It does take some prep work as you will need the canvas, oil paints, brushes, paint thinner, and some other tools. However, it was really fun to paint and see how the process can bring a scene to life. I did try out a few different paintings but the one in the picture above is my favourite!
If you’re also interested in trying out a Bob Ross tutorial, make sure to set aside at least an hour or two because it can take quite some time. Also, find a well ventilated area as the smell from the paints and paint thinner have a strong smell. I found myself with a headache after a while due to the fumes I was inhaling.
Was it a worldwide experience?
It seemed that during the early stages of the lockdown, people around the world were getting creative. After all, spending all day looking at the same four walls can be tiring on the mind. Baking ingredients were running out of stock in grocery stores as everyone started baking their own breads and more.
Are you wondering why people around the world started unleashing their creativity and passions? Hobbies in general can help to foster social connections. At a time when everyone had to stay home and social distance, we could all bond and connect with each other over shared experiences on social media.
Moreover, hobbies can make time flow better. Have you ever gotten so absorbed in an activity that you didn’t feel time fly by? That’s exactly why hobbies such as baking and painting can help you move through your day quicker.
Lastly, hobbies can help you cope with stress. There is no doubt that some of us were facing new challenges from being home all day. Whether it was the difficulty of working from home, or the stress of having to coop up with your siblings all day, escaping to something creative was a good fix to our emotions.
Therefore, while MCO is over and we can go out once more (so long as you do it safely!) it is still good to make time for our hobbies and passions. In fact, they should actually be a priority! There are so many benefits to have an outlet for our creativity and passions.