Feeling a little blue in these interesting times we’re all facing? I know I’ve taken strain, and figured I’d share some of the things that have helped me keep my head above water in these uncertain times.
I hate to say it, but things are looking pretty grim as we face down a global pandemic, and the horrifying reality of it all. I’m not going to pretend that isn’t happening, and even if it wasn’t, there are those of us out there who have been dealt a really bum hand and are facing adverse circumstances even without a worldwide health crisis.
Short disclaimer, I’m not pretending to be an expert on any of this subject matter, I’m just trying to spread some positivity. I’d also like to acknowledge and salute the essential workers out there saving the world. Also, a lot of this might seem like pure common sense but it might help who’s feeling down and not sure how to start picking themselves up again.
But let’s not dwell on that, which brings me to the first point -
This is very important. In fact, I can’t think of a single situation that would be improved through panic, but I must add that it is sometimes appropriate and very human to panic so don’t feel bad if you do. There are a variety of self-calming techniques people use, and if you feel the need, read up on a few of them.
It’s probably good to have a towel handy as well, you never know when you might need a towel.
Take A Shower
.. Or, a bath if you prefer. I did say you might be needing a towel!
Being clean not only feels good, it goes a long way towards lifting your spirits if you’re in a rut. Usually, if I feel anxious or upset, I’ll go have a quick shower and come out feeling refreshed and much calmer than before. It’s great!
If you’re like me and like coffee, being at home you may be reaching for a caffeinated beverage a little more often, be it coffee, soda, or even tea. Try and switch it up a little, I’ve kept a bottle of water handy the same way I usually would at work which has helped and if you can sometimes giving it a little flavor makes it a little more interesting. I’ve put the lemon tree in my garden to work by slicing up lemons, I think I may have some mint growing which will also be nice. Cucumbers are great, too! Anything you can think of.
Stretch Your Legs
While under lockdown, it’s pretty easy to spend the entire day gaming and not move around much. So, sit a round out or hit pause and try move around some. You may be confined to a house, so it may be difficult, but it’s important to move around to get your blood flowing which will make you think and feel better, which has the added bonus of making you more alert and probably a bit more likely to pwn some n00bs in the next game you play.
I’d like to be ambitious and say, “get some exercise”, ideally if you can manage that it would be great! But, if you at least manage to move around some, it’s going to help.
I know, nobody really likes cleaning most days, but it can be rewarding to transform a space from something and boring into a space that is more pleasant to be in, especially since you’ve probably already been spending a lot of time there.
Personally, I find it very therapeutic and while I don’t always have the energy I’ve tried to tackle one small area a day. It’s as if I’m rearranging and cleaning my mind as well.
I’ve managed to get my cable management nightmare straightened out nicely, which has made my gaming experience much more pleasant. I’ve also got much more room on my desk and have arranged my music equipment so that it’s more accessible and this has enabled me to spend more time using it, which brings me to my next point..
6) Try Something New, or Revisit An Old Hobby
That unfinished Gunpla in the back of your cupboard? Those dusty sketchbooks laying in your bookcase? Dig them out! Finish that doujin you started!
It’s a great time to spend a bit of time developing ourselves and rediscovering parts of ourselves that we may have neglected or forgotten, as stressful as things may be.
As I’ve been writing this, I’ve done just that by getting back into the arts and starting a comic that I’ve always had a few ideas for. I’ve even turned it into something new by streaming it. Even if you don’t always have time, like there are some days I don’t draw or pick up an instrument, or play video games, and that ‘s ok too.
While it might not be the same as sitting across from your bestie over a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, one of the boons of modern living is the access to the internet giving us the ability to do things like have a video chat while seperated by entire oceans and continents, it’s a great time to be alive!
I know many of us are working from home and video conferencing on a daily basis with coworkers and bosses, which is in and of itself probably not as great as many of us thought it would be since it introduces new challenges and stressors to our lives. Which brings me to my next tip, you may want to...
It’s good to stay in touch, but like anything in life, too much of a good thing can end up hurting you.
Consuming too much media online will inevitably expose you to some of the ridiculous things people are saying and doing out there, and while it’s good to stay informed, you’ll go mad listening to all of that.
“But Future, What do I do? How do I stay entertained?”
I’m glad you asked, because I have no idea.
JK, Some low impact gaming offline or watching a movie is fine. Of course, it’s good to do things like switch off your Sony and do literally anything else for a length of time. Let’s not be too hard on ourselves if we aren’t achieving the things we want as quickly as we’d like.
This is something I have written over the course of a few weeks, starting around 2 or 3 weeks into the lockdown. We are now in week number 9, or it could be 1o. I don’t know.
Some things are returning to normal and there is some encouraging news out there - New Zealand, I see, has declared their country Covid-free. I think Tanzania today, also declared their country free of the disease with the president even saying the whole thing has been exaggerated.
As things get better, I hope everyone stays safe. As for me, in the process of writing this longer than usual, more personal bit, I can 100% say that the last 8 weeks has changed something in me. I’m not the same person I was when I started writing this.
This experience of being stuck at home, a home I’m very lucky and grateful to have, has taught me a lot about myself. I keep finding myself thinking, “Oh, it’s Saturday night. Usually I would be doing X activity with Y person at Z location.” The funny thing is, I don’t really miss a lot of the things that seemed important then. I’m quite happy and content with being at home, but that could be insanity creeping it’s way in. Who knows.