At CT we, like many of you, have been spending our days in quarantine – still executing projects for our clients (gratefully!) while resisting the urge to throw the covers over our heads and wake up when COVID is over. But for as challenging and unpredictable as this season of our lives has become, we’re also experiencing an unprecedented bounty of wonderful things: neighbours finding ways to connect from a distance for the very first time, groups of volunteers banding together to support the elderly and immunocompromised, artists broadcasting their talents for free, and craftsmen/women sharing skills and ideas to help pass the time.
Yes, a new era of creativity is emerging: one that’s beckoned all of us to shake up our old routines to design a new normal. COVID, though not to be glorified, has provided all of us with the unscheduled time and space to ask ourselves, “What’s important to me? What are my aspirations for the brighter days ahead? How do I stay motivated and inspired until then?”. And while our team is still grappling with some of the answers, here are a few things that we recommend to remain creative and on track during this global pandemic.
01. Create a Schedule
Even if it’s just for a portion of the day (let’s say 9am to 5pm), creating a schedule can help ‘normalize’ an otherwise highly unusual routine. Factor in a wake-up time, meals and snacks, solo walks around the neighbourhood or exercise, and even time to scroll Instagram if that’s what sparks a little joy. No matter what your schedule looks like, just do your best to stick to it.
02. Start (or Join) a Creativity Challenge
Similar to a 30-day fitness challenge (also a recommendation), a great way to stay motivated and inspired during quarantine is to start or join a creativity challenge. Whether its a broad, organized challenge backed by a larger community or a focussed and fluid one upheld by a badass team of one, setting time aside to push the boundaries of your creativity only promises to nurture it more.
03. Seek an Accountability Partner
It can be difficult to stay motivated to do anything when every single day slips into the next with what feels like little distinction. Whether it’s for sticking to the schedule you create for yourself, for upholding your creativity challenge, or for meeting any other goals you’ve set for yourself while in quarantine, finding someone to help keep you accountable has dual benefits: a) intentions become actions, b) you have an automatic ‘excuse’ for virtual social time with someone you love and trust.
04. Adopt an 80/20 Approach to News Intake
Call us crazy, but there are few things more uninspiring than rampantly reading headlines that breed apocalyptic type terror. Yes, it’s important to stay informed. No, it’s not beneficial for your mental health and wellness to only absorb bad news. As such, consider adopting an 80/20 model to your news consumption: spend 80% of the time you usually spend reading/watching the news on positive outlets such as Upworthy, Good.Is, and Soul Pancake, and only 20% of your time on…well…the other guys.
It’s also worth noting that if all you can do is muster the energy to watch a 22nd consecutive episode of The Office, or eat your way through the snack cupboard, or merely exist – that’s okay too. The important thing, we’re finding, is to strive for balance and to keep a cup half-full vs. cup half-empty perspective as much as possible. Sometimes this comes easily and sometimes it requires a little creativity, but it’s always a worthy cause when navigating difficult times.
From our family to yours: we hope you’re all staying safe, happy, and healthy. Here’s to better days ahead!