Months after reading David Eagleman’s Sum, which is a collection of stories about scenarios in the afterlife that is my favourite fiction book, I am still loving the premise as a means to think of new concepts to write short fiction. Today, I have another one.
Routine… it has such a bad rap, whether it’s something you “have to” do, or whether it’s the supposed blandness of your life. However, in times of limited social contact, self-isolation, or quarantine for this COVID-19 pandemic, routine is essential to keeping your sanity! It allows you to have something predictable when so much is changing around you, something to look forward to, and especially something to control when so much is outside your control these days.
Obviously, you can’t be having your same routine from before all the changes to minimize Coronavirus spread, like going out, getting a coffee, meeting in large groups, maybe even just sitting down at restaurant with a friend or two. However, what you can do, is create new routines at home. What are you going to do when you get up? How will you cook, or some meal plan? How’s about morning, afternoon, or evening routines? Get some regular practice in for something you didn’t have time for, or as much time for, as now?
If you’re stuck on ideas, experiment! That could be the funnest part of this process. Set some default routine, then try it. Refine it as you go to find the exact details that work for you, then evolve it as you go, so as not to let something settle in long enough to be, well, routine, in that boring sense of the word.
So if you don’t have a routine set in your life already under the new, extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, or have a routine consciously set, make one! Then share it and see what you can learn from others, and what they could use from yours, to make everyone’s routines better. Maybe even have a little competition to see who can make their routines the most interesting!
Good luck, and stay safe and healthy!
For all the news about support for dealing with COVID-19 and the associated pandemic happening, there’s been remarkably little about mental health support. That’s shocking considering:
- The world is a lot more stressful and uncertain place now than it was just two months ago; and
- There wasn’t nearly enough mental health services a few months ago.
People facing all kinds of new unknowns and uncertainties, with serious harm potentially at stake. People locked away for a few weeks at a time if they might have COVID-19, or just locked away in areas of extreme lock down. You don’t think people are going to need some mental health services in all this???
I hope someone is seriously planning for LOTS of additional mental health support to help people around the world get through all of this!
I wrote a short poem in tanka format about a week ago. In it, I pondered if my life story were a jigsaw puzzle, what would it look like? Now, and what I hope it would look like at the end.
Today, I finally did that “mental exercise” that could also be good for a writing exercise. My answer is below, but if you want to try it yourself, I would suggest you not read further until after you have tried it yourself, so as not to be influenced by ideas. 🙂
I enjoyed the exercise, and I hope you will, too, if you decide to give it a try.
The poem will be on my poetry blog on November 2nd. I have a large back log of short poems so I am sharing one or two per day in chronological sequence among sequences of poems in common collections.
In the aftermath of the Newtown shooting tragedy, I am hearing and seeing a lot of social media about needing to provide more mental health support to stop incidents like that. Well, talk about a crazy argument, pun doubly intended! And I didn’t pun because I’m insensitive to those needing mental health. Rather, the argument of better mental health support for gun violence in America is that ludicrous!