Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Calm Down and Write

I don’t know about you, but I can’t write when I’m too stressed out. Right now I’m a bundle of nerves with all of the tasks to be done in preparation for the launch of my second book while trying to write book 3. Yes, I know, every writer goes through this. Yes, I knew it would be a challenge going into it, but I didn’t realize just how stressful it would be until I signed that contract and the roller coaster ride of writing truly began.

So I’m always looking for activities that will calm me down enough so I can focus on writing the story that’s rolling around in my brain, trying to get out. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: 

Exercise. That’s my number one calming activity. I’m not a huge exercise fanatic, but I do try to ride my stationary bike, do step aerobics or walk to one of the many Leslie Sansone DVDs I own five days a week. Walking down to the beach and watching the waves roll in is nice, too, as long as there aren’t too many people around. 

Adult coloring books. They seem to be all the rage these days. (No, not that kind of adult coloring book!) I see them everywhere, marketed as a de-stresser. I’m not sure why we can’t just color in kids’ coloring books, but I suppose we adults want fancier patterns or something. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try one out. There are a lot of coloring books filled with geometric patterns, but I opted for one with lots of ugly holiday sweaters. That’s one of the pages I started coloring in the photo. 

Going barefoot. Woman’s World magazine often has stress-buster tips. In a recent issue, an article claimed that rubbing bare feet against something soft like carpet or grass for four minutes will cut your tension 33% for 90 minutes. I don’t know if that means pacing said soft object or if sitting in a chair and rubbing your feet against the carpet would do. Haven’t tried this one yet, but we do have some nice soft carpet, so it’s been added to my list. 

Tai chi. I have a tai chi tape that I do occasionally, which calms me down quite a bit. 

Music. Certain kinds of music calm me down: Baroque, some Celtic instrumental music, Gregorian chants, and the music of Hawaiian singer, Keali’i Reichel.

A lot of people I know swear by massage and meditation, but those activities just stress me out even more.

So, Type M readers, what about you? What are your favorite calming activities? How do you de-stress your life?

11 comments:

Christina Freeburn said...

I've also started coloring as a way to relax along with Disney movies...especially The Emperor's Groove. That one always cracks me up. I have to say I'm coveting your ugly holiday sweater coloring book. I'm going to have to track one down. =)

Susan O'Brien said...

Prayer helps me, along with dance music (R&B, hip hop). I also enjoy baking. I like to "freestyle" and come up with new combinations. Recently, it was maple pumpkin carrot muffins. Yup. And I liked them!

Sybil Johnson said...

I haven't heard of the Emperor's Groove. Will have to check it out. I like the Helen Hayes version of Agatha Christie's "A Caribbean Mystery". That one really makes me feel happier for some reason. (A murder=happy?) I got the coloring book at Michaels

Sybil Johnson said...

Ooh, Susan, those maple pumpkin carrot muffins sound wonderful. Care to share a recipe? I love baking, too, particularly cheesecakes. I'm thinking about a recipe for root beer float cheesecake. Not quite sure how I'm going to do it yet.

Susan O'Brien said...

I wish I could share a recipe, Sybil, but I made it up as I went along and didn't write it down. Hope you'll write down your root beer float cheesecake recipe when you make it. Sounds amazing!

Sybil Johnson said...

Oh, Susan, you sound like me. I made this really wonderful cheesecake once and forgot to write the recipe down! Can't seem to recreate it. Sigh. So now I take notes as I bake.

Cynthia Kuhn said...

These are great ideas! Stealing them immediately. ;)

Sybil Johnson said...

Steal away, Cynthia. Steal away.

NG West said...

Sybil, I think we were Siamese twins separated at birth. I'm in the same frenzy you're in and do the same things you do to restore calm, except I'd add prayer and delete coloring books...too stressed to color. I saw a Facebook post today that might help: "Lord, give me coffee for strength to do the things I can, wine to help me do the things I can't and wisdom to know the difference."

Nancy

Sybil Johnson said...

Nancy, I think we were separated at birth, too! I like that Facebook post, though I'd substitute diet Coke since I don't drink coffee.

Donis Casey said...

Every time I'm getting ready for a book launch, I ask myself why on God's green earth do I put myself through this. The eating really helps, though.