Most of us have felt stuck over the past year. We have had to endure being stuck at home – literally confined indoors as a prisoner to this pandemic. Directly or indirectly, we have experienced business closures/unemployment, school shutdowns, restaurants and entertainment venues we freely enjoyed are just not open. We have become tired of watching Netflix movies and binge-watching tv dramas. Coping with this undeserved solitary confinement has been hard enough, but being in close proximity with certain family members (whom we do love!) honestly has gotten on our last nerve! Keeping it real, we’re tired of feeling stuck; something’s gotta give (pardon my slang).
Feeling stuck (unable to move freely from a particular place or position) really goes contrary to our human nature. We were born to be free, expand, and grow. But it seems that the pandemic may have exposed all of us to an existing issue in our society.
Our ‘modern technological society’ has fostered a sedentary lifestyle for most of us. Let’s be honest, we sit a lot. Look at our daily routine. Many of us get up to go to school or work, or we get out of bed and go sit on the sofa. If we leave the house, We go sit in vehicles to take us to places where we sit for a period of time at desks to do some tasks. After working on a task, we get up to go sit down for lunch or snack. After a while, depending on the quality of our diet, we spend time ‘sitting on the throne’ (you know what I mean). We sit so much that some writers have declared that “sitting is the ‘new smoking’” because of the detrimental effects of a lack of physical activity on our health. To a certain extent, our present society plus the pandemic has been an awful mix. Our daily routine is now compounded with an imposed house arrest producing a massive outbreak of PTSD, i.e.,Pissed & Tired Stuck Disorder. [my new diagnosis!]
Now that we’ve hit our funnybone, I submit that our being inactive and ‘feeling stuck’ may be the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Let’s admit it that ‘yes we experience long periods of inactivity.’ But does it point to our lack of ingenuity? ‘Modern Society’ influences much of our daily ‘doing’ and may impact some of our ‘thinking’ in many ways. It does not control our ‘being’ (or does it?). Today we choose to use (and rely on) more: seats (for work and transportation); sweets (for non-nutritious consumption); treats (for entertainment); and tweets (for shorter forms of communication). This lifestyle can make us overweight and generate an unhealthy outlook.
It seems that we have allowed ourselves to get flabby in the mind and have chosen to become inactive mentally and creatively. Oliver Wendel Holmes once said, “A person’s mind stretched by new ideas never returns to its original dimensions.” Maybe we can view our downtime not as an oppression, but as an opportunity to exercise the muscle of our mind by stretching out into new areas of unexplored or untapped interests. Let’s use our imagination constructively rather than wasting our minds spinning on the hampster wheel of social media. This period in our lives can be a continued nuisance or be our time of necessity (“the mother of invention”) to give birth to something new, fulfilling, and satisfying.
Let’s decide to become active and stretch our legs. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s ride a bike. Let’s jog in the park. Let’s dance. And let’s stretch our minds. Let’s read. Let’s write. Let’s draw. Let’s get unstuck. [If you’re ‘feeling stuck’ troubles you, then it’s okay to seek professional help.] – Charles Johnson, LCSW