When people ask, “how have you been during all this?” I say I’ve been doing pretty well. Lately, though, I wonder if the whole “life-being-disrupted-for-over-six-months” thing is affecting me more than I’ve realized.
My days are primarily spent at home aside from working out with my trainer, attending church (don’t worry–social distancing and masks required), and the occasional doctor’s appointment, “nail salon with grandma” tradition, or other excursion. I feel relatively content and accomplish several things most days. I’ve still been writing blog posts, reading others’ posts and also books, serving volunteer roles in church and United Methodist Women (just finished our last quarterly newsletter of 2020–yay!), completing my newspaper installments, etc. Compared to others who are borderline depressed, unmotivated to be productive at all, or worse, I’m coping well.
But my motivation and creativity are waning. Some days are worse than others, but still… I’m not having many blog post or Bookstagram ideas. I haven’t even shared a blog post to Bookstagram in weeks. I’ve always procrastinated with replying to comments, but I’m a month behind now, which is excessive even for me. Days melt into weeks that melt into months; time passes in a blur.
As a sort of ‘mindfulness’ exercise, I’m going to list some things that perk me up and get my brain juices flowing. I hope this reflective task urges me to make more deliberate choices and seek out what inspires me. Perhaps you could contemplate what refreshes and re-energizes you.
Going out by myself
Taking a drive alone rejuvenates me–and playing some good tunes in the background adds icing to the cake. I know some readers are handicapped and/or don’t have a car. So, take a drive, or take a walk, or take a roll down the sidewalk. In whatever way you can, I highly recommend getting some time to yourself and getting in motion.
I never cared about them until the pandemic, but I’ve accumulated several this year. I love nurturing them and just gazing at them. There’s something neat about beholding a living, growing, lovely piece of creation that relies on me as its caretaker. Great light-hearted hobby for anyone in any living space at any age–just be sure your lighting conditions align with the plant’s needs. 🙂
Praying re-centers my spirit. By thanking God for my blessings and uplifting others in need, I’m pushed to re-adopt a mindset of gratitude. It brings me an inexplicable peace of mind. I feel close to God again; my focus and purpose are sharpened. Take time to reconnect with God and find tranquility.
Exercise pumps blood throughout my body and engages all my muscles, then the happy chemicals rush into my brain to add another layer of awesomeness to the good feelings. Additionally, the simple fact of its occupying a couple hours (change-work out-shower-get dressed) provides a welcome change of pace on slow days. Many of us have some limitations, but to whatever degree you can, try to get some exercise; you won’t regret it.
Improving my space
I don’t generally WANT to do chores–straighten up a cluttered drawer, clean off a dusty bookshelf, organize the mail–but it’s beneficial to my mental health. Since I spend so much time in my environment, I feel better when I do small things that make it clean, quaint, and cohesive. I bet you will, too, if you do the same.
Creating & consuming art
My paintbrush is the proverbial pen (technically a keyboard), and writing can be therapeutic for me. I’m forced to reach inside myself and yank out my thoughts and ideas, which still float around but are sometimes drowned out by the loud hum of monotony. Generating that metaphor felt great, actually, so I think I’ll start writing poetry. I’ve never been a profound poet, but hey, weird times call for new creative outlets.
I’ve consumed art by making some purchases from small crafters. As with the plants, I simply appreciate looking at it. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, right? I don’t know how to describe it, but unique, one-of-a-kind artwork inspires me. Find what inspires you, friends. ♥
Thanks for reading! How are you coping with burn-out…making crafts, staying in touch with friends, finding cool shows to binge, trying out recipes, discovering music, nature walks, new hobbies, etc? Let me know in the comments. Peace and joy be with you. 🙂