Image from IstockPhoto, provided by SunRay BRI Cattery RU
One of the problems with all the craziness going on this week is that it’s very hard on the creative side, or the muse.
Limit news sources
The media wants to sell us with headlines. They also don’t care about us, beyond what they can sell to us. There’s a constant barrage of “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” That takes mental energy to absorb. When I was in Desert Storm, we lived in minute-by-minute fear we were going to be attacked.
All this is very hard on the creative side. For the first few days, I gave up on any kind of writing. The energy simply wasn’t there. But I took control by doing all of the following:
- Unsubscribe to daily news emails. Even seeing the email like is like a bell going off to keep reminding us that we should be afraid.
- Unsubscribe to any news sites in your social media feeds. This is the same problem as the emails, only the email is just one. On a place like Facebook, you might get barraged with ten articles. Just no.
- Limit your news to one source. I’m a paper subscriber, so that became one newspaper that isn’t doing as much hysterics as everyone else. I also stopped looking at anything on TV. It seems like it’s a long time ago, but those used to be how we got the news and we went the rest of the day without.
- Limit your time. If you go online for your news, stick to the main page, look at what you want, and then get off. Then STAY AWAY!
- Cut off social media. I’ve been shocked at how many people will send post after post on Coronvirus to be “helpful.” It has the same impact as the news screaming at me constantly. So I’m off Facebook for the moment.
Exercise of any kind is very good for your creative side. Just make sure you pay attention to any guidelines from your doctor. When I was locked down four years ago due to a broken foot, I still did some limited exercise—I had a lot of rules from the doctor on what I couldn’t do then because I was no weight-bearing. I still managed something.
These are some things you can do:
Walk. If you’re not on lock-down, just take a walk down the street. Washington DC is starting to bloom, so I can check out the white flowers on the dogwood trees and listen to the birds. There’s also a lady who walks her dog when I go out. The dog’s got a topknot!
Use the walk to help you mentally separate from what’s going on. I have to deal with Coronavirus at work. At the end of the day, I shut off my computer and head outside for a walk to reconnect with my creative side.
Do other kinds of exercise. Especially if you’re in shelter-in-place. It’s too easy there to do nothing and keeping your body moving is essential t keep your creative side happy. You can grab exercise here and there all day—and the tools are available to you in your house.
Jack La Lanne, the godfather of exercise, was big about keeping the exercise simple. A machine with weights is nice to have, but there are exercises that you can do with a towel or a pair of cans or a book. His famous “bicycle” is done sitting in a chair.
I’ve been doing things like calf raises or chair squats while I wait for the computer to boot up. While I’m waiting for sites to load, it’s bicep curls, chest flys, or wrist curls with coconut milk cans.
Be Prepared for Plan B
You might have to do some things differently because of how you feel and respect that you may not get done what you want.
I normally write in the evenings and on the weekends. With the chaos of the last few weeks, I’m only able to do some early in the morning before work takes me back into it. I consider it lucky that I’m getting anything done at all.
It’s very important during these stressful times to protect your creative side. What are you doing for it?
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