Finding a 'happy place' in a world gone mad...

Between wars and starving children and a SCOTUS defying the will of the majority, where can we find a place of peace, maybe even happiness?

There are people that live there perpetually. What's their strategy? Do they ignore news of the world around them? Some believe a higher power has it all under control and there is some kind of sense in suffering. Others just shrug and say 'it's not in my control so I'll just live my own life' or 'I've got enough trouble of my own...'  I think most of us dip our minds into that scary world of madness and mayhem for as much as we can handle, then retreat to our own comfort zone.

As much as I would like to, I can't just ignore it all. And I certainly don't want to dive into politics or controversial social issues here in my blog. However...

I do want to share my thoughts on how I find some focus on productivity or creativity in the midst of all the chaos. It hasn't been easy the last two years. The pandemic continues to impact our lives. I finally got my river cruise trip that had been delayed almost 2 years, then ended up stranded in Switzerland, alone and with some new COVID variant. I could have blogged or worked on my fiction or any number of creative projects while stuck in a hotel for ten extra days.

But I didn't! I just couldn't.

The war in Ukraine occupied most of the European news cycles. I watched in horror as my creativity took a nosedive. I foraged for food, walked to the COVID testing site every few days, and tried to take in the natural beauty of Zurich's parks and river walks. I could have posted more photos on Facebook, emailed friends, and sent postcards to my granddaughter.

But I didn't. I wasn't really sick and had no real excuses. Have you ever been there? The path to being productive might as well have been the Alps.

So, here are a few ideas. You probably have your own, but maybe these will inspire you to rediscover them. Many of my friends are avid readers and writers, so that can be a go-to. But what if you're on a path where you can't even concentrate on a great book? And when the outside world invades your mind to the point where you can't write a word that makes sense, then what do you do?

How I find my creativity again:
  • Take an 'Artist's Day'~~We all deserve one, even if you don't think of yourself as an artist. Go off by yourself, even if just for a few hours. Visit a museum, or art gallery, walk on a beach, forest, or park, take a pad and sketch or take photos of flowers. Whatever helps you disconnect from troubles and reconnect with your creative self.
  • Gardening is my go-to. I have a patio and an atrium inside my home. More on my garden another day. What I love about gardening is that it feels like a living art. It's always a challenge. Too much sun, not enough. Too much water, not enough. Too many critters nibbling and tromping. Squirrels are the trouble makers of my garden, but I love observing their mischievous ways. And I always find the rest of the world disappears when I'm planting something new! Even a pot of herbs on the windowsill will work.
  • Music you can dance to! Do you ever get so used to turning on the TV, when turning on some music would be such a better fix for whatever troubles you? I like my Pandora Santana Radio... it cheers me up, makes me want to dance, and generally feels good. If you play music, even better.
  • Break it up~~ Pomodora became a buzzword when research started showing taking a break every 50 minutes improves productivity. Sometimes I get so focused on what I'm doing that hours fly by, but my effectiveness wanes and my back begins to ache. When I use this method, get up and stretch or dance or watch the birds in the feeder, while eating a snack... things get back in alignment.
Advice from my squirrels... don't stick with anything too long, have fun chasing shiny objects, snack often then sip some water from the fountain, never give up even if you get in trouble sometimes, take a nap in the shade when it all gets to be too much.

Getting traction in a world gone mad... that's my mission!