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I don’t know about you, but cabin fever is becoming all too real with each passing day. Sure, the past nine weeks have been great for catching up on all the shows I’ve been meaning to watch for years, but one can only handle so much couch lock and fry eye. So, what’s a nerd to do in these difficult times? Here are five stress – and anxiety-reducing activities to help you get through those shelter-in-place blues.
I used to think adult coloring books were just frivolous things that made great birthday presents for besties. But after visiting a psychiatrist who suggested I use them as a substitute for traditional meditation, I learned to embrace the healing power coloring books have.
Try to find a quiet space where you can focus on nothing else but filling in the spaces of your coloring book. The great thing about coloring books is that you can find one to indulge in just about anyone’s interests. I currently own Pusheen, Rick and Morty, Punching Panda, and Bob’s Burgers books. Although, my favorite right now is Swearing Cats by Thiago Ultra.
Did you know that singing is a great form of stress relief? No matter your training or ability, singing is a sure-fire way to help you get that serotonin flowing and relax. I prefer jammin’ to Broadway soundtracks such as Waitress: The Musical, but there are so many options in the world! Pop, rock, K-pop, country, anime OSTs…anything your heart desires! Disney+ just released its own version of a Sing a Long for families to enjoy. Grab that hairbrush, blast some tunes, and get carried away in your performance for one. You deserve it.
You all know the brilliance of Archive of Our Own, so you understand the importance of creating a safe space for fans to both produce and consume fan content that will be shared with others and possibly create new connections between readers/writers. Whether you’re writing or reading, or both, indulging in content like fan fiction can be a relaxing activity that still connects you to your fandom interests. This should definitely be on every nerd’s quarantine to-do list!
Reread Your Favorite Book — With a New Lens
I am a huge proponent of re-reading your favorite books because not only is it a form of finding comfort in the known, but also because it allows you to use a different lens while reading. For instance, if you first read a novel with your personal lens, the novel may feel different when you try to read it from the perspective of someone with different gender identity than your own. You’d be surprised how words on a page can take on different meanings just by altering your world view while reading them.
Reorganize a Nerdy Collection
We’ve all got our fandom vice. For some, like the VIParolaz, it’s Pop figures. For others, figurines, keychains, charms, or any other creator content. As for me and my boyfriend, we have an unhealthy number of prints purchased at conventions. So, we’ve set out to find frames for everything and plotting out the ways we intend to hang them in our hallway. A lot of fans meticulously organize their collections while others find the organization in randomization. Either way, reorganizing things that bring us joy can provide productivity and give us something to be proud of for the day. You got out of bed and reorganized those few action figures on your bookshelf? Congratulations! You’ve done a thing for the day and you should feel accomplished!
I hope these stress-reducing exercises can help you as much as they’ve helped me. I know these shelter-in-place orders are really getting to us, but we’re nerds — for so long we were made fun of, but now cosplayers are churning our face masks and creatives are finding ways to help their communities smile. Together we can get through this.
I’d love to hear your methods for maintaining sanity during these times! Find me on Twitter and share your stories!