I’ve been aimlessly walking the halls of my home these past several days. Honestly, as an author who works from home and introvert at heart, I thought lockdown would be a breeze. There’s a novel that needs writing, books to read, and a drawer full of snacks to consume. Needless to say, I was wrong. Dead wrong. As we head into week 4 of lockdown here in South Africa, I’m on wretched tenterhooks.
The global climate is causing anxiety in everyone. We are worried about our family and friends. Panicking over our futures. Frustrated with the people breaking the rules. Optimistic we will get through this. Heartbroken at the deaths and devastation the virus has already wrought. Angry at people for abandoning their pets. Trying to understand that they are scared too.
Our emotions are all over the place! We feel conflicted, tired, and powerless.
Is it any wonder I cannot seem to put pen to paper and finish the deuced scene where the heroine kisses the hero? They are suspended in time . . . lips forever almost touching!
I keep reminding myself, and I’m here to remind you as well, that it is OK to not feel optimistic all the time. These are challenging days. Which is why I decided to spice up my routine and share with you what I’m up to. Because there is nothing quite as refreshing as starting something new. Well, perhaps a stroll on the beach might be more refreshing but this is as close as we are going to get! Unless you are lucky and have a stretch of beach you are allowed to visit!
Without further ado.
6 WAYS TO AVOID BEDLAM DURING LOCKDOWN!
- Try new authors.
I’ve been browsing Amazon and purchasing books from authors I’ve never read or heard of before. It’s a delightful treat to discover new authors! And let’s not forget this is the perfect time to ask for recommendations and connect with people. Maybe even start a book club?
Feel free to give me a shout out on Facebook if you’ve discovered any author or books!
- Write letters!
When last did you write a letter to someone? If you have a quill and ink, all the better. Time flies when you are writing letters and having fun. Of course, being in lockdown you will probably not be able to send your letters right away. It’s still worth the effort. Also, you will be supporting the local post office by purchasing stamps. Another win!
So go ahead, make a list of everyone you’re going to pen letters to and write away!
- Start a new hobby.
Have you been dying to acquire a new skill? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new language or knit a scarf from scratch. Bake something you have never baked before? I’ve been doing that too. Make jewelry? Write a poem for your husband? Take up online yoga classes? Paint?
This is certainly the time to shift your attention to a new hobby or skill especially with the rise and reach of online classes.
Don’t delay! Jot down all the things you still want to try. A hobby bucket list, if you will!
Here are 6 items from my list:
- Learn to speak, write, and read Korean.
- Learn to play the cello.
- Take up Kintsugi (Japanese art of repairing broken pottery).
- Origami – Another Japanese art.
- Flower arranging
How about you?
4. Make an extensive bucket list.
I know . . from hobby bucket list to extensive bucket list! Hold on, there is a method to my reasoning. It’s easy to get bogged down by negative news, stress, and uncertainty. Creating (or updating) your bucket list lets your mind focus on something beyond the current climate and on to the future. And it’s really fun. Think about all the things you want to do after restrictions have been lifted and then go on to think beyond.
Here are 6 items from my bucket list:
- Road trip with my husband to visit family after the threat of Covid-19.
- Write contemporary romance (I’m busy with this one)!
- Swim with dolphins.
- Visit every quaint little independent book shop in the world! (Ambitious, I know!)
- Eat Pizza in Naples. Italy? Yes!
- Build a home Library (Like the libraries in Regency residences).
- Take care of yourself. Always.
Lounging in your pajamas all day is fun right? No hairdo, no make-up, and a snack every time you set foot in the kitchen. This is a slippery slope. Idleness can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
It is important to get 8 hours of sleep. Drink lots of water. Do stretching exercises. Pamper yourself with hair & face masks. Put on lip balm. Do your nails. Dance in the living room on music you enjoy.
Remember, bad habits are easily formed but not as easily broken. So let’s all stay in the habit of taking care of ourselves! And our husbands, because honestly, if not us, who?
- Keep a gratitude journal.
A great way to start your day is by writing down 5 things you are grateful for. Expressing gratitude alleviates stress and brings a sense of peace to our lives. It creates awareness of all the things that are still good no matter how upended we might feel.
Today I am grateful for peanut butter cups and an online community I can instantly connect with. I’m grateful for the happy laughter of my neighbor’s children and the beautiful sunny day. I’m also grateful for my husband’s cooking efforts, undercooked meat and all.
How about you? What are you grateful for today?