fitness · self care

Six activities to do on election day: the obscure version

It’s here. Finally. Election Day 2020 in the USA. Maybe it should be a relief, after all the wildly expensive and exhausting weeks and months of the campaign. But really, I think most people are feeling like this:

The Scream, by Edvard Munch. Overused, but on occasions such as these, there’s no school like the old school.

But there’s a limit to how much screaming we can do, and for how long. And of course, there are the neighbors to think about.

Two people peering over a fence in their backyard.

So what’s a sentient being to do today, given that it’s going to be awhile before we can know what’s next (awhile meaning hours/days/weeks until the election result is in the books)? There are loads and loads of articles out there, offering media distractions, social media blockade plans, self-care options, volunteering opportunities, etc., to keep us all from running around in circles, keening loudly (remember the neighbors…)

Here’s a list of activities that a) pass the time; b) might be engrossing, if not actually fun; and c) don’t involve being online. For what it’s worth, I’m trying out some of them this week. Will report back with my impressions and reviews.

One: Create your own parkour course in your house, and play around with all kinds of movement– lifting legs to get over things, squatting to get under things (broom limbo, anyone?), twisting to reach spots on the floor or touch ones on the wall, walking or crawling sideways– you get the idea. Honestly, I’m going to do this. I went to one parkour course and found it challenging, engrossing, informative (about what my body likes and doesn’t like to do) and fun. For now, I think the DIY approach will do me.

Here’s a picture from one of those online courses that we need never sign up for, as we can just do what I suggested instead, for free.

Woman stepping over yoga blocks, about to encounter a pumpkin.

Two: self-directed walking meditation. Wait a minute– didn’t I say I would come up with activities you hadn’t already read about? Aren’t there loads of articles suggesting walking meditation?

Well, yes, there are. But: I’m suggesting walking without touching the phone (or leaving it behind if that works for you), and setting yourself a task. It could be: noting or counting every blue house (color choice up to you), noting or counting every dog you see, every child you see. Or, walking in a different direction than usual, alternating right and left turns. Or going in a straight line as much as possible. You can set a timer on your phone if you like to tell you when to turn around. Or you can turn around when you like. This is not so much walking meditation as meandering. It can be for 5 minutes each way– the amount of time doesn’t matter.

Three: do a DIY at-home exercise space or equipment project. Just ’cause. Here’s one I saw that looked appealing (for someone else to do): make a cover for your exercise ball. Here’s what a covered exercise ball looks like:

Blue-and-green-block-design cover for an exercise ball. Stunning…

If you need instructions, you’re allowed to consult the internet. Here’s one site that discussed it in detail.

This project is well beyond my skill and patience level, but looks awesome:

An adult-sized indoor seesaw made from pipes. I want one (in theory).

Four: spend 30 minutes, an hour, an evening, the rest of the week, doing a course to learn another language (or brush up on one you studied). This would come in handy for last-minute immigration plans, but is in general stimulating and edifying, even if you’re planning on staying in your home country. I’ve wasted, uh, whiled away some otherwise-idle time with Duolingo, a free app and website. It’s my sort-of-intention to freshen up my college French this winter. Depending on how long the vote counts take, maybe I’ll start earlier than expected.

Colorful array of thank yous in various languages.

Five: fix something. Maybe it’s a hem of that pair of pants you’ve been avoiding because, well, it needs hemming. Maybe it’s a leaky faucet (fixing this for me means calling the plumber, but that counts, too). Some of my plants desperately need repotting, so there’s that. My fancy coffee machine needs special cleaning from time to time, too. We can all easily generate a list of a dozen such things to do. Maybe do one of them. And keep going until you lose interest, finish, or have to do something else.

Six: Rest. Nap, doze, drop off, head to bed early, stay in bed late, burrow in, and enjoy some slumber. Lots of us have been staying up late, waking up in the middle of the night, picking up our phones and scrolling through, looking for resolution, respite, or revolution. Maybe some or all of those will come. But we’re going to need our rest to deal with whatever comes. Including hauling those pipes to make that seesaw.

Rest is a form of resistance because it disrupts and pushes back against capitalism and white supremacy.– The Nap Ministry

I’ll leave you with another look at the wordcloud of what one of my classes is doing today. What are you doing today? Do any of these activities seem appealing? Are you thinking about making the seesaw? Please let us know.

Wordcloud from my Contemporary Moral Problems course.

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