Yep, that’s right: distracting + activities = distractivities.

Sometimes small, simple actions are the only way to tiptoe forward. Until we were attempting to survive the depths of grief while struggling with the height of fear, we had never understood that fake it ‘til you make it is a plan. And the only way through– through what for us has been YEARS– has been through the tiniest little increments imaginable.

While distraction gets a bad reputation for resembling its evil twin cousin denial, we certainly found distractivities to be a way forward while trying to cope, waiting to breathe, and striving for hope.

Here are some distractivities we employ:

  • Do yard work.
  • Take a walk in a different park.
  • Visit your favorite painting at the art gallery. Sit in front of it for thirty full minutes.
  • Watch a funny movie– laughter is so needed. (It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a family favorite.)
  • Watch a sad movie– cry and release toxins. (Oh dear, too many titles to mention.)
  • Watch a movie that takes you far, far away. (Apollo 13… the moon is pretty far.)
  • Get a pedicure (pricey, but oh, so lovely).
  • Do something nice for somebody else.
  • Volunteer.
  • Clean something (within reason).
  • Paint (either walls or paper).
  • Wash the car.
  • Find a new game to play with the family.

None of these things are wild prescriptions, and in the throes of crisis all bets are off, but in the long, quiet, aching stretches, these are the types of activities that helped us inch along.