Tell me things to recover my optimism / good vibe. January 26, 2021 11:22 PM   Subscribe

I'm burnt out by all THIS (gestures wildly). Give me strategies to be happy again.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was optimistic, this is actually sort of fun, baking, cooking, spending time with my family, etc. I've officially run out of optimism and this-is-kind-of-fun. Please tell me how you keep your energy / good vibes up!
posted by signal to MetaFilter-Related at 11:22 PM (40 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

tumblr and tiktok. Fill yourself up with nonsense. The supernatural renaissance/meltdown is providing me with much amusement. Return to your inner-twelve year old fandoms. Embrace the silliness. Also, they require absolutely no self-improvement commitment.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:55 PM on January 26, 2021 [10 favorites]

I like having a dance to some favourite songs, or singing along to them loudly (they have to be cheerful songs!).
posted by ellieBOA at 1:08 AM on January 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

South Korean TV romances! They tend to have good production values and casting and are fairly easy to follow once you get used to the subtitles, because they always repeat the key scenes in countless flashbacks, and there are always dramatic close-ups and musical cues to make sure you could never miss any of the important emotional beats, which is just what the doctor orded for my frazzled attention span right now. I also appreciate the usually lovingling developed side characters who have their own subplots, it's not just about the main couple; the ensemble tends to be really important. In the course of the romance, the emotionally guarded/detached part of the couple doesn't just have to learn how to emotionally open up to the love interest, they also tend to improve their relationships with their community in general in the course of that personal journey.

But in spite of all the repetition it never gets dull, the plots are often quite cleverly constructed and the twists and turns are just surprising enough to make you say "Wow, I really should have seen that coming", not of the "fuck you for actually caring about this character"-Games-of-Thrones variety.

I especially like the shows with a supernatural element (Hotel de Luna, A Korean Odyssey), because I think it's super interesting to learn about South Korean spirits and ghost folklore. Perfect escapism.
posted by sohalt at 1:12 AM on January 27, 2021 [8 favorites]

Get yourself some Lego(s) - the older and more gnarly the better - and dive right in. My current creative project involves building 'art' from this stuff (which is kind of where I came in creatively, as a kid, about half a century ago) and I can't recommend it highly enough. There is something incredibly therapeutic about making things from bricks. Failing that, Minecraft creative mode, which is basically virtual endless Lego.
posted by Chairboy at 1:43 AM on January 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

99 Good News Stories From 2020 You Probably Didn't Hear About
Semi-random example: "New satellite data revealed this year that the UK’s woodlands now cover as much of the country as they did during the Middle Ages, thanks to 20th-century forestry and rewilding practices".
posted by hat_eater at 4:26 AM on January 27, 2021 [23 favorites]

Shrink your world. Make the things that are happening in your own community or street or house the majority of your focus; sure, it makes sense to pay attention to what's happening in Washington and on a national scale, but make that something you just keep tabs on every other day, and focus on things like "hey, cool, there are apparently a couple of cardinals nesting in the tree in the back yard" or "hey, there's new curtains in that coffee shop on Third Street" or whatever.

I mean, there are bad things that happen in your neighborhood too ("oh man, that house on Maple Avenue had a flood"), but the smaller scale will feel more manageable.

My own day-to-day world shrank at the beginning of the year when I landed a job that was a five-block walk from my house; every one of my day-to-day needs (work, supermarket, hair salon, pharmacy, hardware store, restaurants, a couple parks) is now in the same neighborhood with everything no more than a 20 minute walk, and I'm much more relaxed. I also find myself paying more attention to and getting invested in local things, which brings me out of myself a little more - or at least it did before I broke my knee and had to spend 2 months stuck at home, where even there I got super-invested in the stuff outside my window. (There is a pair of cardinals nesting in a tree just outside my bedroom window - I see them a couple times a week and have named them.)

I still participate in the larger world, but being able to step back for a few hours and ignore Congress in favor of the latest hijinks of Conor and Fiona Cardinal is a respite.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:47 AM on January 27, 2021 [19 favorites]

I have two key things to stay out of the negative headspace.

I write down a couple things I'm grateful for every day (particularly about my dear family that I am locked in with 24/7) before bed. Primes my brain to be thinking good thoughts about them overnight, rather than the last thing they did that irritated me because we aren't getting out much these days.

I also keep busy. I try to avoid as much idle doomscrolling time as I can by reading (just about at 3 books so far this year), home improvement, and organizing my home.
posted by bfranklin at 5:56 AM on January 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

It all depends on what you enjoy. Here are some things that have helped me:

+ paying attention to my house plants -- it's fun when they put out new leaves
+ sending and receiving snail mail (in addition to correspondence with friends, I also started writing to two people who are incarcerated, and both have said it helps them feel so much less alone); it is especially nice to write thank you notes to people
+ seconding the comment above, filling the two bird feeders in my apartment courtyard and watching the various wildlife that come by (there are woodpeckers!); if you don't have access to bird feeders, online birdwatching is nice
+ gratitude journaling (not every day so it doesn't feel onerous)
+ trying a new hobby (I learned how to make herbal vinegars and got very into foraging)
+ identifying local plants/ trees and watching them over time -- it's especially fun to do when spring comes and everything is vibrant
posted by wicked_sassy at 6:44 AM on January 27, 2021 [5 favorites]

I know you are not in the US, signal, so I hope you're not paying any attention to like, the negotiations over Senate control here.

Seconding the notion of shrinking your world - when I think about my happiest moments in 2020, the year of Our Discontent, they are all related my immediate surroundings. Frog spawn in a pond, an owl in the yard, lifting a paving stone to find salamander eggs (and then feeling guilty! and replacing the paver as gently as possible!) Tickling my child to make her laugh. Asking for gentle back massage before falling asleep. Baking and eating.

I also found some pleasure in doing the MeFi card exchange and gift exchange, in connecting with my cousins more closely than we had been in a while (there's a cousin text thread now.) Sharing our miseries and our small achievements. Trying to share the load.

Media helps me as a mild form of dissociation - reading is great for suspending my attention to the world's ills, but I've become aware that's how I am using it and feel like maybe it's not super great as a long term strategy. Almost everything I read last year was a re-read or a comfort read somehow.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:47 AM on January 27, 2021 [6 favorites]

Seconding plants. They always do interesting things when I least expect it, and that's fun.
Can you put up a birdfeeder, or anything like that?
I don't know what the plant world is doing right now in your location, but if you're into plants at all then when you go out for walks, make it a project to try to collect seeds or cuttings from every type of plant you come across in your neighborhood (and then grow them... growing actual mini trees from seeds you found is pretty exciting, imo!)

Also seconding sending things to people (gifts, postcards, etc) and just putting a focus on doing things for other people who might need it.

Sometimes it helps to aim for purpose rather than directly at fun.
posted by trig at 7:55 AM on January 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Start doing something you never in a zillion years thought you’d ever do, or just learn something new that you’ve always wanted to learn. I always wanted to learn Spanish, so I started taking actual Spanish classes (as opposed to Duolingo or what have you) via Zoom. I live in a majority-Spanish speaking neighborhood, and it’s actually been gratifying and sort of exciting for me to be able to start understanding some of the conversations I hear on the street or in the stores and so on. (I know you don’t need to learn Spanish, but you get the idea.)

I also started trying my hand at writing fiction. Yeah, I suck at it, but it gives me something to look forward to at the end of a work day, even if it's, “I’m going to see if I can make my dialogue less shitty,” and I can see concrete results.
posted by holborne at 8:31 AM on January 27, 2021 [7 favorites]

Weight Watchers recently rolled out national virtual meetings that members can attend as many of as they like (this is how it works in the US at least, not sure if their international program is the same.) I've gravitated to a few coaches whose energy I like, and I've been attending 2-3 meetings a week in the early morning. Gets my day started on a positive, energetic note! WW has tried to shift their focus off of weight and onto wellness (although admittedly most members do focus on losing or maintaining weight loss) so even if you don't want to lose you can use them to help you pursue other health goals such as eating healthier, fitness, stress relief, etc.

A local Episcopal church I don't attend streams live services to FB on Sundays and morning/evening prayer throughout the week. I often tune in when I see the notification. It's nice because there is no pressure to be social, I can just hang out and relax into feeling uplifted.

Ok so I know it's not a thing you can just do, but these two busy little stinkers have brought SO MUCH fun and happiness into our lives.

Oh, and I went back on my antidepressant medication :)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:55 AM on January 27, 2021 [8 favorites]

Whenever I feel like I need an infusion of good energy, I watch this absolute medicine of a Mister Rogers remix. Lyrics below!

Hey Neighbor, welcome again to this neighborhood.
I'd like to show you something. Do you know what this is? Well,
Maybe if I push this button.
This is a cassette player with a little cassette in here.
And there's nothing written on it so
We'll have to play it to see what's on it
Did you ever imagine things?
Are they scary things?
Did you ever imagine things
Things you'd like to have?
Did you ever see a cat's eyes in the dark
And wonder what they are?
Did you ever pretend about things like that before?
Did ever grow anything in the Garden of your Mind?
You can grow ideas
In the Garden of your mind
It's good to be curious about many things
You can think about things and make believe
All you have to do is think
And they'll grow
Imagine every person that you see
Is someone different
From every other person in the world
Some can do things
Some can do others
Did you ever think about the many things you've learned to do?
Did ever grow anything in the Garden of your Mind?
You can grow ideas
In the Garden of your mind
It's good to be curious about many things
You can think about things and make believe
All you have to do is think
And they'll grow
Did you feel like going like that? (hand snap)
Let's give the fish some food
Mr McFeely, I didn't order any whistles
(Music break)
That's what they call these slide things
Did you feel like going like that? (hand snap)
There are so many things to learn about in this world
And so many people who can help us learn
Did ever grow anything in the Garden of your mind?
You can grow ideas
In the Garden of your mind
It's good to be curious about many things
You can think about things and make believe
All you have to do is think
You can think about things and make believe
All you have to do is think
And they'll grow

posted by RobinofFrocksley at 11:28 AM on January 27, 2021 [9 favorites]

In case you are like me:

I think a lot of us, particularly if you're American, are trained to DO SOMETHING, to change your own mood, make your own luck, create your own sunshine. And then if you don't manage there must be something wrong with you. You aren't trying hard enough.

I hear you on wanting to feel better, and you're getting great advice on DOING THINGS here. Just wanted to say, in case it doesn't work or you're too tired to try, that sometimes there is value in recognising that you have no power and surrendering your expectations.

Anyway, last thought:
Recently during a therapy session I didn't have anything focussed to say. Just an overwhelming sense of meh for all the very obvious reasons. I thought I might as well use the time to tell my therapist what I appreciate about our work together, which I hadn't gotten around to. She seemed pleased and responded in kind, then we sat in silence and she said (paraphrasing), "I'm just thinking how there's a really nice atmosphere in the room right now. It's a good feeling, isn't it, just sitting there and sharing appreciative words with one another. We could all use more of that."

Which I took to be a particularly heavy handed hint! But I did spend more time after that cultivating good moments with other people and just really being present for that. Little pockets of feeling good as a protection against the overwhelming meh.
posted by Omnomnom at 11:38 AM on January 27, 2021 [22 favorites]

I keep up my optimism by giving myself breaks to feel sad and overwhelmed. It’s really hard to maintain optimism right now, and it’s even harder when that optimism feels forced. Sitting with my negative feelings for a short time gives me the strength to keep on keeping on.
posted by Ruki at 11:49 AM on January 27, 2021 [6 favorites]

Hi signal, I feel for you. Before I make a recommendation of happifying things, I would like to gently suggest you spend some time validating feeling blah. It's not an ideal way to feel, and it sucks, but that is the way it is now, and you can sit with it and accept it. I'm suggesting this because, well, being a lifetime member of the Messy Depressy Club, I know that steps we take to help us feel better don't always help, or don't always help as quickly as we'd like. So when that feel-good doesn't kick in immediately, it's important to be open and accepting of your emotions and moods, so you don't kick yourself further into a negative spiral.

If you are feeling up to reading and have access to books, I'd recommend Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart. This book has walked me back from the edge a few times -- the author's voice is soothing and she makes good arguments. It's also good for non-crisis situations, lol. And even if you don't end up agreeing with all of her approaches, I think you will find it interesting and enriching as you walk through a harder part of life.

Now, for my personal suggestions. I don't know where you live, so I apologize if these are not helpful to you.

* Go feed some birds. Bird feeders at home are nice too, but if you can, go find some ducks on a pond, and bring some frozen veg to feed them. Pigeons would work, too -- anything where you can just sit and watch a flock of little dinos be weird.

* If there is a carillon, or a church with a carillon, somewhere near you, and it plays at a particular time (usually around 6 or 6:30pm here in the USA), it may be worth going out of your way to go and listen a few times.

* I will second the suggestion of kdramas, specifically Hotel del Luna :). If you have a good friend who would be amenable to watching a show, new to both of you, long distance, I can definitely recommend it. We've been watching Columbo long-distance since last fall, maybe two episodes a month. We coordinate a time, phone each other for a countdown to pressing start, and then text each other commentary on the episode. Nothing too serious, just reactions, especially to the 70s fashion.

wishing you luck and some relief, signal :)
posted by snerson at 11:51 AM on January 27, 2021 [5 favorites]

I’ve officially run out of optimism and this-is-kind-of-fun.

Running out of optimism is kind of situation dependent; while there’s a huge backup on getting vaccines in the states, the fact that the vaccines are really effective is great news in general; even as we are facing down this big opposition it does seem like there’s some causes for big picture good vibes, I think.

If you’re just suffering from a general malaise at being confined and alone, I think my best suggestion is that you force some novelty into your life. For me, that means:
  • Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. (I don’t call people)
  • Grab a fraction of the day for exercise and just do some. (Exercise is a pain.)
  • Set up a bird feeder. (Bird feeders have been getting us through this.)
  • Play a big AAA video game. (Haven’t done this in a long time, and it’s very relaxing.)
  • Get back to reading (I’ve only been reading news and things, digging into real books again has been good.)
  • Books on tape (I’ve periodically bloated myself on podcasts and news this pandemic. You know what’s better than that? Someone reading to you.)
  • Try learning a language with Duolingo (I’ve actually fallen off with this, but it was fun for a bit! Upthread, folks mention actually learning a language via a course, which also sounds good I think - and definitely a bit more social.)
I’m not bipolar, but I like author Ellen Forney’s SMEDMERTS strategy for maintaining balance in her own bipolar life, pandemic or no:
  • Sleep
  • Meds
  • Eat
  • Doctor
  • Mindfulness
  • Exercise
  • Routine
  • Tools (for dealing with stress, sleeplessness, etc.)
  • Support System
If you think that you’re missing out on any of the above things, trying to address that is one approach to take.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:20 PM on January 27, 2021 [6 favorites]

Check out Katherine May’s book “Wintering” which is about embracing and coping the times when things aren’t fun anymore. While she believes these time periods are important her book does have some info about things she tried that made her feel better. Cold water swimming was one, if that’s an option for you.
posted by CMcG at 12:58 PM on January 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

The new World of Warcraft expansion released in late November more or less fixed a decade of accumulated weirdness in the perspectives a beginner would have on its game world. It's been a long time since there was a good moment to join, but if you've ever been curious about it, now is pretty good. It has more solo content than ever before, and the group content arises late in the game and is pretty frictionless to join.

More generally, we're in a golden age of film/ebook/media availability. I get that things aren't fine, and maybe it's hard to enjoy "great" things and admire them in the warm or enlightening or fulfilling way we're "supposed" to. But maybe just messing around with random sub-optimal stuff offers something worth your time too--I've quoted Kenkō on this before and will again:
Should we only be interested to view the cherry blossoms at their peak, or the moon when it is full? To yearn for the moon when it is raining, or to be closed up in ones room, failing to notice the passing of Spring, is far more moving. Treetops just before they break into blossom, or gardens strewn with fallen flowers are just as worthy of notice. There is much to see in them. Is it any less wonderful to say, in the preface to a poem, that it was written on viewing the cherry blossoms just after they had peaked, or that something had prevented one from seeing them altogether, than to say "on seeing the cherry blossoms"? Of course not. Flowers fall and the moon sets, these are the cyclic things of the world
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:05 PM on January 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

My wife and I have been enjoying a lot of hilerrible action/sci-fi/horror movies on Tubi.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:21 PM on January 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

And if you like RobinofFrocksley's Mister Rogers remix, come watch Mister Rogers with fellow MeFites on FanFare!

Also totally seconding birdwatching, and putting on good dance music and dancing. (Possibly not at the same time.)
posted by kristi at 3:35 PM on January 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

I’ve been rereading stuff I liked. Books I read last year, books I read in middle school, comics I’ve been reading for years, just anything that I know I enjoy and reminds me of a time I enjoyed it. Terry Prattchet in particular had been perfect for this.
posted by lepus at 4:25 PM on January 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Whenever I need a total brain reboot I make myself listen to an entire album I first purchased as a teenager. Surprisingly, it doesn't have to be a good album to work.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:26 PM on January 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Honestly, I had not even suspected how comparatively empty my life was before we got our dog. From a holistic/quantitative standpoint, he's got nothing on the humans who love me. But proportionally, loving me is like 60% of who my dog is. It both breaks and fills my heart to even know that. There is a living creature whose primary motivation is Are you okay?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:00 PM on January 27, 2021 [16 favorites]

This is my favorite DJ mix ever, Junior Vasquez 2, Disk 2 [1h18m]. It is a giant journey that I never get enough of. I've been listening to it for decades and it never gets old. I use it for motivation at work as well as for living room dance parties. It might work for you, too.
posted by hippybear at 10:39 PM on January 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

optimism is overrated. I tend to angle for hope. Speaking of which ... when's the last time you swooned to Freebird, Rebel flags and all.

[America is a complicated place]
posted by philip-random at 11:20 PM on January 27, 2021

Yeah, philip-random's idea is right on. Listen to good music you already like, in the way you did as a teenager: all-engrossingly, like the music is playing your brain. Take a vacation from your self. :)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:49 AM on January 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Whenever I've felt that I needed to sort of "re-calibrate" my perspective of the wider world, my first instinct is to dive into some classic Douglas Adams in book, audio, or video form. Surprisingly effective at counterbalancing the bits of stress and cynicism that slowly accumulate and weigh you down.

Alternatively, if something of a more philosophical nature seems better suited to the task, I've found that any random recording from the vast selection of talks by Alan Watts to also work quite well.
posted by chambers at 12:50 AM on January 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have some quotes at my desk that sort of ... ground me? The theme in all of them is basically, head down, do the work, one step at a time, it’s okay if it doesn’t seem like much. One of them is a poem from yarntheory and another is a quote from another MeFite (was it you, DirtyOldTown?) that goes: every morning I ask myself two questions: Who do you want to be? What are you going to do about it today?

But that’s me, raised Catholic by a couple of extreme squares, finds solace in rules and routines. I have a suspicion that people like me might find this pandemic easier to cope with than people who crave more novelty and surprise. Mr. eirias is quietly melting. :(
posted by eirias at 6:19 AM on January 28, 2021 [8 favorites]

A different question with some relevant & overlapping answers over on the green right now: What do you always recommend to people? I have really been digging that thread--it adds up to a huge toolbox of positive & practical approaches, many of which parallel the responses here: Shrink your world. Lean on things that you know will work. Be kind to yourself.

This morning I did a bunch of things I usually don’t, as a direct result of that thread; I ate vegetables for breakfast, I took a long walk (after I tied my shoes with a one-and-a-half knot!), I looked very closely at the birds I passed, and I got a 5-minute task out of the way. It made me feel (silently, but still) connected to the community here and the lived experience of others. An overwhelmingly positive vibe for me.
posted by miles per flower at 8:25 AM on January 28, 2021 [15 favorites]

Thanks all!
posted by signal at 6:58 PM on January 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Listen to, and learn, the Justin Trudeau song "Speaking Moistly" - you can find it on YT. It is just a quick fix but I went and rewatched it a few days ago and it helped me. Even in dark times there is light!
posted by Meatbomb at 9:18 PM on January 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

Here is my list of ten things that give me satisfaction. This is not a 'must do all of these every day' list. This is an 'if I'm in need of something that makes me feel better, these are good options' list. Maybe you'll find it useful too.

1) Make something (can be very small or simple)
2) Learn something new (can also be very small; for example, a new word)
3) Repair something or fix a problem
4) Find a proper place to keep something and put it there
5) Clean something that needs cleaning (maybe pick up some trash on a walk?)
6) Help someone to do something
7) Surprise someone (for example, send them a card)
8) Spend time with an animal or do something for them (feed birds?)
9) Do something that you know future you will appreciate
10) Do something that's good for your health
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:08 AM on January 29, 2021 [45 favorites]

What's helped me a lot is being involved in a series of creative group things, online or in my local community. (The latter mostly on a discord, occasionally with socially distanced drive-by or walk-by encounters.)

The best one was Jami Attenberg's yearly #1000wordsofsummer program. In addition to a twitter hashtag she had a group on Slack and still has a Substack. It's sort of like a mini NaNoWriMo. I participated by writing by hand last thing in the evening and typing it into a manuscript in the morning. The fact that it was more than once a day was key somehow. I wasn't necessarily spending a huge amount of time, but it was sort of structuring my time. I came out of it still writing and have since joined a series of groups to keep writing on a daily basis. Honestly, whenever I am between groups it sort of falls apart, with the amount of chaos and anxiety going on in other aspects of life.
posted by BibiRose at 4:41 AM on January 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh, Too-Ticky, that is a such a great list. Such a great list.
posted by veggieboy at 6:27 AM on January 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Do you thrive on external validation like I do? Because if so, then a great way to keep yourself animated every day is to get involved in some scheme where you're constantly working toward the next little reward.

In normal times I did this through dog sports, where you need three qualifications for each title before moving up, etc., on your way to a championship. Now I'm doing it (and I know I'm getting tedious with this constant recommendation) through the Peloton app & community, which builds in all kinds of rewards for doing their very fun fitness classes. It's especially great because of course exercise is the best mood booster there is, plus it feels social, plus it's enjoyable to feel good about how you look. I don't know why I find it so much more engaging than other things that are supposed to motivate you to work out. It's just addictive.

But anyway, it doesn't have to be that specifically--the magic is in finding something that pulls you along, as opposed to you always having to flog yourself through the day.
posted by HotToddy at 7:56 AM on January 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yep, to the degree that there was ever a novelty of stay-at-home, that has worn off, even to an individual such as myself inclined to introversion.

I've been doing a few things over the past month that have alleviated the morale drain a bit, a lot of these have been mentioned above so I'll try not to repeat them but I did want to single out the "think and explore locally" recommendation. That has been very useful to me, albeit harder to do as the weather has been very cold at the moment.
  • The first 3-4 months of the pandemic I took up walking with a vengeance, to the degree that I got plantar fasciitis in my left foot that sidelined me for a bit. So I've chilled out a bit, but I do make an effort of getting out in the morning and doing either some light yard work or a quick walk. Getting a little bit of Vitamin D before you start your work day is very useful.
  • I've come to realize that changing context from work to home is something I hadn't been doing well. So I now make a dedicated effort to "transform" my living space using sensory cues. When I'm done with work, I light some candles and I have this aromatherapy diffuser that I start up. Writing this out sounds a little cheesy? But it really helps! The aromatherapy in particular does wonders for shifting my mood, I look forward to the ritualistic aspect of filling it with water, measuring out the drops, turning it on. (Btw, the "recipe" I've stumbled upon is 50% rosemary and 50% lavender, it creates this kinda foresty but vaguely sweet-smelling vibe that is mysterious and yet relaxing, because wtf is that combination?)
  • Killing screen-time as much as possible after dark has also been very useful. At the same time I'm not dogmatic about it. But listening to music, while doing some stress-free watercolor sketches or reading a book has improved my mood quite a bit. I truly look forward to closing my laptop and transitioning away from the screen. I will be completely honest though and say that it took me about 3 weeks to make the change, although again there's no reason to be harsh on oneself. If you want to binge a Netflix series, go right ahead! Maybe just don't make it a routine.
posted by jeremias at 10:50 AM on January 29, 2021 [8 favorites]

I've been doing a lot of focusing on all the acts of kindness I see.

For instance, in Australia there are currently dozens of people who have voluntarily entered strict hotel quarantine for two weeks to support a loved one. They have greatly increased their risk of getting covid given the rates of infection in returned travelers. They will be unable to leave the hotel room during this entire time. They are doing this out of love and care.

There was an 18 year old boy who did this recently for his brother. He caught Covid (and recovered). Selfless acts like these restore my faith in humanity.
posted by daybeforetheday at 5:41 PM on January 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I started jogging with Couch to 5K (Mostly while listening to podcasts/audiobooks.) When I started I just did laps around an empty parking lot (empty because the school it was attached to was closed) to stay away from people. When it was hard I just ran slower, even if I was basically only running as fast as I would have been walking. And then when life shit got in the way and I fell out of the habit for a few months, I started again (from week five.) It gets me out of the house even when it’s yucky out and I can’t do any indoor activities outside of my own home.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:28 AM on January 30, 2021 [4 favorites]

Narrow your focus to your immediate surroundings. Notice the little things that gave you pleasure in the past, and remember to smile when the impulse arises. Take note of the seasonal shifts, celebrate the season you are in, notice the moonrises, and sunsets, and sunrises, go out and feel the wind when it blows, enjoy the smell of snow approaching, or the smell of after-the-rain. Call your friends, text them when good stuff happens, share the moon, or evening, or morning, post photos of those things. This whole thing is temporary, and by that I mean the whole thing, so pick and choose your way through this time, it is just a situation which will pass.
posted by Oyéah at 1:38 PM on January 30, 2021 [6 favorites]

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