The pandemic has caused so much sadness and suffering since March of last year that it is difficult to see any positives which have come from it, however I know a number of people who have, possibly due to self-isolation re-connected with friends of old or have had an old hobby re-ignited with a new passion.
For myself it has been photography and art. In my teenage years I was very interested in photography and even built a darkroom within my bedroom. I would spend hours developing prints and slides or reading books and magazines to improve my knowledge. Reading about how the composition of a photograph can make all the difference just by changing your angle of view. I then started taking an interest in art and the great painters and how they could create something incredibly interesting from what first appeared “boring” just by the angle of light and/or shadows.
Due to working from home since the start of the pandemic, I soon realsied how much money I was saving on transport and lunches and so created my own “camera fund”. I eventually bought a new camera with an additional zoom lens and started taking pictures again while at the same time watching art programmes as my “arty” side took a new refreshing hold of me.
Over the past twelve months I’ve written a lot about surviving through “lockdown” and taking care of your mental health. I love taking photographs as it combines with my own use of mindfulness. The image I’ve just caught with my camera will never be repeated, it may be duplicated such as a flower bursting in to bloom, but not the flower in my image or how the sunlight fell on to the petals at that precise moment in time. So photography helps me live in the moment.
Some people have started painting again, writing poetry or planting herbs and flowers which has helped their mental health improve through these difficult times. Many people have volunterred for the first time to help with foodbanks and the delivering of medications, while others have become organised litter-pickers while improving their fitness and health levels.
When we finally return to some kind of normality, let us remember what and who have helped us survive through such difficult times. Making sure we keep in regular contact with the friends we’ve re-connected with and continue to enjoy and make time for our renewed hobbies and pastimes. Let’s keep making time available to continue our book reading or quiz challenges which stimulate and help improve our mental health fitness.
Lockdown has brought my love of arts and photography back full circle and that has helped me cope much better with the pressures that the pandemic has created.