THREE VACCINES NO WAITING

detail from Salvador Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’

During a life-threatening pandemic, there’s no such thing as spare time.

There are three shots in the arm, immediately and always available to counter the effects of cabin fever, anxiety, grief, depression, isolation, impatience, anger, sadness, fear, and loss that neutralize adverse mental health issues. I recommend…

…SHOT IN THE ARM #1 …CREATIVITY

As passionate storytellers, secret poets, and wannabe novelists hooked on unlimited premises, humans are hardwired for fiction. Jump-start your personal depths and heights of imagination by writing a memoir, short story, children’s book, or a novel.

     Read for pleasure. Read out loud. Read to a shut-in. Reread your old children’s books at bedtime. Read biographies, histories, the classics, memoirs, and poetry. Read books on the craft of writing. Listen to audio books.

     Join a virtual local writing group or a book club. Shelve literary horrors in favor of life-affirming genres. Whet your dormant visualization techniques. Set up a personal writing space. Complete a simple writing project from outlining to final draft. Share your thoughts, memories, story ideas, and insights by documenting daydreams and night dreams. Begin a diary. Turn off the Television. Be the library.

It’s human nature to make art: with paints, clay, or film. Paint, draw, sculpt, carve, build, design, cook, design, decorate, sew, knit, scrapbook, and share your personal wealth by teaching others your area of expertise.

     Think motivationally: create, play, produce, fashion, craft, build, construct, generate, invent, show, tell, reinvent, observe, watch, perceive, witness, design, question, initiate, establish, entice, perform, dream, and most of all, begin. Have fun

     As a bonus incentive, creative projects suspend the perception of time. Hours cease to drag. The passage of time shifts accordingly with hypnotic focus, and eventually, the timely arrival of a muse inspires…

…SHOT IN THE ARM #2 …DISCOVERY

Humans thirst for knowledge. We are armchair explorers, absorbers of stories, seekers of wonder, science-mad, competitive gamers, addictive solvers of puzzles, curious discoverers of clues, dedicated researchers, steadfast students, resolute historians,and tenacious investigative reporters. Enroll in an online master class. Take up a new hobby. And especially, fan the flames of continuing education by teaching others.

     Explore, research, learn, read, and watch documentaries. My two favorites are:

     ‘Lucy Worsley’s’ historical documentaries and ‘Time Team’ for archaeology.

     Listen to interviews with brilliant scientists and artists. My two favorites:

     ‘The Making Sense Podcast’ with Sam Harris and

     ‘The Origins podcast’ with Lawrence Krauss.

     Decrease toxic waste in the landfill of the mind by shelving genres of dystopian horror and violence. Avail yourself of the endless stream of documentaries available on YouTube. Embrace science. Shine your enlightenment into our current ‘dark age’. Which brings us to… 

…SHOT IN THE ARM #3 …MINDFULNESS

The human spirit requires periods of tranquillity to reset, and since thoughts can inspire or contaminate, we must choose them prudently. Embrace white noise. Nurture kindness and compassion. Celebrate the human spirit. Treasure moments of solitude. Focus on the breath. Summon serene inner landscapes and spend time there. Bank the fires of anxiety by stilling the mind with Guided Meditation. I highly recommend:

     ‘The Waking Up app’ with neuroscientist Sam Harris.

     A mind spiraling out of control into anger, depression, and anxiety, feeds the unsettling disquiet of social media. Decrease mind pollution. Refrain from consuming fright-based entertainment. Stifle the excessive blitz of social chaos, ignore vicious gossip, disregard false news, and silence conspiracy theories. Peace of mind is a natural state; there’s no need to wear yourself out seeking it. Peace of mind arises with acceptance. Acknowledge what is. Listen intently to stressful emotions and let them go. Release the temptation to live in the future. Now is the only time that exists.

Stay mindful throughout the processes of recreational therapy: solitude, silence, patience, focused listening, and the art of breathing.

     Prepare for success. Sluggish thinking spirals downward into despondency. Time is a gift. Whatever your present challenges, remember you’re the watchkeeper. Keep on ticking!

About Veronica Knox

Veronica Knox has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied Art History, Classical Studies, and Painting. In her career as a graphic designer, illustrator, private art teacher, and ‘fine artist,’ she has also worked with the brain-injured and autistic, developing new theories of hand-to-eye-to-mind connection. Veronica lives on the west coast of Canada, supporting local animal rescue shelters, painting, writing, editing other author’s novels, and championing the conservation of tigers and elephants, and their habitats. Her artwork and visuals to support ‘Second Lisa’ may be viewed on her website - www.veronicaknox.com
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