Thursday, October 9, 2008

Great Escapes Made Easy

Thursdays are reserved for chatting about different things, so today, I'd like to get feedback from fellow bloggers on what they do to maintain their mental health...ya know...the ways they find to get off the spinning hamster wheel of life for awhile.

We all need time away from our daily routine, chores, work, projects, ruts. Without those opportunities, we can lose perspective, risk becoming burnt out, and maybe completely drain our bodily and spiritual battery reserves dry. Then we're no good to anyone.

Here are a few things I do to recharge:
  • Go to a movie in the middle of the day.
  • Read a few chapters of an absorbing book.
  • Listen to music which has the power to transport me.
  • Take a whole day off. If I can't physically leave home, I unplug the phones (including the cell), and just "be" for the day. The day might include visiting with a friend, taking in a museum or local site, sneaking in a good long nap, taking pictures around town, or hanging out at a bookstore/cafe.
  • Spend time with a favorite hobby. Or try on a new one for size. I've recently been enjoying creating Treated Text. *More on that later, but for the moment, you can gaze upon an example below.* LOL
  • Make concrete plans for a longer, bigger escape -- as in, outside my zip code for several days -- sometime in the near future.
  • Count my blessings and list the things I'm grateful for. [I'm putting in a plug for our Year of Gratitude (YOG) blog here since it's befitting. We invite you to visit and check out the thoughts of four women writer friends on the benefits of an attitude of gratitude!]

I'd love to hear your ideas on cheap/free, easy, accessible ways to relax. C'mon, don't be shy! Hope the rest of your day is stress free and wonderful!


giddymomof6 said...

painting, singing, dancing with my hubby.. and chasing down those rugrats that need the most tickles each day!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Good ones, gid. With all the munchkins, I hope rest is on your list too.

tut-tut said...

My Saturday morning knit n bitch group is quite a diversion, I must say.

Terri Tiffany said...

I jump on my treadmill for thirty minutes with MAMA MIA blasting on my IPOD. Then I sit in on my patio with my feet in the sun enjoying the quiet of the backyard. Finally, I call a good friend and gab for an hour.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I have a big problem getting away from work, since I enjoy my work and do it from home - but, burn out can be a problem when I'm stuck to this laptop every day - seven days a week - without a break. The best thing for me is to actually get in my Boop-mobile and get off this mountain and go into "town" - Waynesville or Asheville....preferably Asheville, since that's 40ish miles away and once I'm there, I tend to stay a while....

Angie Ledbetter said...

Tut-tut, OMG. I heart the name of your group! I may borrow it for future writing projects! "Tut-tut was so engrossed in her latest knitting project, she almost forgot to *itch about her friend Elma's continuous absences on meeting day..." :)

Terri, those sound great...well, except maybe the treadmill. LOL

Carrie Wilson Link said...

My list has a lot of cross over from your list - knew I loved you. My ultimate get away is that - getting away - totally, alone. Just me. Almost anywhere. 3 days minimum, and not seeing another human being in those days, a total hunkering down.

Janna Qualman said...

Day to day, I try to sneak in some rejuvenation in the form of reading or a long bath (sometimes both together). But when I need a more sufficient break, what I do depends on my mood. If I need to be alone, I go to a favorite restaurant and enjoy a meal by myself (while I read, of course) or do some therapeutic shopping (I so like the process of just browsing) - or I'll get my girlfriends together for dinner and a movie.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Kathryn: Shut off the power and step away from the computer! ;)

Carrie, good for you, GF! Gotta get away so you can come back fresh. And doesn't the family love and appreciate ya when you get least for a few minutes?! LOL

All great suggestions, Janna. I'm a tub reader too. If you don't already have one, get one of those foam tub pillows with suction cups on back! Ahhh.

Barbara said...

I created a Serenity Room out of a spare bedroom. Scented candles are burning much of the time, the lighting is subdued, soft music is always playing, fresh flowers sit on a nightstand, and my favorite books line the walls. This is where I find peace and inspiration. It is my very own sacred place.

The Serenity Room/The Beginning and Lavendar Dreams were among the first postings on my blog.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ooo, Barbara, do you rent out your lovely hideaway to the weary? :)

colbymarshall said...

I take bubble baths and read in the tub to relax, and for a day off, I like to take a day to work on my scrapbook. I am a "picture" person, and it's just so much fun to me to take the time to put my memories into a book I can look at anytime I want to smile :)

Janine said...

Good idea!

Number one, by far, is physical exercise. If I'm really stressed and need to clear my mind, absolute physical exertion is amazing. I just feel like all the negatives evacuate me and I'm refreshed, and can approach all my problems or tasks with a new viewpoint. My favourites are dancing, running, and kickboxing.

As an interesting alternative, doing something that is very quiet and peaceful can have the same affect on me. Horseback riding and being on the water (boating or fishing or even swimming) are my top ones here. Not only do they really clear your mind and relax you, but they also tend to re-energize you.

Suldog said...

I grab my bass guitar and bash it about. This option may not be open to all, but that's the best way I know to release my tension.

mlh said...

I'm old-fashion. I sit and listen to music while working on Sunday crosswords or Suduko puzzles.

The Paper Whisperer said...

Whaaaaaat?!!! Give up my mental illnesses?!! You must be kidding me! That is the ONLY tool I have for writing! Eeeeegads! Apparently you haven't read my blogs. hahahaha

Anonymous said...

1. Read
2. Create things...crafts, painting projects, sewing...stuff like that.
3. Blogging. It's actually a stress reliever for me. I wish I'd discovered that long ago.
4. Play solitare on the computer (pathetic, I know)
That's what you'd find me doing when I'm "relaxing".

Michelle O'Neil said...

Yoga, meditation, and chocolate.

Anonymous said...

I know I,m nuts(right PW) but working with the kids does it for me. I spend way too much time alone at work.
Also, visiting with friends. Live or via blog.
See ya,

Anonymous said...

I love to sit and play Bingo on the computer with some music in the background and a glass of wine. I don't think of anything but the numbers popping up.

If the day is nice outside, I will sit in my swing and just listen to the birds with my journal writing my thoughts with a hot cup of coffee...can't lock myself in a house with 2 teenage boys and my I lock myself out...they wouldn't dare move away from their XBOX 360s.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Colby, I used to keep up with my photo albums, but need to get back on it again. It is relaxing.

Janine, you have the best of both worlds in your relaxation techniques. ;)

Suldog, I bet you burn up the strings!

I like a good puzzle for the escape factor too, MLH.

Paper, I forgot how much you love your craziness. You're exempt from trying to find relief!

Domestic, it IS fun to play mindless computer games. Ditto for blogging. Thanks for stopping by.

LOL on the chocky, Michelle!

Oren, you're probably the only person I know who finds stress relief through working with kids. Kudos!

Ang, the patio sittin' sounds nice too. Glad to "see" ya.

Kasie West said...

Angie, are you trying to make a civilized human out of me? Was this post my big hint that I'm too absorbed in my project? J/K (I would be pretty self absorbed if I thought you made a post just for me) LOL

Music always relaxes me and frees my mind (quiets those voices for a while), all kinds depending on my mood.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Kasie, *grin*, I think I was talking to myself and all us over-stressed writer folks who forget to give ourselves a time out. Music is an excellent way to let loose. I like a variety too.

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