Mindful activities such as learning new things, scoping your mind for imagination and re-acquiring skills you never thought you had can be that perfect recipe for a lockdown well utilized. While everyone else is filling their bellies and time with scrumptious recipes, embellished on a pretty-platter, I thought you might need something to nourish your brain as well.
Join me as I walk you through some mind sharpening adventures that you can enjoy at home...
1. Pick A Random Country
...And invest your time in learning about its history and culture. Sounds snooty but imagine the kind of knowledge you'll be carrying about that dream country you always wanted to go or just love from a distance after the lockdown is over. Who knows, you might even find an easter egg with your name on it, buried in the moors or peeping through the grass of a distant land, waiting to be found.
2. Learn One New Language
Treat lockdown as an elbow room for gathering a new set of skills. In this case, choose a language that has fascinated you long enough to be on your tongue for always and make an effort by signing up for online lessons right now. From native to some foreign language, pick any structured body of words that calls you and just dive into the process.
3. Watch Foreign Language Films
Try not to be pompous about it in front of your friends or colleagues who missed the golden opportunity to expand their bandwidth of films but giving time to something so different that you'd need subtitles to understand will be a good exercise for the mind that is frozen in time. Off the top of my head, a Spanish biographic film called The Motorcycle Diaries is a brilliant watch, The Third Wife is a kind of Vietnamese wonder and Parasite, an Academy Awarded film of 2019 is something I can vouch for. Side tip; maybe pick a film that has the language you are trying to learn.
4. Read Books
Books are figurative food for the mind and don't miss your chance to make an acquaintance with a good book during the microwave hour of lockdown. Since bibliophiles are already feeding their brains, it's not a bad time for the book virgins to pick an easy read and give it a whirl. In my experience books like Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo, Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling can be your gateway into excessive reading.
5. No Game Like Chess
If there are any brain-stimulating games that involve a good amount of cleverness and presence of mind, I would count chess as my number 1. Chess not only teaches you strategy but also sharpen your ability to think ahead and it is so much fun. Good things take time, so will learning how to play chess but don't quit until you win. Side tip though, if you don't have chess at home, don't go out looking for one just use a mobile application.
6. Intelligent Binge-Watching
Why waste your time with average screen time when you can learn and grow with Oscar-winning films, some deep meaningful documentaries, ingenious podcasts and eye-opening, fact-driven TED Talks. A whiff of some brilliant pieces-of-art and your life will change for good.
Give these activities a try, a little nerdling won't harm.