Uncovering some of our hidden talents


Colette Cooper

HAVING had some time to reflect over the past few months, I’ve come to the realisation that with more free time comes more responsibility. For me, I’ve felt the need to stay as productive as possible during my spare time, as well as keeping my goals in focus amidst the chaos of our world today. There’s only so much we can do, of course, and it’s important to go easy on ourselves in the meantime. I’ve noticed that I often need distractions, so as not to allow my mind to wander too much and I’m sure others have felt the same way. Although the Covid-19 restrictions are still holding us back in many ways, I believe we have more opportunities than ever to test out our creative streaks and unveil the talents we never knew we had.

With more free time spent at home, we have many opportunities to unleash our creative sides—not to mention the fact that most of us are probably kind of bored of zoom quizzes and games by now. This has, perhaps, led us to consider what we’re really made of and have to offer. For instance, I’ve noticed that many people are branching out and baking delicious looking treats, which is not only enjoyable, but is said to really benefit our mental health. I remember myself and one of my friends discussing the idea of practising embroidery—a new and (hopefully) enjoyable skill to learn. I have also noticed that there is more time for personal projects, whether this be online or elsewhere. The creative opportunities are endless and there is even more time for activities that we may not have considered as much during the pre-Covid days, such as poetry, learning a new instrument, painting, and even getting a new high score on a video game—it’s all about the little accomplishments.

Educating ourselves
If you’re not really a fan of all things creative, there is also time to delve into more technical subjects, such as expanding your knowledge, reading books, and researching. You may even consider learning a new sport, although this may be more difficult with the current contact restrictions. However, there is still time to focus on the simpler things in life, such as cherishing time with friends and family.

Many people also love to learn new skills, myself included, and there are many online courses available for individuals who aim to branch out and discover new things. This may allow us to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and expand our knowledge. For me, taking a few courses in my field of work has definitely kept my mind busy and allowed me to branch out in a subject that I really enjoy—journalism.

I’m not suggesting that life is better with a global pandemic, but it’s good to know that some positives may have emerged from this madness. These times have perhaps taught us to slow our lives down a little, cherish each moment, and be proud of ourselves for doing our best in each little endeavour.

The great outdoors
With the limitations brought to us by Covid-19, maybe we are starting to value the moments we spend outdoors more often?

The pandemic has certainly scared us and brought a lot of grief into our lives. Perhaps now we are starting to consider the shortness of life and the fact that everything around us is only temporary. However, I’ve taken great comfort, not only through the support of family, friends, and personal projects, but through nature. I find that I pay a lot more attention to what’s going on around me and be sure not to take too many things for granted. I really try to focus on the beauty of nature before it passes me by, such as the colour of the trees, flowers, leaves, and scenery—there is beauty in simplicity. Plus, there seems to be a comfort in the changing seasons, as it reminds me that time moves on and things have the potential to change and progress.

Although it’s still a very hard and confusing time for us all, it puts my mind at ease knowing that we can still take both positive and important things out of a bad situation. Ultimately, we have some time to reflect on our lives and realise that the simple, creative things make a big difference.