March 30, 2020 Rhonda Pryor

Being calm, creative and productive during Covid-19 lockdown

Creative project suggestions and links for self-reflection, reading and making.

Raindrops on railing close up

Photograph: Jon Johannsen

You don’t need me to reiterate the dangers we face as a community, as well as globally right now. But, what I can do is give you some suggestions for how to cope while you’re socially isolating home. Focusing on being calm, creative and productive during Covid-19 lockdown will go a long way to making the time pass as positively as possible.

So here we all are, cooped up at home, adjusting to our new realities. At least we’re all in it together, I hear you say, but the anxiety can still get to us. To keep that anxiety under control it often helps to focus on the small, ordinary things. Things that can give us a bit of respite from the upheavals swirling around us. So why not indulge in an experiment? Make calm your project for the next little while.

I’ve found the past few days pretty therapeutic because I’ve done some savage cupboard reorganising (kitchen, bathrooms, laundry). The chemist got two full shopping bags of outdated medicines, I threw out old junk and recycled loads of unwanted packaging. But if Marie Kondo-ing is an alien concept, you have a ship-shape household already, or if cancelling 2020 altogether isn’t an option for you, here are some suggestions:


Huge pile of old, colourful, hard cover books neatly stacked. Sources of consolation and diversion. Calming, creative activities during Covid-19 lockdown.

Image courtesy Ed Robertson

Curl up and chill out with some good, thought provoking reads

Consider scrolling through the offerings on The School of Life website.  On Confinement (The Book of Life / Chapter 3. Self-Knowledge: Behaviours) and The Importance of Staring Out the Window (The Book of Life / Chapter 5. Calm: Perspective) are perfectly appropriate for our time. Make use of this time to discover and appreciate the rewards of self-reflection.

Then there’s always that pile of unread books on your bedside table…


Two vintage style notebooks stacked with a wood grained pen on top.

Image courtesy The Vintage Note (

Indulge in some introspection and reflective writing

You could put all that reading to good use by writing your thoughts and observations in a beautiful journal (aided by an equally beautiful pen). Have a look at the websites of LarryPOST or Milligram for some ideas. Everything will be delivered to your door. Milligram even have jigsaw puzzles designed by female artists to while away those pensive hours.

But if all that introspection is driving you crazy you might like to mix it up with some more active, tactile strategies.


Creative art materials: watercolour brushes and French hand made paper. Calming, creative activities during Covid-19 lockdown.

Image courtesy Parkers Art Supplies (

Make some art and see where it leads…

Why not use your time to play with some new materials and discover a talent you didn’t know you had? Parkers Art Supplies stock an enormous array of premier, quality art materials. They even offer home delivery and a click-and-collect service. Enjoy browsing their website for inspiration.


Indigo dyed paper fibre

Image courtesy Habu Textiles (

Busy yourself with tactile textile activities

Knitting, weaving, basket-making and general textile bliss is at your fingertips when you browse the heavenly Habu Textiles website. This site is so dreamy-beautiful it is an inspiration in itself. Also consider the Australian site String Harvest for inspiring, beautiful fibre and tools.

And if textile isn’t your thing why not try:


Hand made soap stacked on a rustic ceramic dish. Calming, creative activities during Covid-19 lockdown.

Image courtesy Tribe Castlemaine (

Making soap for pleasure and necessity

We’re going to go through a lot of it so why not make your own! Have a look at All Australian Candle Supplies and Kits. They have comprehensive resources and supplies for both soap and candle making. You can even get the kids involved if you can stand the mess.

Please check my website shortly for upcoming online art and textile workshop events you can participate in at home. All you’ll need is a computer and a few materials you might have on hand or can order online.

In the meantime please look after yourselves, your loved ones and the wider community by staying home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. And please follow all government safety instructions until this crisis lifts. It will, and we’ll be the stronger for it.

Take care, stay occupied, and take this opportunity to enjoy some reflection time. Stay calm, stay creative and be productive during Covid-19 lockdown. And don’t forget…even the darkest cloud is lined with silver (somewhere).


Sun behind clouds. Calm skyscape image.

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