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Tip for Finding Alternative Activities

Why do we do what we do? Each day, we have routines, habits, and tasks that we carry out to meet an assortment of needs. Some of those needs are our own, some of them are the needs of others, some are both.

If you find yourself unable to carry out activities that had become a normal part of your life, here is a tip for choosing alternatives: Remember that our needs are what drive us, not the activities themselves. "Something is better than nothing" is not a universal truth. Empty substitutes can be misleading. Our needs (if they are truly needs) still must be met, or we'll eventually suffer unhappiness and stress.

A Few Examples

We primarily think of going to work as a way to earn a paycheck. School, a place to learn. Church, where we worship. Social get-togethers, how we have fun. However, beyond the immediate purpose, each of these activities provides a wide spectrum of benefits for you, as well as for others.

At work, we get fulfillment and confidence from working toward and achieving goals. When those goals aren't our own, it also becomes an exercise in discipline and loyalty. Once learned, these traits form our expectations of others, as well.

School is the training ground where we measure our progressing development, and gain an understanding of differentiation and integration with our peers and the world. It is a place of external structure and order (in traditional schools, anyway) during an internally chaotic time, and serves as the developmental box we are challenged to outgrow.

Church services provide us with a moral tether, helping to remind us of what is right and true when culture muddies the water. Prayer and fellowship give us inner strength and solidarity, while worship and mission work take our minds off ourselves and on to higher things.

When we go out socially, to a sporting event, to see a show, or similar, we form bonds with others over a common experience. It is how we observe and learn from the behaviors of others, and reveal ourselves through our responses. These experiences then form a library of memories over which to reminisce, and grow, and share.

Obviously, there are plenty of other activities and benefits you could come up with. The point here is, everything we do has a purpose and a consequence. Needs are met, lives are shaped, examples are set for others. If these activities are disrupted for any significant length of time, the rest is disrupted, also.

When you're unable to go to work, it's natural to feel like you need a way to replace the paycheck. If you can't go out with friends, there are other distractions from boredom. Just don't forget about the other needs that were previously being met, for both you and those around you. Neglected needs don't harmlessly fall away. Remember to take care of your entire self, and the others that need you.

Stay smart, stay safe, and stay playful.

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