Tim and I are thrilled to start a new series on the blog called CLIENT CORNER.
In this series, we'll be featuring posts by guest artists- artists who are active parts of our growing IVS Community. If you'd like to contribute a piece of writing, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
How to Become Less of a Pathetic Piece of Sh*t During Quarantine
Okay, so you’re just like me. Your first reaction to self-isolation was to stock up on ice cream, watch a season of Archer each day, and only leave the couch to go to the bathroom or masturbate. Because the world is on pause, you’re struggling with motivation, and the onslaught of friends on social media who appear to be functioning so highly during this time is only making you feel worse.
And while you’re not trying to be that person who is somehow simultaneously teaching yoga, building a bookshelf, and roasting a chicken all at once on Facebook Live, you’re starting to get a little frustrated with yourself. You’re stuck on a track that moves from the couch, to the fridge, to the bed, and you’re starting to see it isn’t sustainable. Well, at least it wasn’t for me.
Out of pure exasperation, I started challenging myself to do at least one productive thing on each of my isolated days. I began with a (distanced) walk through my neighborhood and remembered the joy in moving my body. The next day, I tried a new cupcake recipe and updated some old jeans with a fabric pen. Soon, I was thinking of more and more small activities to fill my days. And then, for the first time in recorded history, something good came from scrolling through Instagram. I glimpsed a friend’s story imploring users to follow a daily checklist to keep motivated and sane:
Every day, do something:
It was so simple, but seeing this list really helped me put the pieces together- I now had a framework for finding some fulfillment in the void of isolated unemployment.
If this list seems overwhelming to you, I promise it’s easier than you think. Certain activities can check off multiple boxes- a long walk is outdoors, physical, and often meditative, and FaceTiming with a friend to collaborate on a script is creative, intellectual, and social.
Despite all the shitty parts of what's happening right now, this is a moment where we pull out that list of things we could do “if we just had time” and get to work. Start typing that play you’ve always wanted to write. Declutter your drawers. Paint your bedside table. Pick up that guitar, try a complex recipe, plant some herbs, learn a new language- maybe even do your annoying friend’s workout on IGTV! And remember that you can use these guidelines on your own terms. Although I initially mapped out my days and made sure I listed an activity to fit each category, I’m now at the point where I just go with the flow and usually end up accomplishing these goals intuitively. But they make for an excellent rubric for feeling productive amidst the chaos and are a great way to reset when you start to slip into couch potato mode.
I’m not saying I’ve cracked the code of keeping motivated while self-isolated. I mean, it took me a week to sit down and finish this article. There are plenty of projects I’ve set aside so I could keep watching Rick and Morty while depleting my stockpile of tortilla chips. But at the very least, this little checklist has helped me accomplish some small goals and create some structure in my quarantined life, and I bet it could do the same for you!
Follow Nate on Insta: @naterichnyc