Despite 2021 being a rather weird year going back into lockdowns, and then finally being able to enter step 3 of the re-openings in Ontario (at the very least), there are a lot of projects we can still manage to do to pass time and etc. Here’s my list!
Just wanted to note that a lot of these projects can be done at home or remotely since we were still in lockdown here in Toronto when I started this list.
1. Box of Memories
Box of memories is something that I randomly thought of one day, but I’m sure that a lot of people are doing this already. The entire idea is to take pictures of a memory that you make/have made and get the picture printed out, you can use your phone or a film camera for this. And there are a lot of places online where you can upload pictures to get printed and have them mailed to you.
Place them into a photo album or better yet, make your own! Then you can write the importance of that memory on the back of the photo, or on a piece of paper, you attach the photo to. It’s totally up to you. You can also do this digitally by creating and maintaining a private album on Facebook, or some other photo-saving website.
2. Neighbourhood Exploration
I don’t know about you, but I can’t be the only one that hasn’t quite explored the neighbourhood they live in though right? We moved to my particular neighbourhood when I was 7, but there are a lot of places I don’t go to every day. This project is to scout online for areas/places around your neighbourhood to visit when lockdowns are lifted. Go to a neighbourhood restaurant you haven’t tried, or maybe that bakery around the corner!
Building on the neighbourhood exploration project from earlier, this will take you one step further depending on how far you want to go. While (as I’m writing this part on Aug 3rd, 2021) international travel is somewhat re-instated, I can’t see myself wanting to go through so much stress to travel somewhere new. This project is to get you to travel to a new place and see new sights within your home country.
Never visited another province (or etc.)? Let’s get that trip started (with safety precautions and public health guides in mind)! With “home base” being Toronto, I think some known options (for me as an example) would be Niagara Falls and Montreal as the closest. Niagara Falls you can take a GO train to get to, and long-distance busses (like Megabus) to Montreal.
Other options would be another province/state but I honestly cannot see that for myself right now. Start off by planning your trip like normal, and strive to bring a camera of some sort or an instant-film camera. Then while you’re there use the camera to take pictures on a whim! You can complete the rest of this with the steps from the “Box of Memories” entry above.
4. ‘You First’ Project
So the ‘You First’ project is rather simple, but also not. It’s pretty much a 3 step self-care thing you can do for yourself, to take time and bring everything back and etc. I’ve been working non-stop since May or so, and I hadn’t really had time to myself since my time (aside from the 4 days at work) was spent catching up on chores and just letting off steam. So this is something I started doing more often of late to unwind.
The first step is to start off by looking up some questions for yourself to answer before starting the ‘You First’ project to kind of assess how you personally feel, what you’re thinking about whatnot. Step two is to unwind, many people will have their own ways of doing this. My version is literally to disappear off social media for one day, anything not super important is diverted. I spend the first hour of the day just catching up on anything super important/urgent in emails.
The rest of the day is all focused on what I do to relax; reading, looking and reading up on new book releases and listening to music/watching youtube gaming videos. I do all of this with an adjusted Pomodoro timer on, and the important part of this is to also take breaks between what you’re doing and do tasks around the house as well.
I do this to mainly avoid feeling like I spent the whole day being unproductive when I was being productive by bringing everything back and focusing on myself. I honestly think that it’s more important than ever now, to be able to find time and focus on yourself for a little bit.
Then the third and final step is to re-visit the questions, answer them again without reading your prior answers and then compare them. If there’s been an improvement you can set those questions aside, but if it’s roughly the same, you can arrange another (slightly different) ‘You First’ session to help with that in your own time.
5. Nurturing Hobbiest
Okay, weird title I know, but this small-ish project is to begin nurturing a hobby you dropped or forgot about in the past 5 years. If you had more than one, you can give each of them a go again, maybe one hobby a week? And see which ones were cathartic, which ones will stick and which ones you truly want to work on again.
I had a lot of hobbies that I dropped when I got into college, and some of them I regret and have tried picking back up again. Some of them were pretty basic things such as wearing makeup, painting my nails and wearing jewelry. But others like writing (fiction), reading a physical book and dancing are things that I really miss and hoping to pick up again when I have more time.