CSA Catapult Lockdown Life: Channelling Creativity

Date: 12.06.2020

Creativity has been described as the play of the mind. Harnessing our creativity has also been known to boost productivity at work, reduce stress levels and improve our moods. So now with more and more people swapping long commutes, school runs and gym classes for staying safe at home, we’ve had more time to focus on our creative side and the positives that follow.

Read below to learn how members of the CSA Catapult team have been enhancing their creativity during the lockdown period.

How are you finding lockdown and the new normal?

Lizzie Brown, Executive Assistant to CEO: It’s very different to the work life I have been used to but during lockdown work has been largely a good experience for me as I have no caring responsibilities and a dedicated “office” which has helped me focus. Luckily, due to essential lab work, I have been required to attend the Innovation Centre twice a week as a First Aid support. These two days have been a welcome break from the new normal.

Andrew Hill, Principal Engineer: I am very lucky to live next to open countryside where I can take the dog out for the early morning walk. I find walking a few miles before starting work allows me to think about what I am going to be doing and plan my day. As I no longer have a commute, I feel my productivity has improved and especially my concentration. I think providing you are disciplined and can separate the workday from home life, working from home has worked very well for me.

Amy Lewis, Facilities Manager: It has been lovely to be at home more and to spend time with family. I have cherished this time with my daughter, she loves having mummy at home too. However, we’re both missing friends and other family and can’t wait to be able to give Nanny and Grampy a great big hug.

Are you finding ways to be creative in your spare time? If yes, then what are you doing?

Lizzie: I have always been quite creative so this is not a difficult area for me, there is always something I would like to try. Some of the things I’ve enjoyed include making chutney and jam, and improving my crochet skills. One of my favourite things has been that my partner and I have taken it in turns to choose a recipe for dinner from our “library” of cookery books. We’ve really enjoyed some unusual ingredients we wouldn’t have readily chosen!

Andrew: I am a keen musician and I have increased my practising on the bass guitar and have resumed some tuition from my tutor via Zoom. My band and I are also recording songs virtually. This has been fun as we all do our parts separately. My wife and I have also started re-upholstering our dining chairs which were left to me from my Grandmother and still had the same covers on since 1903. This is an interesting challenge at the weekends.

Amy: We go out most days for a scoot and run and have found some beautiful places we never knew were on our doorstep. We’ve also been doing a lot more cooking and have been enjoying creating lovely meals at home. Although sometimes I struggle to find motivation, I have found some fantastic online exercise classes and have been trying my best to stay active during lockdown.

Do you have any tips for other people who are struggling to be creative during these strange times?

Lizzie: One of my tips would be to look at something you like doing but generally don’t have enough time to complete, or something you have always wished you could do and do it! Whether it be drawing, baking, painting, photography, upcycling, there are endless ideas to research online. Something as small and perhaps as insignificant as growing seeds in an old container on a windowsill is an achievement because you did it and it wouldn’t  have happened without you.

Andrew: Finding something creative is a real tonic as it absorbs your mind and puts general life into perspective. Think what intrigues you and give it a go. There are so many resources online, it’s worth researching and finding where it takes you.

Amy: Speak to colleagues and friends via video calls. I’ve found that online quizzes have been fun during lockdown, we’ve been doing them every Saturday with family and friends. Another top tip is to put on some makeup and your favourite outfit, who said can’t you feel fabulous at home during lockdown?

Learn more about how the Catapult team are navigating their way through the new normal in our next blog in our Lockdown Life series – coming soon.