Distractions can work against us sometimes. Whether it’s being glued to Twitter, binge-watching on Netflix, or playing Angry Birds until 3am (oops) – sometimes (and depending) it can consume us.
Right now, we are extremely connected to what is happening in our world. It’s overwhelming, fascinating, exhausting, and negative. At the advice of some of my own mental health professionals, I want to change how distractions work in our lives. Distractions don’t always have to be bad, in fact – distractions can be good, life-giving, positive, and helpful.
Welcome to Good Distractions – a personal project that acts as a catalogue for, well, good distractions. Below are five categories that will include links to various resources that can help make our souls and lives feel a little lighter. Have a category suggestion? Just shoot me an email. Feel free to bookmark this page, resources will be added weekly. Each resource is something that I find, personally, a good distraction.
“Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more. On Skillshare, millions of members come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative journey.” Sign up with my link and you’ll get 2 months free!
Bob Shea is an illustrator and author of 20 books, and he’ll teach you how to draw a dinosaur, or a ballerina cat, or even a unicorn – all for free.
Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard – a book on courage, trial, perseverance, grace, and hope. It is my favourite book and the illustrated version is absolutely beautiful.
Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon is the friendly real-talk and encourager that we all need to keep going.
Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers (my favourite illustrator) is maybe for kids, but it’s beautiful, wacky, and funny. It’s wonderful all humans of all ages.
Culture (TED Talks & Articles)
Brené Browns: Listening to Shame (TED Talk) Brene’s book, Daring Greatly, was a life-changing read for me as I untangled misconceptions about shame, identity, and vulnerability.
Luvvie Ajayi: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable (Ted Talk) Luvvie’s encourages us to stand up for ourselves, and to not be afraid of being who meant to be. She’ll challenge you, and it’s good.
Clint Smith: The Danger of Silence (TED Talk) Clint speaks on the four core principles that he teaches to his students: read critically, write consciously, speak clearly, tell your truth. His presence and story-telling are powerful – a true artist with his words.
Can’t head to the gym? Nike Training app offers some of the best workouts – you can customize based on your goals and available equipment… and it’s all from home. Available on iOS and Android.
Mindfulness is scientifically proven to change how brains process and heal from stress, loneliness, and negative thoughts (and more!). Headspace is my personal app of choice, and their Nightcasts help this insomniac fall asleep. From breathing exercises and lessons in kindness, this is a good distraction with long-term (and short-term) benefits. Available on iOS and Android.
Everything is Debatable by Hellogoodbye – It’s fun, dance-y, eclectic, and is a good distraction.
My own playlist that is over 28 hours… filled with pop tracks from the 80s to the 00s. I introduce to you, Soda Pop.
A personal playlist that fills me with P E A C E – songs of grace and hope.
What do 32 hours of nature sounds sound like? It sounds like this playlist.
The Pivot (with Andrew Osenga): Ep. 003 with Bebo Norman. As someone who has made some been on a path of changing careers, direction, and re-finding their passion, this episode was a good companion in a season that I couldn’t articulate. The whole show is centered on the theme of pivoting, feel free to check out the rest of Andrew’s episodes.
The Next Right Thing (with Emily. P. Freeman). Ep. 24 Look for Arrows (Not Answers). Emily has been a huge resource of inspiration and encouragement to me for several years. Her whole podcast is amazing, so start from the beginning (Ep. 1 and go from there), or start with this episode. This episode helped me to focus on the subtle cues and the whisperings – a pleasant process in the midst of anxiety.
That Sounds Fun (with Annie F. Downs) Ep. 80 with Curtis Zackery focuses on the conversation around rest… true rest. This whole podcast feels like a coffee date with friends – I have laughed, cried, and pondered. It has been a gift to me in so many seasons, and this episode is one I come back to often.
Creative Pep Talk by Andy J. Pizza is your creative buddy, cheering you along, and helping you to make a thriving creative career.