Stuck in the house? Check out tutorials!

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I experienced being “stuck in the house” a few years ago after my first knee injury, followed a year later with a second knee injury on my opposite leg. The cumulative results of these two events limited my walking and standing.

During my long convalescence period, I became depressingly bored! Even though my mind remained sharp (I hurt my knees, not my brain), I could not think of one thing to do during long periods of isolation.

I’ve since learned that feeling bored is common among mobility-challenged people, especially those who have trouble getting out of the house without a great deal of difficulty. Fortunately, I’ve overcome the challenge of having way too much alone time on my hands after I realized that, in fact, I was not using my hands very much at all.

It’s All In the Hands

Our fingertips and brains are connected. The more we use our fingers to build or create things, the more stimulated and satisfied our brains become. Our brains, after all, love stimulation as much as a dog likes his back scratched. (For more information on the subject, Google the phrase “does doing crafts stimulate your brain,” and check out some of the articles.)

In the not so distant past, many of us were limited to the crafts we learned as children, which gave way eventually to listing to music or watching the media. If nothing interesting was “on,” then, we’d find ourselves with literally “time on our hands,” as our hands lay limp on our laps. Isolation due to mobility issues compounds our inactivity.

Internet to the Rescue

Within the last ten or so years, Internet reception has become faster, and the information we find on it has been published by an ever-broadening range of contributors. No longer are we stuck just reading things or looking at pictures. We, through the wonders of streaming video, can see people doing stuff and depending on what they are doing, we can participate right along with them.

Feeling lonely? Use video meeting applications, like Skype and Facetime, to stay in touch “real time,” face-to-face. Better, if friends are few, meet new ones with similar interests via online forums and special interest groups.

Online Tutorials

The best advance to online information and keeping your sanity is an ever-increasing variety of “video tutorials.” Today, if you are stuck at home, start participating in tutorials that meet your interests. Frequently, through them, you’ll be led to like-minded people, in addition to improving your skills.

To find, evaluate, and ultimately participate in online tutorials, search YouTube or Vimeo.com on your subject, plus the word “tutorials.” With the idea that one-thing-leads-to-another, pay attention to the tutorial leaders, other work they’ve done, and the groups that support them and their craft areas. Some excellent tutorials are free, while other expensive tutorials can be poorly produced and boring. Become discriminating and don’t settle for lectures. Instead, find tutorials that show you how to actually do things, rather than just discussing concepts.

Choosing What to Do

I have always loved “art” (which describes a very broad range of interests). As I increased my participation in online tutorials, I became interested in a wider group of skills simply by seeing unexpected things introduced by tutorial leaders. If you are unsure of your interest areas, however, start with just one or two topics before jumping around.

Supplies

Do you need supplies, but don’t get out to shop very much, or find big box stores just too big? Instead of hunting in person, order supplies from online stores like Amazon.com and eBay.com. Best, if you are on a tight budget, online shopping provides a way to easily compare prices and merchandise quality before ordering. As you learn more about your interest areas, you’ll also discover smaller online specially shops, many of which are owned by tutorial leaders, themselves.

Meetups – Wow!

If you can get out and about (albeit not quickly) and you live in or near a large city, check the website, www.MeetUp.com.

This face-to-face social network is supported by people looking for others with similar interests. Among MeetUp’s many benefits is that they get you out of the house to meet new people. Travel? Continue to check MeetUp and sign up  for groups no matter where in the world you might be.

MeetUp subjects vary widely, ranging from simple things, like dining or crafts, to highly unusual things like this recently advertised event suggests: “Meet up to form a beginner-level percussion class featuring Bongos, Congas, Timbales, Clave, Shakeray instruments, plus introduction to Afro Cuban, Afro Puerto Rican rhythms.” What mobility-challenged person cannot play bongos or shake gourds?

Littleviews

Check our articles in the Arts and Crafts and Tutorial Reviews sections of Littleviews for ideas (many of which began being posted since April 2016).  The subjects I cover reflect my own interests. If those are not your interests, check them out anyway to see how I go about being introduced to new things. Under all circumstances, do not let your hands hold the weight of time. Do something with them, instead

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Written by Karen Little (Karen@Littleviews.com) of Littleviews.com on April 23, 2016, all rights reserved by Littleviews.com. Please request reproduction permission.