Ever since we were first put under mandatory lockdown orders, it felt as if my little world had come crashing down around me. For the first time, I could not just walk out of my own home. Whenever I did brave the outdoors to go to the store, I was always amazed at the nearly empty streets. It was as if the apocalypse had come. It was as if the entire world had just stopped.
The world had seemingly stopped in March-April. And yet, we couldn’t just sit in front of the TV all day, mindlessly absorbing Netflix or Hulu on repeat. So, many of us went online, the only place where we could escape the reality of living under lockdown. I was one of those people who went online, but not to post mindless posts about how much it sucked to live under quarantine. I went online for a different reason.
I decided to revive my old blog, Crispy Confessions. I haven’t written in so long, and I kind of missed it. I used to write stories and poems all the time in high school and college. And now, with the craziness of life, I just didn’t have the time to write anymore. I wanted to change that.
In the process of reviving my blog, I ended up learning and gaining a few skills. Because of this, I am so thankful to this time for giving me the time to be able to do some of the things that I love doing.
Four Skills I Learned During Quarantine
Before quarantine, I wasn’t really good at cooking. I ate a lot of processed foods and ramen noodles. But now, I have been watching cooking videos and searching for new recipes on Pinterest. I’m finding that I enjoy cooking. I enjoy that feeling of starting with the basics like meat or noodles and then combining them with vegetables and seasoning to create something delicious. The last thing I made was chili completely from scratch, and surprisingly, it was actually good.
2–Baking a Cake
I’ve made cake before but the Betty Crocker version. I’ve always wanted to bake a cake from scratch. So, one day, after I bought all the ingredients, I made a cake. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard. It just required a few basic ingredients, like flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and milk. The ingredients were then mixed together, poured into a cake pan, and then baked.
Here’s the recipe for the cake that I made that day. It was pretty good, especially with chocolate icing on top, because chocolate always makes everything better.
3–Using Instagram Effectively
I was using social media before lockdown. But I wasn’t using it effectively. I was just using Instagram to post pictures of the kids.
So, I decided to rethink my Instagram strategy. I know that Instagram can be a pretty powerful social media marketing tool. So, a few weeks ago, I changed my brand and the content. Using Canva (which has been a godsend), I have been using my graphic design skills that I learned in college to create Pinterest-worthy Instagram pictures to post. I’ve also rethinked my strategy for Instagram stories as well. Ever since then, I’ve increased my engagement on Instagram by twofold. I am still learning, however, and I’m excited about the things I will continue to learn from using this tool.
4–Using Pinterest Effectively
Before lockdown, I didn’t use Pinterest at all. I had an account that I had created years ago, but at the time I dismissed it as a glorified bookmarks tab. It sounded cool and all but I didn’t think I had the time to use it.
But then lockdown happened and suddenly I had more time that I knew what to do with. I decided to add Pinterest to my social media marketing strategy. After all, visual search is trending now; more and more people are using visuals to search and to obtain information. But besides that, I’ve learned that I can use Pinterest to find keywords for my blog posts. I can use Pinterest to see what is trending, visually, and possibly get inspiration from them.
I feel immensely proud at having gained these skills. Of course, I’m no expert. I’m still learning. And I like it. Life happens when learning happens after all.
What skills have you gained during the pandemic?