By Jeanine Englert
In this time of uncertainty and angst, I admit I *need* distraction as much as I need air to breathe. Thinking too long and hard about all the many things I can’t control and all the people I love that I can attempt to but not truly protect brings a mild bubbling mania beneath my skin. Thus, I have eagerly sought out distraction each evening after ZOOMing for hours for Distance Learning as a middle school teacher. And, such forced and disciplined distraction has helped me be happier and more present to those I love. My latest binge worthy distraction was “The Stranger” on Netflix.
In true transparency, I must admit to and confess that I adore Richard Armitage, perhaps too much, as I could watch him as Mr. Thornton nightly in “North & South.” So, when I saw that he was in an eight part thriller on Netflix, I could not wait to watch it. For a few episodes, I behaved myself and only watched them one at a time. Then, came episode six . . . and unable to harness any additional decorum to wait, I watched the rest of the series all in a row. If you like thrillers, go ahead and put it in your Netflix cue. Really, do it now. I’ll wait.
If you don’t have Netflix or dislike thrillers, then make your own distraction jar like my husband and I did. We each wrote down eight things we’d like to do for fun if we feel antsy, folded up the tiny pieces of paper, and mixed them up in a vase. They can be things like play Frisbee, go for a walk, watch a favorite movie, try a new series on tv, or even just doing a puzzle side by side. The idea is to draw one when you’re feeling blue or anxious and in need of a fun surprise or distraction. Once you go through all of them, you write down more.
It may sound simplistic or silly, but preserving your joy and sanity is neither of those. Yes, you should write. Yes, you should work from home if you’re fortunate enough to do so. Yes, you should care for your family and loved ones. But, you should also care for yourself in this unprecedented time of unknowing. Laugh, find joy, and free your mind. Take time to remind yourself of all that *is* good and certain in the world.
Stay safe, stay well, and allow yourself a moment to breathe. Give yourself the gift of distraction. And if you have suggestions for some wonderful distractions, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Jeanine Englert is a Golden Heart ® Finalist and Daphne du Maurier Award winner in historical romantic suspense. After years of writing in secret, she joined Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers in 2013 and has been an active member ever since. She writes Scottish Highland historicals and historical romantic suspense novels.
When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved pups, and of course mysteries with other readers on Twitter @JeanineWrites, Facebook, or at her website www.jeaninewrites.com.
Where you can find me: