As of right now, we are all still under quarantine. Social distancing is currently working, and those of us who can stay home should.
We have all seen the posts describing this as a time to do all the things you want to do, that if you don’t come out of quarantine with projects completed or a new skill learned, you did not quarantine correctly.
This mentality is careless and dangerous. If you are the kind of person who can just motivate yourself to do that, good for you. But if you are like me, quarantine just makes you a slug, sitting and rather not do anything. This could just be the Depression talking, but I’ve seen online that this is true to more than just myself.
So, to help my fellow comrades who sit and do nothing during quarantine, I made a quick list of things that help me get (some) stuff done.
First things first, you need to manage your time. There are people still working even if it’s at home, so this probably helps. For those who don’t work from home, or the many people who have been laid off, this is much more difficult.
It can be so easy to fall into a slump and just do something lazy and enjoyable all day. But then when the day is done, the feeling of dread crawls in, forcing you to face the whole lot of nothing you completed. I am not saying you should not do things you enjoy, but it can’t be the only thing you do.
Lots of people like to watch TV shows, binge watching their favorite streaming service. Others just read. Sit and read. For me, it’s video games. I adore video games, and just as quarantine started, the new Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons released. This game is amazing, relaxing, and enjoyable. But! It’s also very addicting. I find myself playing this game for hours and hours at a time. If I were still a teen, I would probably do nothing but play this game all day. Unfortunately, I am not a teen and I have to be an adult too. So what do I do? I set time limits. At said time, I get off the game, work on what needs to be done for the day, and then I will allow myself to return, but only at the appropriate times. Yes, it’s reminiscent of disciplining a child, but sometimes you have to do the same for yourself.
This may be more difficult depending on your circumstances, but I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so this is something I can do.
As an artistic based mind, I find it difficult to have inspiration while sitting at home, looking at the same walls all day, at the same clutter, at the same faces, at the same lighting. It stifles my creativity. But I can’t just go to the coffee shop anymore to sit and write anymore.
First, there is the option for going on walks. Remember to wear your mask, but getting some fresh air can help relieve the cobwebs of the brain.
Also, and this was a suggestion by my therapist, is to drive somewhere secluded to write. Again, I don’t live in a large city, so this is very easy for me (as long as it quits snowing in late April). There is a rather large cemetery on the boundary of town, sitting over rolling hills and surrounded by trees. There could be several people there, but you would never know from the expanse of hills. It is absolutely perfect for social distancing. Perhaps one day I will make a post about my love for cemeteries, but long story short, I grew up going on picnics in cemeteries. They do not scare me in the slightest, even if they give off a gothic atmosphere, which is perfect for the type of writing I enjoy.
Mix It Up
My last advice might seem a little odd. Have multiple projects going at once.
But Nyssa, that’s just going to make me have several unfinished projects instead of one finished.
See, here is my logic behind this… Quarantine can wear you out, so you might get sick of a project and need to put it down. So now what? Pick up a second project. It let’s the first project sit for a while and you are still being productive with the next one.
For example, I have the novel I am currently working on. I also have this blog. Lastly, I’m also working on a play. These three items are enough to mix up my professional life to make me feel as though I’m still being productive and motivated.
Note on this, it is best to be working on different stages of each project. For my novel, I’m working on the first draft. On the play, I’m working on initial research. So not only is the content different, the type of work I’m doing is different as well.