I hope that you’re not a writer such as me who juggles several blogs, writes for publications, squeezes in short fiction, and rewrites several novels because if I don’t have something to write, I get twisted out of shape. Even writers of this ilk require rest for an exhausted brain. So, I’m going to share some practices with you to relax your mind and body, even when you feel an urgency to keep writing.
I often wonder if a fear of death causes me to keep writing, even when the words appear blurry on my laptop screen. It’s not that I wish to immortalize myself, but I feel like I cheat death if I have a project that requires completion. Or maybe there’s something else lurking beneath the surface. And perhaps, all artists struggle with this urgency to create at all cost to the mind-body-soul.
And yet, we can’t create from a dry well. And we fill the well through rest, relaxation, and recreation. I like the word, “re-creation” because it suggests that when we enjoy ourselves we become more creative. And it doesn’t matter if recreation revolves around canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, walking, or engaging in a group sport. Photography also provides a form of recreation, if you don’t make a living as a professional photographer. And writing poetry also counts if you’re not writing poems for publication. Even, journaling provides an outlet for recreation, especially if it is combined with camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities.
Healthy Escapes from the Overwork:
- Stroll around a neighborhood block or take a long walk across town or a city. Go some place you haven’t been before.
- Travel short-distance by train or a commuter bus. Allow your mind to drift as you gaze out the window. You could bring a journal, but it’s better not to write down the thoughts. Instead, get lost in tangents.
- Listen to music.
- Play music, such as drums, guitar, flute, or jam with other musicians. Music is a good way to get back in touch with your physical body. It also entertains the creative muse.
- Put on music and dance.
- Practice yoga.
- Go to lunch with friends or take yourself out to lunch at a cafe.
- Sit in a city park and observe others.
- Take the dog for a walk.
- Go the beach and build sand castles. It’s good sometimes to make things that have a short lifespan.
- Bake cookies or bread.
- Cook a meal for a friend.
- Clean house.
- Work with singing bowls or tuning forks to clear your aura.
Try not to:
1. Spend too much time on social media
4. Get drunk
5. Shop for things you don’t actually need
I like the idea of recreation. And I also like the idea of delving into the subconscious mind and healing toxic beliefs and patterns that turn us into workaholics. We have nothing to prove to the world. No one really cares how many words we type each day unless we work for an editor or we are way past our publication deadline for a book.
And one last piece of advice. If you tend to overwork yourself there is no danger that anyone will ever call you lazy. You have nothing to prove to the world. And you don’t require anyone’s approval. But when you’re relaxing, you’ll discover the part of you that requires healing, which is probably a punitive parental voice in the back of your mind.