As a writer, it is my job to be introspective, to observe, comment upon, and analyze. I feel it my duty to create works that act as a mirror for society, human interactions, and emotion. But Shelter-in-Place is so foreign that I’m finding it challenging to write.
Like many of you, I am fighting feelings of helplessness and depression. I long for human interaction, closeness, touch. I miss patting my friends on the back as we laugh over some silly joke, twirling on the dance floor goofily between hugs, and placing a hand on a gal pal’s arm in comfort.
As humans, we were not built for isolation. Remember that study from your reading in Psych 101? Back in the thirteenth century, the German king, Frederick II, conducted an experiment to discover what language children would grow up to speak if never spoken to. So King Frederick took babies from their mothers at birth and placed them in the care of nurses who were forbidden to speak to them. But a second rule was imposed, as well: the nurses were not allowed to touch the infants. Frederick’s experiment was an absolute failure, because every baby died. Without touch and tender words they couldn’t thrive.
We all need connection. So what to do now when that basic human need is denied us? I have found the following things help.
1) Avoid the news. It will only depress you. Read just enough to stay informed.
2) Limit your TV watching.
3) Put your favorite music on. Dance around the living room.
4) Do some activities that don’t need much brainpower such as cleaning. I find toilet scrubbing a good one.
6) Get outside. If you live in a house, weed, plant, mow, edge, blow. If you live in an apartment, sweep the walk.
7) Keep to your normal routine as closely as possible. I still shower early, do my hair and get dressed in the morning.
8) Give yourself a makeover. Try a new hair or makeup style. Get goofy and have fun with it. Laugh at your own silly antics!
8) Go for a walk.
9) Find a workout video and dance along. Zumba Workout
9) Go for a drive and crank the tunes: pretend you are a rebellious teen behind the wheel. Shake it Off Video
10) Do art. Paint, color, sketch. Make a dream board.
Any more ideas out there? I’d love to hear them. Blessings for healthy minds and bodies, dear ones!
About Laurie: The author of The Pharaoh’s Cry, Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. Laurie Woodward co-wrote Dean and JoJo: The Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet, and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net