Are You Lazy or Relaxed?

Two friends“Hey, Patricia’s back and what a way to start out, but I’m not going to answer that question, are you, Edna?”

“No way, but you know she has the strangest ideas, maybe we can get an insight on this, Ethel. Let’s see what she has to say.”

Got you on that one, right? These two words mean so may different thing to so many different people. Just because you are sitting and staring out the window, could be your way of getting your thoughts together, making a list of chores for the day, or planning the next novel in your head. Then, it might mean you have done all of the above and want to take a few moments to relax, happy to be ahead of the ‘eight’ ball.

Remember, way back when, ‘idle hands make devils hands,’ or something similar. You need to keep your hands busy and stay productive. This will keep you out of trouble, and we more or less believed.

But these beliefs belong to both non-writers and writers. In either area, stress is bound to hit both and in this blog, we will not distinguish but make a combination of  both areas.

Stress, we get it in the news, at work, through emails, or by word-of-mouth. The smallest thing appears huge and we let this take over our lives and our thoughts. This would be a good arc in a story, be we are not characters in a book. We are real, live people. Yet, when we decipher these small thoughts and think about their hold on us, it can be comical.

And, this brings another part of our lives we sometimes forget–LAUGHTER. When was the last time you had one of those ‘good belly laughs.’ You know the kind where you laugh, giggle, double over with great guffaws, the eyes water and tears run down your cheeks? What? You don’t remember? Why not? Better yet, when was the last time you laughed at yourself? Oh, come on and confess. We are humans, who do stupid things to ourselves. I for one have a tendency to take off my glasses and not remember where I put them. I’ve even located them in the refrigerator, along with the keys to the car. With the world-changing minute by minute, the need for more speed under our fingers (like right now) becomes intensified. Stress builds and is taken to another higher level. We’ve been programmed to get more done, and then that is not enough, and we stress out.

What do you do when you get this amount of stress in your life? Here are some ‘off the cuff’ ideas, but I want to hear about yours. Watch a movie on DVD in the middle of the day. Read a book for enjoyment. Forget making the bed. And with good reason, you’ll crawl into it again at night. Sure, these are simple ideas and for some people this would be the breaking straw.

As writers, what would you have a character do in your writing that is completely out of sight? Would this be something you want to do, afraid to do, and give the task to your character?

Think about these ideas and PLEASE let me hear back from you. There is no doubt, we would make all of us laugh, de-stress us for a few minutes, and let the endorphins of laughter seep into our bodies and minds. We’ll catch more on the next blog and get this ball rolling so we can laugh, dance, write, and be the best we can without any stress.

Happy Relaxed You. Happy Lazy You. Happy Writing.

the car.

Advertisements

On Overload?

The Otherlife
Yes, this is also part of writing. Our brain works for us on a 24/7 time schedule. Even in our sleep, our brain works. No wonder we wake up in bad moods, tired, and overloaded.
We have schedules, time tables and deadlines for a blog post, a writing assignment, an edit, and you name it. Then, we have to write new material, or a sequel, or decide to change genres. Our brain functions in all of these changes and events, but sometimes our body does not.

We go from one thought to another, jump into unknown territory and scramble to complete three things at the same time. Poor brain. Still, this majestic part of our body is always on alert to danger and can signal us of the dangers ahead. Have you ever thought about “what could happen?” instead of the present, your heart beats faster and you get tense.
Can we do something about this? Of course, slow down, get in the present, and stay in the present and . . . . no way. There are so many things that needs attention. We cannot quit worrying about not doing our best (perfectionist) or being the best caregiver and cannot quit multitasking.

STOP! Think of the practice of Yoga, the mindfulness we keep forgetting about. Stress gets to our lives in so many ways, but we can learn to control this and give ourselves a happy outlook. Sorry, but go offline for a full twenty-four hours. Yeah, I spelled this out instead of using figures, to soften the blow. But there are emails to answer, research to do, picking kids up from school, dinner to cook, laundry piled up, and the last two chapters to finish, and then editing. I’m so far behind.

Unclench your teeth. Open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out. But, that’s kids’ stuff. Try it, and while you are doing this release the muscles around your eyes, let your face relax. Roll you chin down and then over to the right shoulder, back to center, and over to the left shoulder.

Schedule “worry time.” What? Yes, we all have worries, but why keep them with you every second of every hour of every day. Make an appointment with yourself and list all of your worries. Read this list, and then tear it up. Worries are gone.

Remember the old rubber band snap? It still works. Put a rubber band on your wrist and give yourself a slight snap. If this doesn’t work snap harder and quit thinking of what you should have done and look at what you do have. What about a massage? What about a manicure or pedicure or BOTH? Relax into the moment. This is YOUR time, enjoy.

Learn to focus on the present. Forget all the pressures and take one item at a time. I’ll answer ten emails, finish the next chapter, and grab a take-out dinner for this evening. Do these few simple avenues release the jumpy stomach feelings? How about the tightness in your hands and feet. Hey, the driver of the car in front of you might be going through some of the same. Smile, and say to yourself, “been there, done that, and no more.”

Happy Release. Happy Procrastination. Happy Present.

HAPPY WRITING.

MOIST MONDAY

BlogYes, I am another day behind schedule. We’ve had rather moist days, which included Monday and the rest of the week. I wanted to get online and talk about how weather can hit our writing, but needed to stay off the keyboard.

Many thoughts ran through my head: could I write upside down and would my computer work in the wind and rain? Local news and CNN kept me informed and I shut down. Sleep? If you can sleep with both ears open for odd sounds, one eye, which did not close, hearing the wind howl, branches of trees screeching, and flashlights from heaven, in the form of lightning bolts, bringing daylight into your whole room, my hat is off to you.

This brought me to relate weather with writing. We all need some calm downtime to gather our thoughts, remove our worries, and make these distortions the smaller size instead of escalating. Storms are scary, even frightening, yet have you ever noticed your writing sizzle during these times. It’s like, get that hesitation, that fear, that feeling of isolation into your character. If your setting is in a bleak area and a storm is on the horizon, you have the experience of your storm to give to your character’s storm. You give yourself to the situation and do not hesitate. You now know what the wind sounds like and how it feels to see lightning streak across the room.

Storms can create havoc in your writing. You get to SHOW your hesitancy and can apply this to a character. Your anxieties do not hide, and you transfer these to your characters. You notice your breathing becoming short and heavy. Your hearing sharpens for any unfamiliar noise. Is it a panic attack or just plain nerves? I’d go for the nerve bit. However, if your character needs an attack of sorts, go for it. Weather can make us do strange things, and let your character do the same.

Clouds are once again gathering and the tree limbs nodding a little faster. So, a short MOIST MONDAY is in progress.

Chaotic Writing. Fantastic Writing. Safe Writing.

p.s. May all the victims of the recent and still to come storms be remembered

 

 

How Do You De-Stress?

All_About_Adverbs_photo_FINALIZED3-150x150

Stress hits all of us every day and how we handle our stress points are what makes us unique. There are fingernail biters, fast food junkies, nibblers at the fridge, the pieces of candy hidden in a handbag or drawer at the office. What about the candy dish set out for friends?

Stress is out there in so many disguises it’s hard to know where to begin. Sometimes, the thought of even getting out of bed for another day of unknown happenings, produces stress. Have you ever gone to the grocery store to be faced with so many choices? How do you handle the advertising, the latest medical news on foods, and feel good about what is in your cart? What about the stress brought on by yourself? You mentally beat yourself up for not doing the best. The best of what? Sometimes we have no idea, and this brings on more stress.

We can be our worst enemy. We torture ourselves and pay the price with stress. Okay, we didn’t write for three hours. The revision still needs another go-around. Or, we skipped our work-out session and feel guilty. Some chores did not get done and this makes one feel another guilt trip edging closer. Company is coming over for dinner and you make a quick check – no desert and no time to make anything.

Are you like the lion and roar about everything? Or do you see yourself as a kitty and feel the purr start? We have to listen to ourselves and decide the best way to put all the guilt trips into the garbage. How long has it been since you had a huge, belly laugh. The one where your eyes water and your insides hurt? Why not? Because stress pulls us down and we let it.

Things do not always go as planned and we need structure. Not all the time. We need to give ourselves permission to deviate from the daily grind. Maybe the quick visit with an old friend took us out of the ‘list,’ but what happened? You made two people happy; your friend and yourself. We all need more times like this. You have a new book, but feel guilty when you sit down to read. Take this break and fill yourself with pleasure.

Think of pleasure as your reward for being you. A walk after a spring rain and smell the freshness. The sound of the CD you never got around to playing, and yes you can dance by yourself. The golf game you should not take time for, but do and feel so much better even if you didn’t get the best score. The different way you drove to an appointment instead of taking the same route. The scenery change can change your attitude. Think of all the different changes you can make in your life and feel the stress melt away, day by day.

Purr like a kitten and let the lion roar. Each has their own de-stress manner. Now is the time for you to make your life a little more alive. Grab the moment.