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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

How to Overcome the Blah Times

I have been having a very blah week. It happens. For some reason, certain weeks/days just seem long, dull and generally uninspiring.

When these days occur, I am reminded of the saying, "Only boring people get bored," which I'll admit, makes me a little angry. However, it gets me pondering this thought, and at the heart of it, it holds some truth.

In essence, if you want to stop being bored, you need to find your own inspirations. So I have decided to make a list (I am predictable at this point) of all the things that motivate me, and perhaps you too, so that the next time we are bored, we can more readily turn to the these things. I have ranked them by easiest to least-easy to do when boredom strikes on your average day.

All-Time Favorite Motivators

1. Techno music
Real techno experts might berate me at my description of techno. In fact, I might be referring to dance, house or trance music; I have no idea. I just like any high-energy, fun, songs that make me want to move. The lyrics aren't always insightful, or even comprehensible, but generally that's not the point. I analyze things too much anyway, so when I want to jump around the room, I don't mind if the lyrics leave my brain empty.

However, fun or interesting lyrics can be a bonus to techno songs, as the two below can demonstrate:

No Stress- Laurent Wolf

"I don’t wanna work today, Maybe I just wanna stay, Just take it easy cause there is no stress." 
Who hasn't felt like this before??


Break my Fall- Tiesto

"You enter the room.You brighten the darkness my love. In moments with you, there is no ending or beginning in you..."
Hopefully, you have felt like this too.


2. Sunshine
We don't have too much control over this one, but it is something to take advantage of if it is there. Going outside for even half an hour makes me feel refreshed, happier and more alive. Thankfully, there will be plenty of opportunity to do that this weekend!

3. Coffee
Mmmm... my addiction. Even the smell of coffee makes me feel more awake and motivated. I have found that even those who don't like coffee, often like the smell of it, so grind some beans for the hell of it, or step into one of the million Starbucks for a whiff. Guaranteed to make you feel more driven.

swirl around, curl around, whirl around
Credit: hlkljgk "Swirl around, curl around, whirl around"

4. Trying new things
Well, this one is the basis of this blog and really my whole motto on life, but isn't that the point of each day, to try challenge yourself to do something different than the day before? It can be a hard thing to incorporate, but if you try to change even small things, you can find something new to do every day.

Dance When No One's Watching - Bokeh + Silhouette
Credit: Dance When No One's Watching - Vramak

5. Dancing
This one requires the proper setting, at least for me. There are some who have no qualms about busting out in dance, and I salute these people. For me however, I prefer a class, club or a secluded area (unless of course it's a flash mob!) to break out in dance.  But dancing is proven to help uplift the spirit.

Shadow Runners
Credit: Shadow Runners: thelastminute
 6. Running
I have written about this therapy before. Running (usually to techno music) is a huge motivator for me. Sometimes it is getting over that "I don't feel like it" hurdle to actually get me into my shoes, but once I am out on the road, the endorphins kick in and sometimes convince me that I could run forever (I have yet to physically prove this).

One of my own photos: Paris

7. Travel
Probably my greatest passion, but also the hardest to do. Especially if you are living in America and working for an American company, this option is only available for an average 10 days out of the year. So in order to not deprive myself completely, I take weekend trips; I read travel magazines; I look up travel web sites, blogs, news articles, anything I can get my hands on... and of course, I live like a tourist in my own city. Ahh, now I remember why I started this blog!

8. What did I miss? Do you have anything to add?

Happy motivated and inspired Friday!