It seemed a distant dream when we were all stuck inside our homes for a long time and only going out for necessities. Most of us had never worked full time from home. Our time during the day was spent either at work or commuting to and from home. Hardly any time left to socialize with friends and family during weekdays. I wasn’t prepared to start working at home and having too much time on my hands. It is funny that mental health quotes and reading Dr Anita Collins' book: the Music Advantage helped me be a much better person through the pandemic. Today I will talk about my journey through the pandemic and how I survived it. I will also talk about how I utilized the time to learn new skills and changed bad habits into productive ones like learning to play instruments and taking new courses.
Bingeing Shows and Wasting Time
We’ve all been there and binged our hearts out of our favourite shows. No one was ready for the pandemic. Having never worked from home and now fully working from home and having little time for socializing and now having too much time and aren’t allowed to socialize with anyone. I turned to the easiest entertainment possible by streaming online during my free time. Time passed without realizing the mental awareness month had already passed; how ironic. I got bored after a couple of weeks which led me to become frustrated. I started becoming angry as that would lead me to depression, so I knew I had to do something productive to stay mentally healthy. I wish I knew some great mental health quotes then to get me out of the ruckus early.
Reading and Learning Something New
Somehow, I never realized how much time wasting bingeing shows is, so I started watching Youtube for better entertainment or getting some motivation... I came back to my love of reading out of utter boredom from watching too many shows, which deteriorated my mental health. And thank God for I stumbled upon The Music Advantage by Dr Anita Collins after reading a review online. Her Ted talk was really inspirational as I always had ‘learning to play an instrument' on my bucket list. Her talk focused on the benefits of learning and playing music to enhance your mental faculties which is what I needed to lift my spirits and make use of all the free time I had.
The one thing that got me was the belief music could actually assist in improving my mental health. According to Dr Anita, the simple act of clapping to the beats of music can help a young child in cognitive development who always had struggled with reading. It was not like just taking a mental health test; I understood then that I finally needed to learn music. The music can help me keep busy, improve my mental health during this time and finally start working on my bucket list by removing “playing a musical instrument”.
Dr Anita’s lecture coupled with ‘Boredom – A Source of Inspiration’ by Hans Wilhelm further motivated me to add more to my free time along with learning a new instrument to play.
Learning to Play Instruments
The Ted-Ed lecture "How playing an instrument benefits your brain" by Dr Anita was much better than 100 mental health quotes. I started playing the piano during the pandemic by following her guidelines and took the grade 1 test at the end of 2020 and passed it! It was a great achievement for me. With more practice and further learning, I am now ready to take the grade 2 exam, which I will be taking soon.. During this time, when I was already attuned to music, I started learning to play the guitar during my free time. Understanding these two instruments was so much better than binge-watching. Sometimes it's a good thing to relax and let your body recuperate. If you know, you won’t be wasting too much time.
Taking Subjects You Love
Now that I was not wasting my time as much, I seemed to have too much time on my hands to do fun things with. To spice up things a little more for my mental health, I started studying Philosophy and Psychology at The Open University. I wanted to learn more about my mental health and why we are wired in our brain to waste our time even if we know it will lead to depression.
I might have been lucky, or the mental health quotes actually got me. But my survival and coming out on top is a testament to something. And that something, my friends, is to start sharing how I wasted my time, fell into frustration and anger, then how to focus my time better and learn about and do things that I feel passionate about. My recent endeavor is to share my experiences and tips on tackling difficult times.
For this very purpose, I have started my blog and a YouTube channel to spread the word about mental health further and move on from the book, The Music Advantage. The purpose of these blogs and Vlogs is to share my experiences in more detail with others like me especially on how to make your time more productive. In future, ill add more interests to the list and make more videos about other topics that interest me like travel, tech, music, motivation, self-improvement.
Other unfortunate friends who need moral support and great friendly advice. Some tips and tricks along the way to start making changes in their routine and attitude to improve their mental health. These blogs will be about health tips and how to remove the procrastination barrier. It will also be about knowing how important mental health is and preparing for mental awareness month coming soon.
The best single mental health quote and advice I would give is to know when to stop. Learn when to stop wasting your time and start adding small positive influences in your life. Know when to stop binge-watching episode upon episode and start playing a game for a change or start reading a book and add a productive hobby in your free time. Learn new tips and tricks or develop a new skill. Your mental health, along with your physical health, is most important for a healthy life.