coping through covid-19

Let's just say it:

Over the past seven months, and jesus, it's only been seven months, we've faced catastrophic climate challenges, one of the largest racially driven movements of our time, and a pandemic that put (most of) the world on halt. With all that going on, it's no wonder that so many of us keeping looking for answers to the question:


How are we supposed to get through this?


Listen, I don't have all the answers. Honestly, I don't even know if what I'm about to share is right for you. But maybe, just maybe, it'll give you some small escape from the troubles that the world is facing right now. So, in no real order or scoring, I wanted to talk about a few of the things that I've been doing in my personal life to try and remain sane during all of this.


And before I start things off, a little note about my views:


I have never stopped working through all of this. No, this is me bragging about having kept a job, for that I am extremely lucky that our local business was one of the few that received funding. This is just me saying that my views on how to get through all this are a little skewed because I've been in the public since day one of Arkansas being on "Covid-Watch".


Now, the good stuff...


PODCASTS

Way back before all of this madness started popping off across the world, I'd started listening to a handful of narrative podcasts. Thinking that one day I would become some great podcaster, I put all of my hyper-focusing towards that and eventually landed an internship with the amazing and lovely Alie Ward and her podcast, Ologies.


Now that I've taken a step back and started looking for ways that I can feel connected to the world but disconnected from the poison of Facebook, I've found the treasure trove of NPR's podcasts.


From Sam Sanders' witty and remarkable look on pop culture and the ways of the world, to educating myself with every episode of Code Switch, to cheering on Ol' DadWard as she continues to bring laughter and love to a world I never thought I'd be interested in. All these and many other podcasts continue to create a space that allows me to feel like I'm still moving forward, even while I'm sitting at home trying to do my best to isolate myself.


INDIE/TRIPLE A VIDEO GAMES

Throughout my entire life, long before COVID-19 was even in our world, I have always been an avid fan of video games. I can still remember picking up Donkey Kong Country for the first time and just tearing it apart.


But now, as we face more and more days spent inside, I find myself longing for the fantasy and adventure that I cannot go explore myself. And so, for many of the games that I've been playing, I've looked for towards the exploratory aspect of each and how much I'm able to do without heavy direction from the game itself.


And, while some of these may be a little more linear than others, they each bring to the table stunning graphics, unique stories, and hours of gameplay that can keep even the earliest gamer involved. Biggest bonus right now? If you're a PS4 player, there's a huge summer sale going on that includes a lot of amazing games.


So, whether you're looking to explore constantly shifting dungeons with pistols in hand, create stunning creatures from graffiti, or just fly through space to discover distant planets, go out and find your adventure while the world is on pause.


DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I've been running D&D sessions for a handful of years now. Combining my favorite aspects of storytelling and gaming, the world of D&D offers up a mental landscape where people can escape from or come to terms with the shit that's going on in the world.


For myself, primarily being a "Dungeon Master", it gives me the opportunity to work my mental muscles and create a narrative that brings people together. I haven't been able to see, in person, my players in months due to everything and that can be hard. But, those tenacious bastards are always ready and willing to jump right back into the plot of our harrowing journey across the fantasy world we've built together.


So, if you're looking for a way to connect with real people and join in a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all, go out and find a group of nerds ready to roll dice and slay creatures from the depths of hell...or the town pig population, you never know!


IN CONCLUSION

Like I said, I don't know if this is going to help anyone or if it's really anything you want to read at all. But, I thought with the small amount of free time that I have and pushing myself to write at least once a day, if not a few times a week, that this would be something others might enjoy.


I hope that everyone out there is staying safe and sane during these hard times. Heather, myself, and all of our crazy animals send nothing but our love to each and every one of you.


Until next time.

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