During these past few months, it has seemed more difficult than ever before to find something truly exciting to do, something different or stimulating to the mind. In the recent weeks, many of us have been faced with three choices: classes fully online and staying home, hybrid classes on campus, or the impending fear while being on campus that it is soon going to close as many other universities and colleges have. That being said, it will be quite the pain to be stuck in a predicament of not knowing what to do yet again at home. I have devised a list of activities, crafts, etc. that will prevent you from going through the same issue in the event that boredom strikes. There are many different ways to express your creativity, which is one of the number one way to stimulate your mind, relax, and enjoy your time. Personally, some of my methods of choice for relaxation include painting, reading, and watching a good movie. However, these are recommendations for other people, not just me.
One of the first ways that you can definitely spend your time relaxing includes any type of artwork. Creating some type of art that reflects your feelings and your thoughts or your creativity of the day can be a wonderful mood booster and exciting task to look forward to and your day. If you aren’t sure what type of artwork to make, try some of these examples. Right now, most of, if not all, your local art stores currently sell a paint by numbers kit. If those stores do not sell it, you can find one online. Paint by numbers kit, while they often take a significant amount of time, are quite relaxing and end up truly showing how talented you can be with a little instruction, and a lot of creativity and motivation. The next type of artwork you can do is freelance drawing. A popular style of freelance drawing includes abstract face art, in which you would take a black sharpie, marker, or pen and draw numerous different faces with single loops and small bumps as noses and lips or eyes, on one continuous line that does not stop until the entire page has been covered with different drawings. It is also possible to draw one singular face in the center with just surrounding lines. Similarly, there are other forms of freelance drawing, where you can draw whatever vision is in front of you, whether it be sunset through a dorm room window, your pet sitting on your bed next to you, a scene from a movie that you are currently watching, or even a drawing that would represent how you feel in that moment. Once you are done drawing, you can color the designs in with paint or markers and can format them to be professional with frames or as fun, little desk decor.
Another fun format is painting. I find that painting is one of the deepest expressions of the mind and soul a person can do. There are different types of painting, from minimalist and abstract, to detailed and beautiful portraits of landscapes and other wonderful visions. One form, minimalist, is so easy, yet so fun. there are so many ways to do minimalist paintings, with supplies you can find anywhere. The first step to making a minimalist painting is to buy yourself a canvas, you can buy five canvases for five dollars at any dollar store or you can find some for even cheaper or a bit more expensive but even the least fancy canvases will do just fine. One minimalist painting that I love to do is to take the cap off of a Gatorade bottle, or something equivalent in size and place it on your canvas and trace three circles of it in a straight line down. Paint those circles in three variants of the same color, one lighter, one darker, and one neutral. Another form of painting would be to draw color block-boxes. Take a note card and put it in the top left and bottom right corner but pull the bottom right one off so it is just the tiniest amount shorter, then fold the note card in half and put it just above the bottom left corner and draw a square with it. Once you have finished tracing these three shapes paint them with the same types of colors. Another simple way would be to use a ruler and draw three interlocking squares, but do not fill them in, only paint their lines. You could use watercolor paints by painting four layers. First, the brightest layer will be the tallest. Once it dries, paint the second darkest layer a bit shorter over it. The third layer will be even shorter over the second, and finally the fourth will be the smallest. These are just a few tips for creating paintings and drawings.
You can also take up the mediums of carving, bracelet making, macramé, crocheting, sewing or knitting, and clay. I only listed painting and drawing as those are two crafts that require very minimal materials; however, it is extremely easy to make clay, and most college girls know someone that has the tools to do bracelet making, and if not, it is easy to obtain many supplies to do other crafts. Another craft I have recently been taking up has been creating your own form of art, for example, painting any old or clean vinyl that has no music, or taking a piece of glass and drawing on it as if it were a song playing on any music app and taping the album cover to the center. Another one would be making a tapestry with the rope and a wooden circle that can be purchased at a craft store or online. Knot each rope on the wooden circle and add some pom-pom or color balls to it for a beautiful decoration. The last tip I can give includes other extracurricular activities that are easy to do at home. I suggest reading, and there are plenty of good books out there right now to read. My favorite current books include “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, “All Adults Here” by Emma Straub, and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson. I have an entire list of hundreds of books that I have been dying to read Based on my preferred genre of literature, So it is quite easy for you as well to find good books to read.
Another good recommendation would be to create a list for yourself of famous movies or new movies you have always wanted to watch and watch them. My current goal is to watch one movie a day until I finish my list. You can try listening to a new genre of music or audiobook or podcast as well, or even try meditating for 10 minutes a day every day either in the morning or at the end of your day. My recent hobby has been redesigning my room and house. Since I am at home this semester, and my parents have been working each day, we have all been doing our part during our free time to pick up one important home-improvement task we have always wanted to. For example, I moved an exercise bike into my room to start exercising, moved a new desk in, created a list of books and movies that I was interested in, started drifting new clothing online through websites like Poshmark and Mercari, redecorated my room with new paintings and wall decor, bought new bedding and pillows and carpets or rugs and bins. redecorating your room is a hobby that can make you feel better, keep you busy and stimulated, and most importantly, will not cost you a fortune. I purchased five bins for five dollars from five below and use them on my desk. I purchased new throw pillows for two dollars each, to throw blankets at one dollar each, multiple large storage bins for my textbooks, a carpet, numerous wall-hanging pieces, and most importantly, new paints and paintbrushes. In total, the redesigning of my room cost under $100 for such small things that have made a huge impact. If you have the funds available to do so, you can buy more, perhaps new bedding or chair covers or new loveseats, etc. The point is, during these uncertain times, the little things like completing a puzzle or starting a new show or what you need to keep yourself planted and happiness and self-growth. Use these tips to prevent yourself from getting bored and to become more productive. One of the most important parts of keeping yourself busy is exercise. If you spend just 10 minutes a day doing something active, you will be productive and healthy each day. Instead of spending your time in bed or re-watching your favorite show for the 10th time, when you have some free time from studying, try some of these activities, I promise they will not disappoint!