Eyes and ears and mouth and nose…

By Ghiz Benzerdjeb1851 Staff

Of course, we cannot forget about the hands. Get jiggy with the senses, especially at a time where isolation and pandemic woes can put a damper on all the amazing things that our 5 senses can offer us. I tried to make this list as ability inclusive as possible so if you lack one sense hopefully there is something on the list that can stimulate the other ones.

Sipping and eating Café Nero and reading before work, feeling blue.
Photo by Ghiz Benzerdjeb

1. Eyes—Read a book

Around this time last year, I met a man sitting on a curb in the Boston Commons. He did my caricature, we talked till the sun came down and on the back of my portrait he gave me a book suggestion: American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The book wraps you up and transports you to a world of complex and compelling storyline and characters. It gave me the feeling of reading my first chapter book back in fourth grade and the nostalgia of being completely engrossed in such a fantastical book. It is easy to read and a truly wonderful experience through and through. I went from not having read a book for pleasure in seven years to consistently reading for pleasure again and I am so thankful for that man in the commons. If you want to hop back into reading and have a short attention span like I do this is definitely the best place to start.

2. Ears—Music playlists

Binaural beat playlist and indigenous inspired mixtapes are the music I suggest for resting, focus or elation. It’s much easier heard than said if you will. Certain sound frequency patterns ‘align’ with delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma patterns that occur in the brain. It is used in forms of therapy as well. Here is a YouTube Channel where I dove right into the rabbit hole. From there you can find so many genres and variations of this type of sound. 

Shrimp fried rice.
Photo by Ghiz Benzerdjeb

3. Mouth—Try a new recipe

Pick a recipe, any recipe. I miss the dining experience that has been robbed from us. I thought to myself that it really can not be that hard to make a dupe. Follow the recipe straightforward and all will go well. I thought to myself one day, “Wow, rice is so plain and I am sick and tired of eating it this way, I really miss ordering shrimp fried rice.” So I simply made it, it took me less than 15 minutes to make. All I did was throw in some frozen veggies I found sitting in my freezer, added some soy sauce and threw in the shrimp my mom cooked up for lunch. It was actually so delicious. I took what I already had laying around, threw it on a pan, added some extra veggie and sauce and it was such an upgrade. The total cost of the meal is 7 dollars tops. Not to mention that 7 dollars’ worth of ingredients should last you a good month. 

4. Nose—Signature scents

Now for sniffing I suggest heading to Muji, a Japanese company selling household goods, right on Newbury Street, Boston MA. Upon entering the main doors right in front of you, you will see rows upon rows of essential oils. You can buy their pre-packaged combination of essential oil scents or you can make a combination yourself. It’s a lot of fun and the best way to make your own signature scent, with the satisfaction of taking it home the same day. If you are in need of a diffuser for your new signature scent, right across the street you will see a T.J Maxx that sells all sorts of diffusers of different shapes and sizes. It is the cheapest place you will find good quality diffusers in the city.

DIY desk made by Ghiz Benzerdjeb.
Photo by Ghiz Benzerdjeb

5. Hands—Build something

With DIY on the rise, find time to just get some materials, borrow a toolbox from your neighbor and get to drilling. DIY woodworking YouTube is full of beginner tutorials and crafts that you can make. Start small and make yourself a jewelry box or chest, or go big and build yourself a brand new desk. The cost of going to Home Depot and renting tools to build something with your own hands ends up being a lot cheaper long term. I went from never touching a wood plank in my life, to typing away on my L-shaped farmhouse style desk that cost less than 100 dollars total. For reference, a desk of this style could have easily cost double or triple that at Ikea.

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