Writer’s Workshop: Six Stress Relievers

  1. Sleep: This is pretty much my go-to stress reliever. When things start getting too much for me, I try to sleep. Sometimes I do this while I’m sitting at my desk, sometimes in the living room, where I just drop off for 15 minutes, maybe an hour, and, if I’m lucky, when I’m in bed. Recently I learned about polyphasic sleep, where you might sleep part of the night, then several times during the day, rather than eight hours all in a row. I think that’s more natural to me than sleeping eight hours straight through. I don’t even think I can sleep for eight hours straight anymore.

  2. YouTube: There are several videos that I like to watch when things are stressing me out. Watching a newscast from 1964 can relax me and transport me back to when I was eight years old (and probably in bed). There’s all kinds of great stuff out on YouTube, and I can get really deep into it when I’m stressed.

  3. Writing: Either for the blog or myself, writing is a great escape for me. I have a couple of stories I’m writing offline, I’m still working on my book of memoirs, and of course there’s the blog.

  4. Learning New Things: This is primarily reading and watching videos of an educational nature. I recently joined Audible for audiobooks, Medium for reading on a whole variety of topics, Curiosity Stream for documentaries, and Blinkist for summaries of nonfiction books. Getting lost in new subjects can be quite relaxing.

  5. Talking With Mary: This is further down on the list than the others, mostly because she spends a lot of her day reading, and much of the day I’m in my office doing blog stuff. Mary knows me better than anyone on earth (having known me over 2/3 of my life) and, typical of a couple that has been married 44 years, we get along really well.

  6. Noise: Listening to "noise," whether the scientific type (e.g white noise, brown noise, pink noise) or noise from nature and machines (e.g. rain, the ocean, an airport terminal) can be very relaing. I fall asleep to this type of noise and it helps me sleep, but even while I’m working I’ll have it going in the background. It helps me ignore the noise that tinnitus runs all day…

20 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Six Stress Relievers

  1. I find that videos and reading can be a great distraction. Allowing my brain to think about other things or dive into new worlds is a great escape from stress!

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    1. “Living in my own world” has been something I’ve done since I was a kid. I was often physically in one place and mentally miles away. It’s what got me through a lot of adversity and stressful situations…

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  2. I’m with you on just about all of what you shared, John, except for #5 (which would be way, way, down on my list, as it pertains to talking with my spouse. We’re both Virgos and constantly challenging each other on everything. A little debate, now and then, is a good thing, but I usually end up running for cover and retreat to my office. John ends up following me to get that one last word in, .

    I usually have the Smithsonian Channel on while I write, or read. Calming and always interesting.

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    1. Sometimes I listen to the National Weather Service continuous weather coverage. It’s good most days, but not the days when there’s bad weather and I get to hear the EAS tones half the time…

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  3. Most nights I sleep soundly. I can’t sleep during the day – when the sun rises so do I and around 10 pm I go to bed. I don’t like complete silence and always have some sort of noise going on whether on the TV, the internet, or
    music.

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    1. I never deal with complete silence: if I’m not listening to music, spoken words, or “noise” I’m listening to the ringing in my ears. Needless to say I usually have something going on…

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    1. They can be, unless they’re fighting with each other. Even then, they can be pretty comical. We had multiple cats for many years, and sometimes two cats will be sitting next to each other, minding their own business, and the next thing you know one will reach out and belt the other…

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  4. Youtube does help me…I get lost back in a decade or two. I can’t sleep becasue I’m too tense.

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  5. I’d have to replace youtube with video games, and different spouses. But good list!

    Hope you’re having a great day! My latest blog post has my theme for the April #AtoZChallenge (I’m writing speculative fiction and looking for prompts).
    At Operation Awesome we have the #PassOrPages query contest going on (friends or enemies to lovers Romance).
    Looks like I’ll be very busy the next few weeks!
    March quote: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

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  6. I wish I could sleep better. That is definitely crucial. I love what you said about Mary. I watch old sitcoms, Dick Van Dyke or Bob Newhart, or old movies. I meditate and imagine I’m lying full length on the back of my horse or lying in my bed in the old farmhouse we had, windows open. No air conditioning. I like your list. I listen to music. Writing definitely helps me. Need to do more of it. I actually AM working some.

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    1. Do you watch Dick Van Dyke on MeTV Sunday nights? Good to see the old shows like that.

      I listen to audiobooks, but tend to fall asleep while I’m listening. Maybe it’s the materialI’m listening to…

      I’ve developed the ability to “be somewhere else,” kind of like going to my happy place. Last night a friend of mine and I had an elegant dinner at an Italian restaurant in Little Italy. Of course, I was nowhere near there and the friend was an imaginary one… I’d love to try virtual reality or augmented reality sometime, but somehow I think I’d be disappointed, because I can create these places in my head. I love being a writer…

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  7. I can’t sleep a full 8 hours…maybe a few times in the year. I am lucky that my average is 7 to 7 1/2 but I go with 6 or 6 1/2 as well. I can easily fall asleep during the day and have, even when I was working. I do have that Epstein Barr Virus plus constant pain so that will make me tired. You know all about pain. I find reading makes me calm but also watching TV. It always did create a place a solace for me. Many “experts” will say TV is bad but not all of it. Nature shows, feel good shows without sniping or dagger in the back shows plus great movies can transport one to something truly magical.

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    1. I like game shows, myself… There are a lot of great streaming services, like Pluto TV, that are totally free and you can watch on your computer or phone.

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