How To Become A Master At Anything In Isolation
Are you working from home during isolation? Find yourself at a loss for what to do in the evening once the laptop is closed and you realise you don’t have a long commute ahead of you?
Millions of us will now suddenly have all this extra time in the evening and don’t really know what to do with ourselves. You may have finally got through everything on your watchlist, made a good dent in those books that were gathering dust by the bedside table, and cleaned the house more than you ever expected. Now, what is there to do?
In times like these, you must never fall into the trap of getting so bored that all you find yourself doing is wasting away hours on the phone. You also don’t want to keep going back to the kitchen to grab the snacks you promised yourself would last all week (something I think we’re all guilty of).
Being idle in isolation can get tedious, so how do you stop it? You become a master of everything! Well, maybe not everything but at least a few things. This is the time to try new hobbies out, make little attempts at those things (hello abandoned New Year’s Resolutions) you say you’ll try but give up on, and maybe even learn a new skill.
Let’s look at how you can master different things at home and come out of it with a new hobby, passion, or at most a party trick. It all starts with the mind.
Master Your Mind
You know those mindfulness apps you keep seeing advertised on YouTube? The ones where you’re consistently hitting the skip button to get to your video. This is the time to stop and see what they’re all about.
I am not a big fan of the term mindfulness but being able to clear your head when your kitchen table has become an office, and you can’t really go outside, is vital to stop yourself from getting cranky.
There are dozens of apps out there that sort of offer the same thing to varying degrees, but I recommend looking for podcasts that will help you learn how to become mindful and meditate. You want something you can hit play on, and then leave your phone in the corner of the room rather than an app which is constantly getting you to interact.
You’d be surprised what listening to a short podcast on breathing for five minutes in a quiet room can do for your mood.
Master Your Finesse
Bruno Mars claims to be dripping in it, but just how dexterous and patient can you be? Isolation is a great time to challenge your mind with tasks that require a delicate touch and concentration. You can start with something as simple as building a house of cards, colouring-in (they have books for adults now!) and cross-stitching.
If you fancy an activity where you can see results, you have to get into models. Get some model planes, cars or ships delivered straight to your door with contactless delivery (ModelSpace have some great deals on just now), and you’ll soon be enjoying working with your hands in a new way than “crushable” mobile games can’t match.
Master Your Balance
Can you touch your toes yet? How’s your crow pose coming along? The gyms are all closed and bar a quick run around the block, you might be getting frustrated that you can’t work out properly.
With limited space and only your living room floor free, now is the ideal time to watch some videos on balancing and get to it.
It may sound like a silly suggestion, but making a game of copying simple yoga poses will quickly help you see that you’re maybe not as agile as you hoped. Plus, being stuck indoors means that if you give some complicated yoga poses a go and fall over, there’s no one around to see you embarrass yourself.
There are hundreds of videos online with simple routines on everything from learning advanced yoga poses to improving your balance in five minutes. Find the right avenue for you and have at it. Just make sure you don’t have pets in the room or else they’ll interpret your posing as playtime.
Master Your Taste Buds
Panic buying. It’s been going on everywhere in the supermarket. If you’re not one of the people who (for some unknown reason) is now living off a diet of nothing but pasta and toilet roll, you might find yourself wondering what to buy in the local supermarket.
This is the time to buy herbs and things that you’ve always wanted to, but never had the time to muck about in the kitchen with. Start playing about tastes you’ve never bothered to try before and see what could soon become a staple in your kitchen.
If you’re one for dining out, use that extra money for buying different things, especially if you go the international aisles. I did and have found out I love kimchi, olives and dates, but still hate horseradish and plums.
As it’s the ideal time to get cooking too, buy some cookware too and learn to perfect one dish. You could end up with a family who can’t stand the twelfth apple pie you’ve baked in a week, but who’s going to argue when you’re having fun in the kitchen and (again) getting to do something with your hands.
Oh, and look-up how to make a starter for sourdough. It is the perfect isolation thing to do as it’s slow and requires patience.
Master Your Connections
Finally, as everyone is stuck in the same boat, there are no excuses to miss on catching up with friends and family. Now is the time to lift the phone or try your luck video calling those people you haven’t heard from in ages.
Even a quick hello to relatives you’ve not heard from in forever, or setting up a virtual pub meetup with friends on a Friday night is a great way to have a good chinwag. You’ll be surprised just how happy some people will be that you’ve said hello.