Rediscovering Joy During Lockdown
During the current lockdown, many of us are feeling the effects of isolation. We aren't able to spend time with family and friends or go out to places where we might meet new people. For a lot of us, the isolation is contributing to anxiety and depression. We may want to just crawl under a fuzzy blanket and set the alarm for when the world returns to normal again.
Anxiety and depression can take a lot out of you and sometimes we need to spend a day or two to power down while we recharge our batteries. But there is a point when lying in bed can start to feed into the depression and you need to get out of bed and do something.
But, do what, then?
Something fun. Something you haven't done in years. That thing you used to enjoy doing but stopped because you didn't think you could make a living doing it and felt pressured to give it up in favor of doing something "productive". Who decided the definition of "productive" is "revenue producing anyway? Or maybe you put it away because the responsibilities of adulting left you with little time to do your thing. Or maybe you just thought it was childish and you're too old for that sort of thing. Whatever the reason, you haven't done it in years.
Now would be a good time to start doing that thing. Dig out that musical instrument, tune it up and just groove along with some music. Go back to those dance lessons you took as a kid, put on some music and give your tail feathers a good shaking. Pull that basket of craft supplies or paint brushes out of the back of the closet and put some colors on a canvas. Write fanfiction. Write serious fiction, or silly fiction, or nonfiction. Even just grab an adult coloring book and do some coloring, it can help lift you out of the doldrums. Let your inner child come out to play.
It doesn't matter if it looks or sounds good. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks. This isn't a performance or gallery show. This is about preserving your mental health. This is about doing something you enjoy simply because you enjoy it. It's about looking inside yourself, finding your own creativity and expressing it because doing it brings some light and fun into dark times.
It's our passions and our creativity that give our lives purpose and when we're isolated, especially if we can't work from home, we may lose that sense of purpose. Rediscovering the things that bring us joy can revive our sense of having meaning. So, go on play!
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