I really did not want my blog to become a quarantine nightmare. I’ve been doing my best to not write about being sheltered in place. I’ve taken a bunch of photos in the abandoned Boston, but those are kind of interesting. It’s not often that the streets are so thoroughly empty.
Of course, you can’t avoid the inevitable. COVID has impacted me in a lot of ways. I’m sure that I have not had it nearly as bad as some. I’m relatively comfortable, I can afford to buy food, and, when we are really restless, we get takeout and go for long walks. All in all, it’s not bad.
That doesn’t mean that I’m happy about it. It doesn’t mean there aren’t bad days. I know it’s necessary and I believe that we will get back to a bit of normalcy soon. But I just want to go to a bar and get a drink and maybe some wings. I’d really love to see the Sox play while sucking down a beer and eating a hot dog. I miss festivals and movie theaters and Shakespeare in the Park and everything that comes in the summer.
Everyone does. I know. I get it.
I’ve been getting through this pandemic with a number of different tools. And I’d like to discuss them. It’s more for me than anything else. I want to remind myself of the options I have and that I’m lucky to have them. If you’re interested, great. If not, it’s not about you right now.
Exercise has been a saving grace. I’m a gym-bro (I like to think I’m not obnoxious or an asshole). I need to accept that I love being in the gym. When they open up, I will run in there like 6-year-old-me used to run into Toys R Us. Without the gym, I’ve been running and doing some basic workouts at home. It’s not the same, but I need to sweat and get my heart rate moving to feel normal. Without it, I lose productivity, depression comes on, and things feel completely off.
Playstation 4 allows me to connect with friends and have some mindless time. I was always a lite-gamer. I have friends who buy all the new releases when they come out and do pre-orders and all that stuff. That’s never been me. I like games. I like to lock into some games and get a bit competitive. However, the PS4 has been such a game changer for me. Connecting with friends to play an FPS or simply zoning out into a game is meditative. Right as we were entering quarantine, I bought a PS4 that came with a ton of games and free Live. It was the best decision that I could have made. It gives my partner and I some separation in our tiny apartment and it allows me some virtual therapy.
The writing is still there and still a big portion of what is keeping me sane. I will say that my productivity in regards to writing hasn’t slowed down much. I have commitments to myself and the website that I work for. So, I really can’t stop writing because I feel stressed or tired or overwhelmed. The wheels need to keep turning. I will say that I’ve slowed down a bit and not pushed myself as hard as I normally do. I’ve been letting my creative work be a bit more organic and there have been a few nights where I haven’t forced myself to write when I normally would. I think that’s okay.
In relation to writing, I have upped my reading. I’m always a pretty steady reader. So, I don’t know that it’s a big change. But I’ve found that the books are more comforting than usual. Sometimes, reading feels a bit like work. I know I need to do it to continue to grow as a writer. It’s nice to know that my key hobby continues to be a source of comfort.
Virtual game night, trivia, and happy hours. In the beginning, virtual happy hour or dinner or game night sounded stupid. I didn’t want to sit in front of the screen more than I needed to for my job. I was wrong. Scheduling these things and doing them on a weekly basis (for some) or spontaneously (for others) have given my partner and me something to look forward to on a weekly basis. Tuesday Trivia and Friday Game Night have been a source of reliability and connection that I didn’t know I needed.
Finally, food. I love cooking. I think I’m an okay-to-mediocre cook overall. But being stuck in the house has allowed us the opportunity to really think about our meals and how to diversify what we eat. Food is big. I really look forward to dinner. It marks the end of the work day. And, if I’m being honest, I really enjoy eating. Taking the steps to make different meals has been hugely significant the overall mental well-being.
So, that’s it. A longer post on how we’re keeping sane. I hope your okay out there, reader.