Mental Spring Cleaning is Good for the Soul — You Might Even Find Some Loose Change.

A random list of the Dos and Don’ts during self-quarantine.

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Digital illustration by Author using photos by Vlad Tchompalov and The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

It’s Monday, but after a week or so of the coronavirus lockdown (and I had to look up the exact date because it seems like it’s been a month already), time has lost almost all meaning.

If you’re lucky enough to have a job you can do at home, maybe you already feel like Mondays are no longer a cruel joke played on the working families who finally unwound after a “restful” weekend of kids birthday parties and travel games, cleaning, shopping, and the chores on that handyman list that are guaranteed to take five times the amount of time you thought they would.

On the other hand, if you’re retired, weekends have no meaning because you no longer can enjoy your kids doing all the things that used to stress you out, and weekdays have become a monotonous blend of canasta (do people even play that any more?), going to farmers markets just to talk to someone (your kids are now working parents and you don’t want to hang out with your old friends because, frankly, they’re “old.”), and looking for early bird specials to have supper.

Hey, it could be worse.

If you’re in prison, you don’t even have the choice to self-quarantine.

DO: Break the shackles of time and memory

With extra time, you can return to stories you’ve enjoyed in the past.

As I wandered aimlessly through Medium, I stumbled on to an older article that made me laugh because I couldn’t even remember writing these fan favorites:

“There isn’t enough time in the day to write 10,000–12,000 well-written, quote filled, citation-backed, not-coming-completely-out-of-my-ass words…

“After all, aren’t we all merely hapless howler monkeys rattling the chains that connect us to our digital master and organ grinder Ev Williams, while the audience laughs at our struggles to break free?”

DON’T: Why search for personal wisdom when you can read a quote by someone smarter than you?

Most self-help articles by content marketers are fluff disguised as wisdom. All they do is quote somebody famous and then ramble on in generalities for a few hundred words.

In some cases, the articles are so bad…

“…a super blogger quoted a famous person and that quote was the only text highlighted in the whole article. Couldn’t they have done us a favor and just transcribed a bunch of quotes?”

So that’s exactly what I did: 39 quotes from famous people, and I add nothing to the conversation.

DO: If you think you’re going crazy in confinement, take this test to verify your condition.

I’ve been a student of psychology for most of my life, and I say psychological assessments should be entertaining.

Here’s one that will help you better understand the most amazing, wonderful, magical person in the universe: you!

DON’T: Since you can’t go out and do things, why rush?

It’s time to discover the value of procrastination.

Letting your thoughts and emotions percolate can be especially beneficial to writers.

Sometimes, our brilliant hot takes are nothing more than hot air inside a big beautiful balloon.

Like the Hindenburg.

DO: Self-quarantine is a good reason to spend more time writing on Medium.

But it’s also a good reason to get even more confused about the etiquette of clapping.

Don’t worry.

You hunger for the kind of trivial knowledge that can only come from wasting hours of research into a subject no one in their right mind would explore.

Naturally, that meant waiting for me to do the heavy lifting.

Remember…

Once the clap total goes past 25, no rational human will stop at 38, back away from the keyboard, raise their hands in triumph, and shout: “Honey, I just gave this article the perfect score!”

Regardless of your situation, if you’re online and reading this, stay safe and…

DON’T: Avoid making contact with this contagion!

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Millions of people in this country have been infected by this virus. Symptoms include impaired rational thinking and a loss of memory with regard to this contagion’s past record of destruction.

The country will be under lockdown for another seven months, and the only way to stop this pandemic will occur on November 3rd in the voting booth.

A failure of the population at this time could lead to another four years of lockdown.

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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