Quarantined in a Creative Prison

Eeks. Over a month since my last post. Okay, I’ll admit it – I cracked. My discipline shifted into a job that required a lot of my attention and energy Tuesday-Saturday. Sunday and Monday I had time to write and post, but honestly… I just wanted to do anything but be creative. I was zapped of my creative juices and the discipline to stay focused.

But it was for the greater good! I was disciplined in all other areas of my life and yielding successful results because of it. They say that the best art comes through times of leisure, not that of excessive “busy” or a “busy mindset.”

I agree. Mostly because it gives me some sort of subconscious scapegoat for why I didn’t sit down and write as much. Sometimes you get so busy that when you have just a little time that’s unscheduled or not “busy,” you just want to play a video game or stare at a wall for 3 hours to let your brain decompress.

Well, shit’s changed. Apparently there’s this “global pandemic” now? My job isn’t something I can do from home so until this whole thing passes by, I’m forced to be home with nothing but leisure and free time.

Mental health. Holy shit, is this the most important aspect of it all. Being stuck indoors for weeks on end is like waking up in Billy Murray’s Groundhog Day… but you can’t go outdoors and it’s definitely not as funny. If you DO go outdoors, it’s grabbing the essentials and coming back home… and then washing your hands and burning your clothes with a flamethrower.

“The essentials” have become what different types of snacks I’m going to shove down my gullet with the drink I’ll be pouring myself at 5pm (because that’s late enough in the afternoon that it’s socially acceptable… right?). I think I’ve put on 10 pounds in 11 days of quarantine. No, really – I have eaten enough calories to feed all of Joe Exotics big cats for a month. With all the gyms closed, it took away that “place” where you could run on a hamster wheel, lift heavy things and put them down, pull/push, grunt, sweat excessively, look at yoga pants… but it was the place where you could focus on fitness for an hour or 2 AWAY from all of your food, toys, and couch.

So yeah, physical health is also a struggle. Eating and drinking too much without burning enough calories. I’ve been moving, but it’s been difficult. Now that I think about it, it’s probably a lot of the mental health battles spilling into the physical health. Such a slippery slope we’re all teetering on during these tough times.

Lastly… purpose. “Why?” “Whyyyyyyyyy?” Millions of people are laid off without work. Small businesses everywhere are shut down. BIG businesses are shut down too. We’re all stuck at home, lots of us aren’t pulling out our laptops and getting work done from our couch. We’re browsing reddit for the 30th time today, binging hard on Netflix, or fighting for another Call of Duty Warzone victory. The first few days were fun, but now the reality of it all is setting in. Massachusetts is pushing their “stay at home” until May 4th. Yeah, that’s not the 2 weeks I was thinking. That’s over a month away. This is real.

I woke up this morning in somewhat of a stupor (still feeling a little outside of my body if I’m being truthful), but as I showered off the night sweat from the excessive food and booze from my skin this morning I realized that this shit has to stop. Not the food or the booze (get off your high horse), but the excessiveness of it. The playing video games ALL day (a couple hours is still cool, once in a lifetime chance that it’s socially acceptable). The aimless workouts. They’ve all got to end, they need PURPOSE. So as I scrubbed deep in between my cheeks and gave my ass a fresh start, I felt these 3 aspects of my quarantined-life needed some redirection.

  1. Mental Health
    • Waking up and starting with a shower and getting dressed. Just being clean and giving myself a fresh start to the day almost helps me forget that the world is battling an invisible enemy which requires us to avoid human contact.
    • Writing. Just journaling whatever comes into my brain. I literally call it a “brain poop.” It’s almost like once I get everything stupid out of my mind and get the engine running, I can focus a little better and think with a clear(er) mind.
    • Conversations. Just hopping in discord (it’s an audio chatroom made for gaming) and shooting the shit. I don’t need to play a game or really do anything, but in a time where human connections are lacking on that daily basis, it’s important to hear friend’s voices and interact with them… even if it means playing a game you don’t like.
    • Walking. Yup. Keep the 6 feet away from other people, but just getting up and going for a walk around the block for 10-20 minutes. It’s moving meditation and if you’re not meditating on a daily basis, this is super helpful. That’s probably another habit I should get back into…
  2. Physical Health
    • Eat less. Seriously. Realizing how much less physical activity we’re all doing means we’re not burning as many calories as before. I can’t imagine many people are living the same life they were before the crisis, so if you’re like me and your life is upside down… eat less. I gave myself a goal to lose 15 pounds by the end of the month. It won’t be difficult, it’ll just be something to be mindful of. It’s too easy to sit around and eat all day. I am taking out all sugar from my diet (personally – do what works for you. My sugar consumption is more of a comforting habit than anything) and I won’t eat any food until 5pm and then all I’ll have after dinner is a protein shake. That’s usually where I lose my battle… in front of the TV after dinner. Protein shake is all I’m allowed. BUT…Sundays are cheat days … if I can remember which day is Sunday.
    • Give yourself a fitness goal. My goal is 50 pullups without stopping. No clue if I can do it, but I’m going for it. I don’t have much for weights, I can only run so much before my knees and hips start to ache (just requires lots of stretching afterwards) so marathons are out, and I left my hanging heavy bag at my other mansion with the 5 car garage. That’s my goal… what’s yours?
    • Seriously, eat less. Drink a glass of water instead.
  3. Purpose
    • For me? I’m going to post every day in April. Now, not every post will be as driven or as meaningful as this one. Lots of the posts will be bullshit. BUT, I am going to post every day in April. This is no April fools joke. Every. Goddamned. Day. This will help relieve that creative itch I’ve been letting turn into a rash. I’ll write something, post it, and I’ll feel accomplished in some sort of way. Like getting a pat on the back from my conscience. I’m hoping to use this time indoors to manifest my creative discipline.

This will all be over soon enough and we’ll all be back to work. The way our economy operates will probably never be the same and a lot of people will continue to work from home. Our lives will shift, there’s no denying this. But a lot of us will go back to the same grind where we can’t wait to get back home and relax. Sit on our thrones, look out our windows, drink our coffee, work on the house, get another Warzone victory…

This will all pass. The time we were FORCED to stay home for weeks on end will be gone and we’ll be FORCED back to our lives, whatever that means.

When you look back, what are you going to say you used that unprecedented time in history for?

About krisoakey

Simply a man playfully chasing enlightenment while encouraging others to join him through mockery, logical anomalies, and hand holding...LOTS of hand holding
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