Things have gotten pretty stressful around here. Ok, things have been pretty stressful around here, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon. So that got me to wondering…
What do you do to relax?
I’ve tried different relaxation things. I don’t have the patience for a bath, and the one single time I tried to bring a magazine in there with me, I ended up with Glamour Perfume-Page Soup. Yuk.
So I try meditating. But somehow, no matter how hard I try to ‘just let that thought pass through my mind, acknowledged but not trapped’… it gets trapped, and my mind keeps dragging it back to obsess over. So much for clearing the mind.
I try going for a walk, which I do anyway for exercise. But on those walks, I often find myself obsessing over the stress du jour. So it doesn’t get my mind off of it, although it’s a good way to get rid of a good mad.
Sometimes reading a book will work, as long as it’s a good book that will grab me. I’m partial to what I call “trashy romance novels”. Used to be the ones with the shirtless, beefy guy on the cover, but those got cheesy really fast. Now it’s just about anything by Nora Roberts or Sandra Brown. I also like “chick lit”, and go for Sophie Kinsella (she wrote the “Shopaholic” series) or Sarah Strohmeyer. If I’m not in the mood for a TRN or Chick Lit, it’s a thriller by Vince Flynn or Brad Thor. Nothing like whacking a few terrorists to cleanse the mind. Of course, Harry Potter is also an old standby.
Finally, and my favorite (although I don’t do it often because I feel guilty just “sitting there”), I sit and “woolgather”… pretty soon ,my brain has drifted to Bora Bora, and I’m in that tropical retreat, lying in the sand or drifting along a reef. Sometimes, it’s Ireland (my dream vacation), or the moors of England and Scotland. My mind spins stories for me, characters show up, and I’m involved in a novel of my own making. It’s amazing, the people I meet during those daydreaming sessions. It’s amazing, the person I become during those sessions, too. Suddenly, all my problems are solved. I’m at my ideal weight, the perfect weekend athlete, svelte and limber, able to undertake any task. My hair is perfect. I’m clever, witty, and able to debate even the most accomplished barrister. I’m successful, too, having just written the Great American Novel, won a Grand Prix (national/world horse show), or won a massive lottery (if you consider that “success”) and am now enjoying the fruits of my labor and luck, flitting from vacation haven to vacation haven on an unlimited bankroll. Sometimes I’ll even throw in a shopping spree – Christian Louboutin shoes, Tiffany ring, a dress to die for. It’s all great fun, and most usually, very relaxing and entertaining. Sometimes I even weave in my current troubles, and stumble upon a solution.
So, I’m curious. What do YOU do to relax?