With this year coming to a close, many of us are feeling extremely relieved. For me, it’s just another year passing, but yes the pandemic made it a crappy one.
Everyone’s counting the days until this year ends yes, but I would rather count the days until this coronavirus is eradicated. What year it is doesn’t matter.
That being said, it wasn’t an easy year for me but I did what I could to make it less crappy. Here’s what I did:
Started exercising more
I don’t need a gym membership to get in shape. Before this, I worked out normally to my own stretch and weight routines I organized myself. If I was feeling up for it, I would walk outside or on the treadmill. But that was all. My mom on the other hand, was eager to get back in shape, so she started to exercise to YouTube videos made by personal trainers or just general fitness nerds, most of them were made by and designed for women over 50.
She invited me to join her and I began to really enjoy those videos, and you don’t need to be over 50 years old to do them, they still had a significant impact on how I would feel afterwards. I learned that there is more to working out than just walking or running, I started doing different arm, leg, and ab exercises and before I did all of this, my left knee was stiff and hurt a lot for some reason. Not anymore!
Like I said, you don’t need to go to the gym to exercise, nor do you need to do something extremely strenuous, you can do all sorts of things at home and save money too. I get that some people like the social aspect of the gym, but I’m a total introvert so yeah.
Started writing more things
I mean, I already write stuff here obviously, but what I’ve also been doing is going back to my fanfiction on Wattpad. I thought I had given that up long ago, but something rose inside that made me want to return to it.
So, I’m trying to rebuild my following. No I do not publish my work on Fanfiction.net, already tried that and found that place to be full of critic wannabes who take your work too seriously, like if they spot something that isn’t canon, or they detect that your OC is a self-insert and disapprove of it. (I have no issues with self-inserts, I do it all the time, it allows me to feel more connected and committed to the story I’m writing!) But seriously why should they care? I’m not writing fanfiction to make money anyway.
Right now I’m trying to work on three different stories and doing one chapter at a time in rotation and so far all is well and I’m happy to be doing it again.
Dove deeper into some bands I have loved for years
While I was upset that the pandemic prevented me from going to concerts and sometimes even delayed album releases, my friends said now was a great time to explore new bands.
However, I was still bummed and I needed to have happy hormones secreted from a source I was already familiar with first, because that would most certainly cheer me up easily than something brand new to me.
I sat down one night after work to listen to Within Temptation’s debut album Enter since it wasn’t too long. It was definitely not what I was used to hearing from them, but it was still really good, I think I will do Mother Earth next.
Then I also started to get to know Nightwish more. Sure, I have loved them for years, I have all their albums, and they are one of my top five holding a special place in my heart, but all that time I felt like I didn’t know them very well as a band aside from their music, so I started watching their music videos I had not yet seen, a couple of interviews, and well I think you know what blossomed during that journey! I’ve always had a thing for singers but it’s nice to love and appreciate the work of a band member who is the behind-the-scenes type with the songwriting and playing an instrument in the back for a change, don’t you agree?
The result of that made me love them even more.
Once I was happy again, that’s when I started to discover some new stuff, like some game soundtracks I wanted to check out.
Started reading more books
I thank my Kobo Clara for this. I spent most of 2020 reading through the His Dark Materials trilogy, and my Necronomicon full of short Lovecraft stories, but with such a small bookshelf and so many books I wanted to read, I decided to get an e-reader and now my taste in books is much broader than it was before.
I would rather get lost in a book than scroll a Facebook feed full of endless Grogu pictures/memes, covid stuff, and news articles about it and politics because that’s all people share nowadays. No wonder I don’t get that many likes on my posts anymore!
I still try to read before bedtime every night and sometimes it helps me sleep better.
Discovered new games to play
Ah nothing beats getting into new games. They serve a great distraction from all the stress we face in the world, especially now.
I spent the last of 2019 and the majority of 2020 playing Darksiders and some other indie games with it. They were all worth my time, especially the former. I couldn’t wait to get home from work and dive into my journey with whichever Horseman was featured in the game, defeat another boss, discover another secret, it was so much fun.
After that, I’ve been having a grand time tackling other games I’ve been dying to try, and going back to ones I haven’t played in a while.
Above all, I think one of the most important things I did, was first off, since I work in healthcare, I was never affected by any lockdown, so I went to work everyday, and when I went home, I told myself, work is over now and now it’s time to focus on me. It has really helped keep the stress level low and I strictly limited myself to how much news or conversations I would have about the pandemic too. Talking and reading about those things too much can only make you feel worse.
That’s what I did to make this year better. What did you do?