These are strange times, my friends. Many of us are finding ourselves with more time on our hands than we know what to do with. That is, those of us without children at home or who aren't working remotely. Those that are deemed the strongest of us by some higher power are plodding through both.
I am working remotely, but outside of that, I have found that if I don't stay busy, my mind wanders to dark corners. Where really, just no one should go. It's not productive and it's certainly not what one would call fun.
So! For the sake of keeping busy and for maybe providing others with some ideas to stay busy enough to stay out of their own heads, here is how I pass my time during this strange quarantine life.
I'm just going to go ahead and say it. I MISS THE GD GYM. Headphones, iron, and just me working out the frustrations and anxiety of the day. It has been rather painful to try and adjust to a schedule without the gym.
However, I have scraped together a modest and barely passable array of fitness equipment that, when paired with a couple of brisk daily walks with my doggo and my wifey, and my sister's Daily Burn membership (Thanks Sissa. You know you the best.) allow me to retain some of my sanity.
For your browsing leisure, here are some of the home gym vids that I've found particularly useful!
Yeah. I've watched a lot of them. I've been desperate, you guys.
Other things I've found to be helpful are...
Keeping a Routine
If you've read previous blogs, or if I have the privilege of knowing you in my day-to-day life, then you probably know that I am someone who takes great comfort in routine or process. And, in these great science fiction days, I have only gotten WAY more stubborn about finding and keeping a routine.
Outside of making me feel like everything is normal...well, a new normal, it keeps me relatively productive when I find myself with some extra time on my hands in the evening.
A day in the life of Melissa's quarantine routine:
6:00 - 6:30 a.m. Breakfast/coffee
6:30 - 7:15 a.m. Weight lift/Work on Art if it's a scheduled rest day (Yes, I schedule my days. I'm a freak, I know.)
7:15-7:30 a.m. Shower! Get dressed!
7:30 -8:00 a.m. Check work emails. Create my daily work to-do list.
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Worky work. (Snack time is at 10:30 a.m.)
12:00-12:30 p.m. Lunch and walk with wifey and doggo
12:30 - 4:30 p.m. Worky work (Snack time is at 2:30 p.m.)
4:30 - 5:00 p.m. Walk 2 OR Daily Burn cardio exercise! (Depends on how intense my day was. lol)
5:00 - 5:15 p.m. Shower 2!
5:15 - 7:30 p.m. Wife time!
7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Activity of choice. Read! Make art! Play a video game! ...Write a blog? Haha.
9:30 p.m. Bed time. I am an old woman. I need my sleep.
What's that? What do I do on weekends? Why, I do crazy things like drink an extra cup of coffee, build blanket forts with my wifey-poo, and pick up the doggy doodoo in the yard.
Here's your obligatory Xena gif.
Getting Lost in a Book or a Video Game
I love getting lost in fiction. Fantasy fiction, if you want to split hairs. (Ugh. Split hairs. I need a haircut.) You know what? Things in the world are really friggen scary right now. Sometimes reality is too much to handle, so I pick up a book or a video game.
The most recent escapes:
Samantha Shannon's The Priory of the Orange Tree.
It was amazing. I loved it. It is my new favorite book. I can't recommend it enough.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
I'm obsessed with this game. I can't play any other route than Crimson Flower, however. Edelgard is bae, okay. Also, so is this artist. Hjeojeo on DeviantArt.
You had to know it was coming. I'm just surprised it's so far down this list. I've had to shake some things up a little bit. I've found it difficult to work in my studio in my "off hours" after spending all day at my desktop computer in the studio (which is also doing triple duty as the gym) working remotely for my day job.
So, recently, I started taking my sketchbook downstairs to the kitchen table in the morning to work on the TUJEC comic project while I drink my coffee. That helps. My next goal is starting another illustration painting after I work through my current comic page. ...Though, I haven't worked out how I'm going to update the pages on the site without the library.
Just a reminder! You can read TUJEC on the site here.
Here's a nice kissy painting of our leading ladies Dillon and Kael.
Playing Games with Loved Ones
Just like you and probably 90% of America, I, too, have a box in the basement full of board and card games from the nineties. I also have a wife who is a librarian who brought home canvas bags full of games when she was sent home from work to start quarantine. (She's also a low key genius as well as a babe.)
We've played lots of Uno and Yahtzee. I forgot how much I love it. It's been a really fun way to laugh with my wife during this tense time.
We're missing our coffee dates. So, we're getting creative. We've brewed a pot of coffee, thrown it into a couple of travel mugs and taken a drive while listening to an audio book. We've created a blanket fort in the living room, made popcorn, pizza, and drank soda while watching a movie on a Friday evening. Thinking outside of the box and revisiting things that made us gleeful when we were children keeps us entertained, joyful, and enjoying one another's company.
It's okay to remember to have fun during difficult times.
Staying Informed, Acting Responsibly, & Protecting My Mental Health
Lastly, and probably most importantly, I am staying informed about what is going on and acting responsibly and lovingly toward my community by staying inside. I am also protecting my mental health. That means no news articles past a certain time of day and limited time on social media platforms.
Scary, sad stuff is happening out there. Sometimes, you need to disconnect to protect your mental health. That doesn't mean being uninformed, it means to rest. We are all experiencing global trauma right now. Remember to be gentle with yourself.
Speak kindly to yourself, friends. Even though we are far apart, you are in my heart, and I am sending you so much love.