By Zoe Mathers – Published on March 23rd

During this nerve-wracking time of the coronavirus and self-isolation, it is essential to remain busy by following these 5 ways to stay creative during quarantine in an attempt to stay sane. Whether you are already an active creative or just find yourself with an alarming amount of time and a desire to try something new, these tips are relevant to you.

1.  Implement Creativity into Your Daily Routine

While some of us find ourselves with more time on our hands than usual, it is important to incorporate creativity into your daily routine and devote small portions of your day to it. Whether you start your day with 15 minutes focused on being creative or end your day with it, carving out time for your creative pursuits is the key to staying creative during this stressful time. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual to work on a painting or to write a poem before you look at all the news updates on your phone. Use that time to de-stress and relax before facing the rest of the world. I recommend starting your day with creativity versus ending your day with it because it will boost your mood and implement a positive mindset. It will also increase your productivity in other endeavors throughout the day.

2.  Mix Up Your Creative Projects

Since we have more time, there is no excuse to not explore different, unknown creative mediums. If you are a writer, step out of your realm and research some recipes to bake. If you are a photographer, pick up a pencil and a piece of paper. If you do not feel like switching up your mediums, even though I highly encourage it, start a new project in your preferred medium other than the one you are working on. Allotting time to multiple projects or diving into a new medium will keep your creativity from growing stale which is necessary during quarantine.

3.  Keep a Journal

Even if you do not enjoy the art of writing, keeping a journal to document this crazy time can be an excellent way to release any anxiety. It also will be interesting to look back on these journal entries when the chaos settles and see how you felt, reacted, and what your thoughts were. It does not have to be a 10-page entry, just a snippet of your day catalogued somewhere safe. It doesn’t even have to be every day either! Write when you feel like it, or when the anxiety feels like it is crushing you. Journaling is proven to help manage anxiety, recognize triggers for fear, offer a space of positive encouragement, and allow productive interaction with yourself. While you can store your entries digitally, I recommend sticking to the traditional paper and pen way. There is something incredibly therapeutic about sitting down with a cup of hot tea and a little notebook, jotting down your thoughts as the sun rises that cannot be replaced by your computer screen.

4.  Go Outside or Explore Alternatives

Self-isolation is essential right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Now more than ever, it is crucial to make sure you are still getting your daily dose of fresh air and sunshine otherwise you’re prone to feeling more unmotivated and anxious. Going outside and taking a walk around the block is also a great way to get your creative juices flowing. It will clear your mind and allow space for brand new ideas for creative projects to reside. Explore a new hiking trail, start going on runs, or swap your couch for the grass and read outside. It will lift your spirits up and inspire your creativity. However, there are some places where it is against the law to venture past your front steps. If that is the case for you, relaxing on your deck, opening up the windows in your home or sitting on your front steps can be your daily doses of fresh air. No matter the situation you are living in, do what is within your means to stay connected to nature. 

5.  Don’t Forget to Consume Art

Creating art is important at this time, but to create art, you must consume it constantly. If you are always painting your own paintings, taking your own photos, or filming your own videos yet never exploring other creators and their projects, your creative well will become depleted before you can get too far into this quarantine. A helpful trick I follow is every time I create something, such as an article or short story, I return the favour to my creativity. I will read a book, watch a movie, or scroll through one of my favourite photography accounts on social media. This ensures I do not hit a creative block and fall into a slump that includes no creation or consumption of art.

Being creative during this time is strange. Suddenly, you are graced with time to dive into creative endeavors, yet the stress surrounding this pandemic is suffocating. It can be hard to push yourself to be creative. If you find yourself struggling to do so, remember that being creative is an excellent source for your pent-up energy. It is better than wasting away the days by staring out the window, lost in a muddle of your own anxiety and concerns. Follow these steps and stay creative, and don’t forget to share your creativity with others!