Take Care of Yourself

We sure are hearing that a lot now-a-days and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, I think it would do the world-at-large a real favor if it remained a part of our everyday conversation.

This comes in many forms – obviously the first thing that comes to mind is the physical: Washing your hands, maintaining your distance from other folk when you go out, making the realistic call about whether you *really* need to go out at all.

Then there are some things that don’t come quite so readily to mind. Sticking around the house comes with a lot of sitting around – not necessarily doing nothing, but quite a bit of sitting while you’re doing it. I don’t know about you, but after a few weeks of self-isolation, I’m starting to develop some grape-like characteristics and I’m not talking about all the wine I’ve been drinking.

Getting up and doing something is another way to take care of yourself. Play with the kids, play with the dog, get outside in your yard (if you’ve got one), start a garden. If you’re in an apartment or it’s otherwise a greater risk to go out, you can get some exercise indoors as well. Put on some music and dance like there’s no-one watching. There are other things you can do, but I think you get the picture.

Now we come to the things that don’t come readily to mind at all – and it should. Taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally. We don’t really talk about that all that much – although we’re starting to more and more. This is also one of the things that I think it would do the world-at-large a real favor if it remained a part of our everyday conversation.

As a creative, I’m in my head a lot. Sometimes I’m not as pleasant – we’re all our own worst critics right – as I could be, or would be to a stranger out on the street. Being stuck in the house amplifies that – for me at least. You’d think that with all of this time I’d be writing up a storm, but let me tell you: This past 30 days has been some of the least productive in my life.

And, despite that being *Totally Normal,* I still get down on myself about it at times. Something that I am trying to school myself out of.

So I’m going to say it here in the hopes that I’ll hear it and take it to heart too:

The world is in utter flux. These are amazingly stressful times and it seems like there’s a new worry waiting around every corner.

But there is a better future waiting for us to push through to.

Anything you can do – even if all you can do is get up in the morning – is ok! And you know what? You’re not alone in this. Literally everyone on the planet is feeling some degree of the same stress, the same worry. There are places you can go to talk if you need to. The creative community is an open and caring place. It is for this reason alone, that I haven’t dropped off of social media entirely. Yes, it can be a toxic place and my block list and list of muted words has grown exponentially, but I have seen such acts of encouragement and kindness from *Around the World* that has more than once brought a tear to my eye.

So take care of yourself – in all the ways possible. Seek help if you need it – even if it’s just looking for an encouraging word – maybe especially if all you need is an encouraging word. Be kind to others. We’re not all on the same spectrum of worry and stress and it might be that the least you could do, might mean everything to someone.

Be excellent to each other and be safe. Together we’ll get by.

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