A few days ago, I came home with this note in my mailbox and the gift of community warmed me up. Seattle is particularly (and stereotypically) known for being standoffish. The Seattle Freeze is both a myth and an excuse to not be engage with strangers, namely neighbors. I've lived in Seattle for nearly a decade and even I catch myself refraining from any effort to say "hi!" while passing someone on the sidewalk.

Yeah, it can be that weird. But only because we make it weird.

Fortunately in the past few years, my engagement in the local literary scene has skyrocketed. Through hard effort, and a little of luck, I've met wonderful friends and acquaintances. And this wonderful note reminded me to continue to strengthen my neighbor and artist bonds, especially now when I need it most.

What a whirlwind week, huh? My in-person classes switched to virtual learning, and I was stuck at my computer for several days transferring my lectures to an online platform.

What snuck in were old habits of stress eating and unnecessary snacking. I'm a grazer, meaning I nibble throughout the day. But when I nibble constantly, including eating full meals, my body stores every single calorie. I haven't trained for my Ultra Marathon, didn't go on walks, nor did I eat balanced meals this week. And I haven't written in weeks. Ughhhhhhh!

Instead of beating myself up, however, I'm calling it what it is: a week of old habits.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg taught me about what triggers (or cues) habits I don't like. For instance, I sit and sit and sit at my computer, then I want coffee or tea. What goes great with a hot beverage while there's a constant Seattle drizzle splattering against my window? Something sweet, of course! So I eat, and eat and eat and eat.

Image Source: The Blogazine

One of my triggers or cues that activates my snacking is coffee or tea. What triggers that is rain. While I obviously can't control the weather, what I can control is my response. And another thing I can control is the reward for changing my response.

Therefore: If I eat an apple or orange instead of a cookie with my hot beverage, I'll reward myself with a 15-minute non-work activity, like walking, reading, or writing.

Of course this is easier said than done, but I highly encourage reading the book and watching the video below.

Food for thought: What are your habit loops? Describe the environment of your habits. What triggers undesirable habits? And how can you break your habit loop?

Video: Here's How to Break Habits

Hey Creatives,

News headlines sound scary, but keep on painting, keep on writing, keep on singing, keep on rehearsing, & keep on creating.

The world needs art. And artists need resources. Here is a quick list of resources that will re-direct you to comprehensive lists or info banks. Sharing is caring, so you know what you gotta do.

This is just a sliver of resources popping up in the community. If you have more to share, email me at dan[at]navotiprose.com.

Furthermore, build your immunity and your brain. Go for a walk, read, eat healthier, meditate, clean the house, start that project you want to do, and above all else, keep creating and share your work.

Wellness Pointers:

With you,


D.A. Navoti

About the Writer

D.A. NAVOTI (@da.navoti) is a creative nonfiction and poetic prose storyteller. He's a 2020 Seattle CityArtist recipient and a former fellow at Hugo House and Jackstraw Cultural Center. Read More... 

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