BY NIKEETHA GAMAGE
Creative activities and projects have become popular mood boosters during the COVID-19 lockdown, helping many maintain order, promote self-reflection and self-improvement.
Music producer Nadav Cohen spent most of quarantine in his home studio producing music for libraries.
“It’s been really good because it’s given me so much more time to invest into my music,” Mr Cohen said.
“I was already producing music part-time for a year and the lockdown forced me to pursue it full-time because there is just nothing else you can do.
“[The lockdown] has been a really good reset button for a lot of people and was also a great way to start building some really good foundation habits.”
Mr Cohen is not the only one who spent isolation using his skills to help others.
Monash University physiology and pharmacology student Josh O’Day said he and his team of developers have worked on creating an app for secondary and tertiary students called ‘Fetch’ during the isolation period.
The app helps its users track down relevant scholarships and assists with making the application process less cumbersome.
“[The lockdown] has given us a good opportunity to spend a lot more time on an app we’re developing, along with helping me stay productive,” Mr O’Day said.
“You don’t feel as stuck at home as you really are.
“The main thing we want is for the app to affect people positively, coming out of the pandemic.
“This idea of the scholarship and what app we were essentially going to develop evolved during COVID-19."
A survey conducted by Mr O’Day’s team found 61 per cent of the 120 people interviewed had no knowledge about the scholarships they were eligible for - Fetch aims to solve that problem.
The app is set to be released in the next three to four months and is designed to customise the scholarship search, based on general information entered by the user.
Moving from tech to art, another Monash student, Shakthi Dias who is studying actuarial science and psychology, has spent his lockdown designing clothes inspired by South Asian culture.
According to him the fashion industry focuses mainly on South Asian labour, without giving them credit for their designs.
“Everything I’m doing, is to show that South Asian people can be a part of the creative conversation," he said.
“This period of isolation has made me realise how much weight my culture holds.
“It’s made me fall back in love with the culture I was born from."
Director of MVS Group and clinical psychologist Max von Sabler said people’s mindsets changed during self-quarantine because they experienced a lot of panic and fear.
“This isn’t always a great place to respond from but I think it’s a natural one for a lot of people,” Dr von Sabler said.
“When we’re worrying, we’re trying to problem solve and there is not necessarily a huge amount that we can do," he said.
“If you feel that way for long enough … it’s gonna leave you burnt out."
Dr von Sabler said people are indulging in their creative sides, as life has slowed down and everyone has a lot more time to reflect.
“When we engage in something new or we’re open to trying something new, it doesn’t just apply to that thing we’re doing but it probably helps us to have a different perspective on other aspects of life,” he said.