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Lady Winter Rose

This lockdown is driving me nuts - what can I do to feel less anxious?

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I’m far too busy with work to feel bored or to feel over-exposed to my family, but the sense of anxiety and ennui must be pretty universal by now. 

I would suggest more intense exercise to help battle anxiety.  Run instead of walking, if you don’t have any better option.  Intense exercise brings endorphins and reduces cortisol.  It’s the most effective way to defeat stress and anxiety.  Yoga can be done easily at home too, guided by online videos.

Other than that, it sounds like you need to rediscover some purpose.  So I would echo the suggestions above to take up a pursuit that requires technical mastery while feeling like it expands your horizons (video games are good for the former but poor for the latter).  A musical instrument, sketching/drawing/painting, a new language, a significant writing project, computer programming, cooking/baking, etc.

For something more social, what about forming a D&D group over Zoom or something similar?  I believe there are online communities to play board games, but I think you would like one with visible faces, not just staring at a digital rendering of the game board. 

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I got my girlfriend some painting by numbers sets for Christmas, and we’ve been doing them together. It’s been really lovely, given that I’m the last person I would have expected to enjoy painting. It’s been great for getting away from screens.

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Gardening? If you don't have space where you live maybe there's a community garden where you could volunteer?

Video - Youtube dance lessons?

Edited by Zorral

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8 hours ago, Werthead said:

I also caught up on a whole ton of video games, articles and writing. I must admit that initial burst of energy and motivation during the first 3-4 months kind of evaporated by Christmas and it's been more difficult since then.

Yeah. Most of last year the lockdown didn't bother me too terribly. I didn't like it, but I could get by easily enough; it helped that I already WFH full-time. But the past two months have been extremely difficult.

I don't have any easy answers. But one thing that has helped the past few weeks has actually been getting back into online dating again. I did it a bit last May/June and hated it. But recently it's been a really helpful way to start to make a connection with someone. I don't know what the plan is about ever meeting up in person though.

Another thing that's helped keep me sane has been a twice-monthly D&D campaign that I've been playing with friends over Skype.

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4 hours ago, Stannis Eats No Peaches said:

I got my girlfriend some painting by numbers sets for Christmas, and we’ve been doing them together. It’s been really lovely, given that I’m the last person I would have expected to enjoy painting. It’s been great for getting away from screens.

I did this early in the pandemic as well - unfortunately they took months to get to me as I think everyone else had the same idea. I’m sure that is better now though. It is fun. To add a little personal flair to the project there are websites out there where you can upload your own images and they’ll make a paint by numbers out of it. If I ever do another one I’m gonna do that with a photo of my dog. 

ive been doing A LOT of house projects to stay busy. In the last 8 weeks I have replaced a toilet, painted all ceilings on the first floor, painted a bathroom, constructed and painted a built-in entertainment center / bookshelf out of wood, added chicken wire to an outdoor gate that the dog could squeeze through, and installed crown moulding in the main living area. 

all of that turned out pretty well, especially the entertainment center which exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off but it looks great and since I custom designed it myself it couldn’t possibly fit the room better. I bought way more wood than I needed and now I’m mulling over what to do with the leftovers. I think I’m capable of a really nice standalone bookcase but I don’t actually need one right now so I’m still marinating on what to do with the extra wood. The crown moulding was surprisingly easy to put up as well. For as much as it adds to a room it’s not all that expensive. Well, I guess it could be but a fairly standard crown isn’t that expensive and is definitely a doable DIY project. Do buy a brad nailer, though. 

Currently working on a set of blocks for my son which I’ve cut to size, stained, and have started to paint. It’s an off and on project. He can’t do much more than eat and poop right now so no rush on teaching him the alphabet. 

Upcoming projects: there are two additional areas where I plan to install crown moulding - one of those areas is probably what I’ll do next.

Within the next month or so, though, I need to start on some outdoor stuff. I am going to get some dirt to fill in under my back porch and grade it so water drains away from the foundation. I expect this task to suck because there’s only a couple feet of clearance and I’ll have to be bent over a lot. Next step is to get some cinder blocks and use that under the porch space as the storage area for all of the leftover lumber I have and then close it in with some lattice so you can’t see under there. I’ll rig the lattice so that it has hinges and can be opened like a horizontal door. Right now all that wood is sitting in my screened in porch which I want to be useable chillin’ space once it gets warm again. I do have a little workshop area in the basement but I don’t want to clutter it up either.

Then I’ve gotta gonna rip out the piss poor attempt at a garden the previous owner made and get a truck load of compost in there and try to get a garden started on time. I want to have some kind of border around it so I need to figure out what I want that to look like as well.

And on another gardening note - a lot of my downspouts empty out right at the foundation and I’ve been planning to make it so that the water is carried farther off. I was going to do this by digging a drainage channel but then I got to thinking about using the runoff to water the garden and now I’m researching rain barrels and pumps and how to make a little irrigation system. This is probably completely unnecessary but I can’t help myself now that I’ve thought of it. Soon I’ll be monitoring the soil moisture with arduino sensors (arduino projects are another thing the bored amongst us should look into btw) and I kind of can’t wait.
 

let’s see.. also having plantation shutters installed in April, planning to add half-bath on the first floor, and looking at replacing the closet doors in all of the bedrooms. I also need to clean the windows which is another one I’m not at all looking forward to. 

I guess my problem has really become not one of boredom but of an excessively long to do list that seems to somehow be growing despite the fact that I’m accomplishing tasks left and right. Part of me is thinking that if I get all this done while there’s nothing else to do, when there are other things to do I won’t have to worry about juggling with any major house projects.

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@S John those house projects sound fun (I did all my own projects too on our first two houses), although you’re lucky you’ve been able to get your materials.  It sounds like there is a national wave of home improvement projects and materials have become scarce and expensive.

We’re probably going to add a large patio with outdoor dining area, fire pit, grilling station, etc.  But it’s being entrusted to professionals. 

I’ll spend the spring attending to our immature trees: lots of food for the spruces and arbor vitae, another antifungal wash for the plums (need to decide if they can be saved from the black knot), add a few more arbor vitae for a second layer where the spruce are growing slowly due to shade (we have ~40 Norwegian Spruce as a privacy barrier along two sides of our garden, but the height varies from 10ft to 25ft depending on light exposure), and probably start binding the river birches for support.  One blue spruce has been attacked by fungus and needs some more care and attention.

The mature trees are all fine after we had a crew take out the at-risk ones last summer.

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The last 15 years or so has seen me turn from a scrapper to a kinder-gentler. But in the last 3 months I've narrowly avoided two fist fights. If you figure out the covid-anxiety, let me know because after a certain point I've absolutely lost my fucking chill.

I did buy a pick from a litter as a Christmas present [born Jan 13th] for my daughters [and myself, I guess] It'll be great having a fur bud around the house again, I think. Hopefully that will help.  

Edited by JEORDHl

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Doing Zentagles is fun, you want to go outside the lines. It is called meditative but interesting. There are step by step books and whole commnunities. People name original methods. You could make them in a coloring book or collage with them later. And look at Gustav Klimt if you want to see doodles in full action. If you did this you would acquire drawing skills.

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4 hours ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

There is indeed a national wave of US home improvement, and I am no exception.

My decorator is coming over on Friday, painters are coming to do an estimate on Thursday, and I am getting carpet replaced on 3/8 :)

Enjoy.  But steer clear of Restoration Hardware as you refine your decor.  They’re shockingly expensive and the damn furniture is so big and heavy that you’ll have to abandon it in situ if you ever move house. 

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19 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Enjoy.  But steer clear of Restoration Hardware as you refine your decor.  They’re shockingly expensive and the damn furniture is so big and heavy that you’ll have to abandon it in situ if you ever move house. 

I'm about to buy an RH sofa (and this will be my second - did manage to move one of them....).  But it was either RH or custom because of the size we need.  And if you think RH is expensive, custom is ruinous.  

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6 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

@S John those house projects sound fun (I did all my own projects too on our first two houses), although you’re lucky you’ve been able to get your materials.  It sounds like there is a national wave of home improvement projects and materials have become scarce and expensive.

We’re probably going to add a large patio with outdoor dining area, fire pit, grilling station, etc.  But it’s being entrusted to professionals. 

I’ll spend the spring attending to our immature trees: lots of food for the spruces and arbor vitae, another antifungal wash for the plums (need to decide if they can be saved from the black knot), add a few more arbor vitae for a second layer where the spruce are growing slowly due to shade (we have ~40 Norwegian Spruce as a privacy barrier along two sides of our garden, but the height varies from 10ft to 25ft depending on light exposure), and probably start binding the river birches for support.  One blue spruce has been attacked by fungus and needs some more care and attention.

The mature trees are all fine after we had a crew take out the at-risk ones last summer.

Luckily I haven’t had too much trouble getting materials. We have had issues ordering work done / ordering furniture. We got plantation shutters for our front room and there’s a 12 week lead time on that. They are custom made but it’s not super complicated (I think all shutters are custom?) and I’m sure in normal times it’s probably only a 2-3 week turnaround instead of a 2-3 month wait. We also ordered some new furniture god knows when at this point and still haven’t gotten one chair and one ottoman. It’s def been a couple months already and tracking shows late a March arrival.

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1 hour ago, S John said:

Luckily I haven’t had too much trouble getting materials. We have had issues ordering work done / ordering furniture. We got plantation shutters for our front room and there’s a 12 week lead time on that. They are custom made but it’s not super complicated (I think all shutters are custom?) and I’m sure in normal times it’s probably only a 2-3 week turnaround instead of a 2-3 month wait. We also ordered some new furniture god knows when at this point and still haven’t gotten one chair and one ottoman. It’s def been a couple months already and tracking shows late a March arrival.

For most residential retail construction, the biggest backlogs on materials this year have been regular dimensional pressure-treated lumber, and kitchen appliances.  Prices on everything else have shot up, especially plywood, trim, etc.

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Reconnecting with family and old friends is still probably the best thing in my book. Had a nice half hour phone call with one of my cousins just now.

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5 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Enjoy.  But steer clear of Restoration Hardware as you refine your decor.  They’re shockingly expensive and the damn furniture is so big and heavy that you’ll have to abandon it in situ if you ever move house. 

I’m an Ethan Allen girl. My decorator Kathy was just amazing, and after she retired, I got the Millennial Version, named Kat.

Kat is really wanting me to buy, in addition to the stuff I need, An Art for above the fireplace.

I feel it would ruin my negative space aesthetic of having nothing on the walls ;) 

 

Edited by Chataya de Fleury

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16 minutes ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

I’m an Ethan Allen girl. My decorator Kathy was just amazing, and after she retired, I got the Millennial Version, named Kat.

Kat is really wanting me to buy, in addition to the stuff I need, An Art for above the fireplace.

I feel it would ruin my negative space aesthetic of having nothing on the walls ;) 

 

I have the opposite problem, struggling to edit. My wife and I have somewhat different tastes in art so mutual veto power keeps it from getting cluttered, but either one of us left to our own devices would likely get a little bit out of hand.

If you’ve ever seen the show Grand Designs - I love almost every single house showcased on that show, but nearly all of them are modern designs where the building itself is kind of the art and usually there are no paintings, prints, maps, photographs, tapestries, etc adorning the walls. I would struggle with that big time. 

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44 minutes ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

I’m an Ethan Allen girl. My decorator Kathy was just amazing, and after she retired, I got the Millennial Version, named Kat.

Kat is really wanting me to buy, in addition to the stuff I need, An Art for above the fireplace.

I feel it would ruin my negative space aesthetic of having nothing on the walls ;) 

 

If you buy An Art, my advice is not to be bound by one company (will be less matchy). If you are going for things produced by furniture companies Oly has some beautiful things.  You could also look at Oliver Gal, I canvas, Serena & LIly or Global Views/studio A. (None cheap) I have also found really cool things at consignment shops (often just need to be framed or can think about how to hang - can even be repurposed china, mirrors, etc.).  Or of course, there are some amazing artists that we all know!

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If you’re looking for a new hobby- you’re gonna be bad at it for awhile when you start. That’s okay, you just gotta work at it. Especially as you’re trying to fill time, and time is what it takes to not suck at things. You probably won’t look around and find a brand new hobby you are the best ever at, so focus on something you enjoy doing for the doing, not only the results. Doing something tangible does help you feel productive, whether it’s painting or doing puzzles or making jewelry or anything. 

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7 minutes ago, Fury Resurrected said:

If you’re looking for a new hobby- you’re gonna be bad at it for awhile when you start. That’s okay, you just gotta work at it. Especially as you’re trying to fill time, and time is what it takes to not suck at things. You probably won’t look around and find a brand new hobby you are the best ever at, so focus on something you enjoy doing for the doing, not only the results. Doing something tangible does help you feel productive, whether it’s painting or doing puzzles or making jewelry or anything. 

So I just missed out on how to learn to ice skate outside? Well damn...

Edited by Tywin et al.

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