Friday, March 20, 2020

What to Do (When You Can't Do What You Normally Do)

by Sandy Tritt

For some us, these challenging days mean an abrupt change to our routines. We may find ourselves with nothing to do but worry—which is the worst thing we can possibly do. However, when we do something productive or creative with our time, our outlooks brighten. We feel better—and, when we feel better, we stay healthier and happier. Here are a few hints—some old, some new—to help you thrive in these strange times.

·       Learn something new. There’s nothing the soul enjoys more than a new challenge. There are all kinds of you-tube videos out there to help you learn anything. Anything. Here are some suggestions:
o   Learn a foreign language or sign language.
o   Learn to play a musical instrument.
o   Learn a new craft. Learn to sew, cross-stitch or crochet. Take up woodworking or stained-glass making. Make candles or lamps.
o   Learn to play chess, bridge, or poker. 
o   Learn to decorate cakes or tile a bathroom.

·       Do something you intended to do when you had “time.”
o   Make a gourmet meal (or a special dessert).
o   Read those novels you’ve been meaning to read.
o   Play board games (or put a jigsaw puzzle together). Involve the whole family.
o   Help your parents (or someone else) write a memoir.
o   Telephone a friend or family member.

·       Accomplish something.
o   Clean out a closet or a cabinet.
o   Paint or wallpaper an “accent” wall.
o   Old kitchen cabinets? Paint them!
o   Redecorate the living room.
o   Paint. Check out Bob Ross videos.
o   Write your memoir.

·       Adopt healthy habits. (C’mon. You know this drill. But now isn’t the time to get lazy. The better you feel, the better you’ll continue to feel).
o   Eat well. But don’t be afraid to splurge on a little chocolate.
o   Exercise. Fresh air will do you good.
o   Practice meditation, yoga, and/or prayer (this is especially important). There are plenty of you-tube videos to show you how.
o   Sleep. (But not too much. There's much to do).

·       Do something kind for someone you know.  
o   Send a food basket, arrange for grocery delivery, or snail-mail a thinking-of-you card.
o   Frequently check in with your elderly/health-challenged friends, neighbors, and relatives. Make sure they are eating, taking meds, and doing okay. Spend time just talking with them and reassuring them all will be well.
o   Prepare a meal, soup, or dessert for someone. 
o   Write a letter telling someone why you appreciate having them in your life.
o   Enjoy this time spent with family. Make a special effort to be kind to one another. Talk about your fears, but, more importantly, talk about things that make you happy and about your dreams for the future.

·       Do something kind for someone you don’t know.
o   Leave groceries (and toilet paper!) on the shelves for others.
o   Donate books, board games, or jigsaw puzzles.
o   Generously tip those who deliver groceries or food, or who do other things to make your life easier.
o   Give a package of toilet paper (or something else “valuable”) to someone who needs it.
o   Be kind. Everyone is stressed. Everyone needs a smile and a kind word.

·       Do something nice for yourself.
o   Be gentle with yourself.
o   Review your positive qualities.
o   Take a relaxing bath in Epsom salts and lavender oil. Feel your anxieties melt away.
o   Take a nap.
o   Write poetry.
o   Watch a movie.
o   Read inspirational books.
o   FINISH YOUR NOVEL (or hire Inspiration for Writers to finish it for you).
o   Send your novel (or memoir or book) to Inspiration for Writers for an edit.

·       Keep a positive attitude.
o   TURN OFF THE NEWS. When you are doing an activity that doesn’t require thought, keep your mind busy by listening to an audiobook.
o   Make sure you smile several times an hour—whether you feel like it or not. The very act of smiling makes you feel better.
o   Laugh out loud. If you need help, watch your favorite comedy or read a book of jokes or funny stories. Or look in the mirror and make faces at yourself.
o   Whenever negative thoughts threaten to take control, push them away by diverting your attention to happy thoughts or getting busy with an enjoyable activity.
o   Keep a gratitude journal or make a list of the things you’re grateful for. Add to it and review it several times a day. Especially find reasons this situation has brought joy into your life (more family time, spending less money commuting to work, time to try new things, etc.)

Yes, these are trying times. But if you spend this time learning something new, accomplishing something, spending time with family, and being kind, you will have done something important.

Please let us know how you’re coping with the current situation. Give us your suggestions for staying healthy and positive.

Just a reminder: Inspiration for Writers, Inc., is open for business. We already work from home, so we’re here and ready to help you take your writing to the next level. TALK TO US!

No comments:

Post a Comment