How to stay cheerful in uncheery times.
By T.J. Pandora Teer

Okay. Yes pandemics are not fun. Staying locked indoors is annoying – especially when all you are hearing is the news or fake news blathering the death tolls and the spreading contagion….it will make you mad if you let it.

Trust me… between the 7th to 14th day indoors, you will begin the crazies of cabin fever. After the 20th day you formulate a pattern then you will be sitting pretty.

So…

I have found the following 10 things that have saved me before wanting to rip my hair out.

You always wanted to knit that scarf? Here’s your chance
Watch a show you never had the time to…meet up and video chat friends and family.



1. You need to shut off the news. Yes I know that can be hard. Tim Curry once said: “Everyone loves a car wreck.” Its because people get wrapped up in sensationalism and advertising and social media knows we are easy targets. Why do you think you see the same commercials over and over again? It is a proven fact that if a human sees or does an act 20 times, they will remember it or make it a set pattern. All forms of rituals are simply set patterns to get us to remember how to do something. Like brush our hair, take a shower…so imagine seeing the same commercial 20 times? Your muscle memory is being inundated with advertising jingles and over colorful franchise stimuli. Switch it off.
If you NEED a news fix? Watch it for only 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night from a RELIABLE SOURCE. After that? Continue on your merry way.


2. Watch cheerier stuff.
My partner got so fed up with the news, he would get up and go into another room entirely. He would look up videos on how to build things. Or watch people making or doing crazy things. My personal favorites youtube channels he shared with me are:
●How Ridiculous – These 3 Australians are throwing stuff off of towers like full bathtubs of rubber ducks or jetskis onto gianormous trampolines to see what will bounce or break. They always make me smile. I love when they threw a full refrigerator from 60 or 70 feet high just to see if it would bounce! They are on YouTube.
● Gothic Homemaking with Aurelio Voltaire. – if you are looking for a way to make your home more Goth & spooky? This is the guy to watch. You can find his channel as well as his music (yes, that Voltaire)

3. Gardening
Currently we just started on our victory garden out in the backyard. We are picking lemons, planting seeds, getting out the cages for the tomatoes. I now know why my grandparents were all so into gardening…its therapeutic and gets your hands dirty while bonding with mother Earth. If you live I an apartment or roommate situation? Container gardening will be perfect for you.

4. Walk Fluffy!
Since we right now aren’t going anywhere? I have spent a larger amount of time with Buddy the dog and taking him for walks. He now looks at me around 5pm and knows when it’s time to go walkies. Play with your cat. Walk the dog. Love your pets and give them quality time.

5. Clean the house!
For real. No joke. Negative energy is attracted to hoarders and clutter. Roll up your sleeves and get crackin. Start small and work up. So far we have gotten the kitchen started and got a handle on the bathroom. Get rid of stuff you don’t need or what you can no longer use.

6. Movie binge time. All those shows you wanted to watch? You have time now! Some really great series or movies are out there. But the last thing you need to watch is something negative or something that will frighten you. So lean towards more happier things. Like ‘Queer Eye’ or ‘Nailed it’ or maybe ‘The Great British Baking Show’. Maybe some silent movies might be right up your alley- whatever makes you laugh and smile.

7. Stay in touch with family and friends digitally. Or hey! Write them a letter! There may be some extroverted loved ones that may need to see a smiling face. Be that positive force that you want to see in the world. Get on video chats with your loved ones- there are so many programs out there to choose from: Twitch, Zoom, Discord…
Go one on one chats using your cell phone or computer Instagram has video chat so there is no excuse.

8. Typeset my novel.
If you have been writing books or saying…oh yeah I’ve got this great idea for a book….and then you never print or publish….maybe it’s time. I have several books in a state of “completion” which never seems to get finished because something comes up.

9. Learn Something!
Catch up on your crafts for Christmas…or Yule…or Chanukah…you get the idea.
You know how after November everyone is in a holy mad dash to buy gifts for everyone on their list? When Yuletime comes around this year? I’m making hand sanitizer for everybody!!! Start working on making gifts now to avoid worrying on the winter holidays.
I’m not asking you to knit an Afghan rug the size of your garage…I’m not asking you to start doing yoga…especially if you never did yoga before…but I’m saying keep your mind active.

10. Spa Day!!!!
One of the first things I noticed when people get locked into their own homes for elongated periods of time that the first thing to go out the window is hygiene. So to get your mind off the horrors of reality? Spa day! Learn to manicure your own nails. Take better care of your feet – pedicure time!
Do a facial mask you have been blowing off. Nurture your skin. Do a salt or sugar scrub. Shave all the things you haven’t been able to. Deep condition your hair. Do all the things you said….I just dont have time to….well…you have time NOW!

In conclusion, times of lockdown is not a new unusual thing…its been around for centuries, but this is the first possibly in our or our parents lifetimes that we have been privy to the experience since we might take our rights and privileges maybe just an teensy weensy little bit for granted? Just some food for thought.

Baking can be something you have never had time for…til NOW.

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