Posts Tagged With: hobby

Surviving COVID-19 Quarantine

 

I’ll admit that I’ve never seen disruption to this degree in life! I remember back in 2003 when I was a travel agent, and facing similar uncertainty with the SARS crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely a whole new level!

I do miss my routine (work, play). I bet you do too. But it’s not quite so bad. In my neck of the woods, we can still go out for walks, exercise outdoors, walk our dogs, etc. And I’m super grateful for this! But many of you are not so fortunate. Leaving your home without proper justification can mean legal trouble, so you are confined within the walls of your humble abode.

You’ve likely kept sane by watching countless hours of YouTube videos, Netflix, etc. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve been using this time to catch up on my WIP.

And I’d like to share some similar ways to pass the time, especially in one with so much uncertainty and fear.

I’ve been telling people around me to stay positive, and I’m hoping by the end of this post you will be inspired to do that. The most important things you can do are the things that make you happy. Because when you are happy, you will think positive thoughts. So here are a few small things you can do to channel those positive vibes while practicing social distancing:

1. Take up a new hobby – here’s where YouTube comes in. Ever wanted to learn how to play a new instrument? Paint? I suggest using this downtime to learn a new hobby you’ve always wanted to take up but never had the time. Watch some videos (and there’s plenty of them) to get a feeling since you obviously can’t go out and buy a paint set, instrument. That can come during better times. Why not set out some time to learn a new hobby online.

2. Learn a new language – there are lots of language-learning apps out there, such as Duolingo. They’re free and have lessons for complete beginners. I use one to learn French and German, whilst keeping up my Spanish. I suggest devoting thirty minutes a day to doing simple lessons. You will be surprised how much you can learn in that time.

3. Journal – no, you should just write down your daily happenings. I suggest going deeper and being reflective. Make a list of the things you are grateful for; your best skills; the things that have made you a better person. What would like to accomplish by the end of the year (you might remember a previous post I made suggesting this). You will not only discover more about yourself, you will also think positive thoughts. You can even note how COVID-19 makes you feel in your journal. Go ahead, you know you wanna!

4. Exercise – this is crucial, and you can still get it indoors. Again, YouTube can be your helping hand. If you’re a yogi, you’ve likely been practicing during this whole social distancing thing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to give yoga a try? Well now you can, and there are plenty of videos for total beginners.

5. Meditation – definitely a necessity for positive-thinking. COVID-19 is bringing about stress beyond belief, and meditation can help curb said stress. You don’t have to meditate like the hard-core types. Just find a quiet spot in your home, close your eyes and listen to soothing instrumental music (no lyrics at all) for about eight minutes.

What you want to avoid is getting fixated on media regarding the COVID-19. I’m not suggesting ignoring it completely, but absolutely don’t let it become an obsession. When you get fixated on the news, you will start leaning towards the negative spectrum. And you don’t want that. Because then you won’t sleep or eat properly.

Stay positive and know that we will all get through this!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why I Love to Read

beautiful girl with book on the grass

Some of us read for pleasure; some, say writers for example, read for research, while improving their craft. I read for both reasons. I can’t say which reason I favor more. There’s something special about laying out a blanket on a warm sunny day, kicking off your shoes and letting yourself get whisked away in a world of action, drama or romance as you feel a comforting breeze. But since it’s winter, you can read as you curl up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa.

I love to read no matter what season it is. I’m currently reading a NA drama (mostly to research the genre I write), which has me engaged. But with all the hustle of the holidays, I don’t think I’ll finish until sometime in January. So here is why I read:

  1. Research – writers should always be reading because it is the best way to improve writing skills. I have to say I’ve gotten much needed insight in every book I’ve read, even the ones that were I was less impressed with.
  2. Keeps my mind sharp – I always learn new words, which can be useful for my own writing, or in my everyday dialogue with everyone I interact with. The mind needs exercise, too!
  3. Getaway from the everyday – yeah, it’s not a week at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, but reading takes me to another world. One where I can read about someone else’s adventures. Reading even for fifteen minutes calms me down, or in my case prepares me for the day ahead. I usually read before going to work or school.
Categories: Life | Tags: , ,

Why I Write

A writer friend whom I met through Weekend Writing Warriors inspired me to write this post. In fact, she wrote a post about why she wrote and I thought, “Hmm, that’s a good idea.” Coming up with blog posts is hard sometimes, especially since I’m not published yet or even querying to agents. This post seems appropriate because it is one that relates all writers – why do we write in the first place? For me, I know exactly why I write, seeing as I’ve only been doing it actively for the past four years.

First of all, I don’t write in order to get published and make big bucks. Getting published is great, but it isn’t the main reason I write. As for the money part, I know I won’t make enough to quit my job and live off my royalties. And even if I could, I wouldn’t want to quit my day job! It fulfills me and I really like it. Writing is awesome, but I would never want to write 24 hours a day; I want to see my friends and interact with new people.

Here are a few reasons why I write:

  1. I love to create stories and characters. Ever since I was five years old, I’ve loved to create characters and stories (it was a wonderful way to escape reality). I’m very creative and I like to see where my characters go in the stories I create for them.
  2. It helps me relax. When the daily grind gets me down, writing brings me back to life and reminds me of the talent I possess. I can pick up my laptop, head over to a coffee shop in the evening and write while listening to my favorite tunes. Being around pockets of people socializing actually motivates me to write, and that also eases the tensions from a hard day.
  3. It gives me a purpose in life. Writing is something that you can do until the day you can’t write anymore. You can write story after story. For me, it is my calling and I love the fact that I’m actually doing something most people only dream of doing. It gives me something to look forward to-day after day.
  4. I have stories to tell. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of things – some which I wished I’d never seen. They can only come out on pad and paper, and they will make a difference in the world. You only get one shot in life, so for me it’s now or never.

 

Of course I love to read and I enjoy the written word. It is a precious thing even in a world that has changed so much in the last twenty years. I couldn’t imagine not writing fiction; the world wouldn’t make sense. I think all writers should stop and ponder why it is they write. It keeps us motivated and we come to know ourselves better as writers.

So thank you Victoria Davenport for inspiring me to write this post!

Categories: Writing & Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , ,

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