Before anybody starts in on me, I am not assuming that everybody is a salaried employee who can work from home and who is childless and thus has hours and hours and hours to kill. I am assuming that everybody, including those who have to go out to work and who have to watch children, needs a break from the unrelenting terror of the virus news. I remember sitting there torturing myself in the days after the VT shootings with watching the news until Andy, who never tells anybody what to do, let alone me, finally intervened and got me to tune out for a few days.
The news will be there. Just give yourself a break from it when you can, a break that lets your mind unwind from the understandable anxiety. Everybody needs to detach, no matter who they are.
I am, I feel, an all-time distract-myself-from-anxiety champion. I am here to help. There are those lists going around, made undoubtedly by a humorless public health person, telling you to take this time to learn to meditate, start a new healthy lifetime eating plan, and a new healthy exercise habit. Good job. If you are the sort of person who can do those things when the world is going to shit, I’m the dead last person you should listen to, so stop reading now.
Here instead is an Aunty Lisa Approved of things to do get your mind off of things and generally muck around and pass the time:
In this podcast, Illustrator/Sewist/Knitter Kate Green talks about her projects, draws illustrations for us, and takes us for walks with her adorable little dog, Jack in the Devon countryside.
To me, learning dead languages is the epitome of a finger in the eye of all the captialism-on-steroids “if it doesn’t put a dollar in your pocket, why learn it” thinking that dominates the world. Hieroglyphics are cool and maybe I’ll find a way to write crochet patterns with them.
Watch Disney movies and then watch fashion historians discuss the historical accuracy of the outfits on Glamour’s YouTube channel
Forget Disney–you can watch costumer Bernadette Banner recreate historical gowns of all sorts, including gowns from famous portraits like the Portrati of a Young Woman in White of Jaques-Louis David. Besides that, she has a super-cute guinea pig friend named Ceasario.
Set up your own reading nook. Better yet, set up a reading nook for your kids.
Watch Dan and Linsey Cummins tell each other ghost stories on the Scared To Death podcast. (Note: Dan is entirely wrong about crystals. IF they do not possess magical properties, you at least get to have pretty rocks. And if you get tired of them just as pretty rocks, they are hard and sharp and may be thrown at one’s enemies. No downside to crystals, really.)
Play quidditch in your backyard
All of the Columbos are on AmazonPrime.
Shut your monkey: Danny Gregory is an artist and coach. Start a sketchbook by telling yourself you are going to make the shittiest, worst, sloppiest sketches possible. Stop judging yourself. Sketching is very freeing, and you only get better after a lot of rotten, discouraging sketches. Nobody cares what your sketchbook looks like, it’s time you stopped caring too so that you can gather the benefits of sketching without judgment.
What are your favorite distractions? I need them.