I don’t know about you, but I enjoy working from home. For me, it provides an ideal work-life balance; being able to stick a load of washing on while making my morning coffee instead of facing the daily commute is, in itself, a definite benefit. However, for many who have been working from home for nearly 12 months now, the lines between home space and workspace have become blurred, and feelings of isolation and loneliness have started to creep in.
Like the great Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors in the 1993 classic Groundhog Day, billions of people around the world are living constricted versions of daily life, forced by COVID into a place they do not want to be.
More than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect COVID is having on their life. The most common issues affecting well-being are worry about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%) and feeling bored (49%).
To help break the endless loop, many have used lockdown to tap into their inner creativity, trying things they have perhaps not done before or revisiting activities they haven’t participated in for years.
The Open University saw a 622% spike in registrations for online courses for creative subjects during the first lockdown, and Pinterest had a 130% increase in viewings in the UK of “how to” videos for sewing gifts and a 115% increase for crochet gifts.
For many, creativity has helped reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
The average person has 6,200 thoughts in a single day. Creative pursuits such as colouring in, knitting or even gardening help to focus the mind and have even been compared to meditation due to their calming effects on the brain, releasing dopamine, a natural anti-depressant.
Our own Account Director, Hannah Elliott, decided during lockdown 2.0 to reignite her love of painting to help her relax and switch off – I know we might be biased, but we think her portraits are amazing, and we’re sure @JenniferAniston and @BradleyCooper would think so too.
Although creativity is often seen as a ‘nice to do when you have the luxury of time’ aspect of life, there has probably never been a more propitious moment in living memory, or such an urgent need, to maximise your creativity. So what are you waiting for? Release your inner creative genie this week and enjoy the de-stressing benefits.