Remembering to not Just Paint in these trying times


How’s everyone been? Recently, I got my first COVID vaccine, which made me remember just how long it’s been since this all started, and how I’ve seemed to (somewhat) adapt to this weird way of life better than I anticipated, especially considering I haven’t seen my immediate family or many of my friends in quite a few months. This is even weirder when you consider that I’ve been on EI since March, and even without a day job since that time, I don’t feel nearly as bored as I was certain I was going to.

Painting has always been really helpful for me when I’ve faced tough times, and that is true at the moment, too. In fact, it’s been so helpful that some days, I find myself painting so much that it becomes a bit of a detriment, not leaving me enough time in the day to get my other adult responsibilities or other important parts of a balanced life in.

So, in an effort to continue balancing my life and making sure I do as many good-for-me things as I can in the day, here are things I do that have been helping me as I try to maintain a normal life as we start to see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel.

1. Drawing/working towards my tattoo apprenticeship dreams

Yeah, I’ve wanted to be a tattoo artist ever since I was like, 14. I know this is still making art, but the way that drawing meticulous details and the intrigue of diversifying my artistic capabilities work my brain in a way that is much different than my intuitive painting practice. Plus, I love the idea of being able to collaborate with a client and make art that they’re willing to put on their body permanently. Call it the “office job” to my painting practice; I can’t start looking for an apprenticeship right away, though, so for now I’ve been sketching and working on a few finished drawings that look a lot different than my paintings.

2. Keeping active

Listen, I really hate going to the gym, especially given the context right now. I usually try to incorporate one or two yoga sessions into my day, and I’ve also been trying (with less success) to run fairly regularly. I can do yoga with YouTube, and same with pilates or something similar if I want the same feeling as going to the gym. Plus, I find I am able to focus and be a lot more productive when I make time for some exercise.

3.Learn about stuff?

This one is probably more unique to neurodiverse folks, but I always seem to have a rotating interest in a particular topic, which I will absolutely use my precious spare time to learn more about for no good reason. For example, I’ve learned a lot about theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal over the past few years, and I also really like certain video games, anime, Youtube channels, etc. I know that this is just a part of the way my ADHD brain works, and learning about things I’m “hyperfixating” on makes me happy, so why not spend my time with it? Side note: I can tell you a lot of useless information about theme parks.

This was a pretty off the cuff one, but I’ve noticed my mental health has been improving, and I certainly think that the things I’ve discussed here have something to do with it. I hope everyone is doing well; I will be writing more regularly soon.