by Lara Bingger
“Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.”
– Wikipedia article on Creativity
The situation of self-isolation we are experiencing right now due to the Coronavirus is quite a unique one. A huge amount of people is staying at home at the same time and many of them suddenly have a lot more of free time on their hands than they usually do. This can be quite overwhelming, since we’re not at all used to that in our busy everyday world.
As we are all individuals, everyone has their own way of dealing with this situation. While some people might get bored immediately and start distracting themselves with things like TV, books, music, internet and so on all day, others might use that time for self-development (-> Gecki) and some might start working on their very own creative ideas right from the beginning.
Those last mentioned I consider to be the luckiest in that regard, because they are spared from the uncomfortable journey it takes for the others to finally reach that point.
So, what about these other ones? Whatever it is what they are doing, no matter how good that series might be, they are watching right now, how thrilling that book is they’re reading, how helpful everything is they are discovering about themselves in that time, the interested in each respective topic will eventually fade. And the empty space left behind will soon be filled with boredom and with that, more importantly and pressuring, the feeling of being pointless.
This feeling of being pointless is of course a very uncomfortable thing to experience and even though there are ways of escaping and avoiding it, I consider it important to face it and more so, to write about it here, since I’m certainly not the first person to experience that.
So when I had reached this described state of feeling completely and utterly useless, I at first tried to deny it by forcing myself to do things that might be considered productive from an objective point of view, but I subjectively didn’t feel like it was, which is also why none of these ideas worked out eventually. After I had failed with this method, I simply gave up and tried to accept that it’s just a hopeless situation and I would need to learn how to cope with it. Since this is pretty much impossible to do while doing nothing else but occupying your own thoughts during the majority of the day, things only got worse. As soon as I had realized that (which was quite fast) and had found the needed motivation to do something against it (which wasn’t that fast), I got up and started to search for rational ways to assess this problem I had.
What I found to be the most helpful thing to do then, was to simply write down what I am interested in, what I’m good at, what I would like to learn, what’s fun to me and what is not. Now, all that was left to do, was to find a way to connect these things to an activity that will fulfil my very subjective sense of productivity. For me for example, this is something that eventually serves a longer lasting purpose, ideally not only for myself.
And since everyone has various interests etc. and an alternating sense of what is meaningful to them, there are very different outcomes as to what can be a fitting activity to get out of this negative and useless way of thinking and the connected behavior.
Therefore, the result of this very uncreative technique will eventually lead to something creative, which, even though I was not aware of that, was exactly what I needed in that situation, because no matter how silly it is, it helps to fulfill our need of self-realization.