Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Relax Without Harming Yourself or Others

Warning: If you find yourself doing any of the following while trying to relax, you're going about relaxation the WRONG WAY:

1) Strangling small children (or any children really, but, with small children it's particularly cruel) to create quiet 
2) Setting the house on fire. (NOT relaxing)
3) Trying to perform self-acupuncture (Bad. VERY  BAD.)
4) Eating your body weight in chocolate. (It always sounds like a good idea at the time, but from experience I can tell you: You will feel like a fatass afterwards.)

So how do you relax properly then, if you can't do any of that stuff?

1) I like to start off by taking a nice shower and releasing the stresses of the day (or the week, or the ever since my main character's stopped listening to me and started driving me nuts). I try to focus on the feel and sound of the water and imagine my issues washing down the drain.

2) Light some candles--remembering not to burn the house down--and turn off or dim the lights. Even if you end up staring into the light of your computer screen the whole time, I’ve found that candle light still greatly adds to the atmosphere.

3) Put on music that helps you relax. It doesn't have to be your traditional waterfalls. Just something you like.

4) Stretch a little. No, nothing rigorous. Stretch your arms, wrists, hands, fingers, legs. Touch your toes if you’re feeling festive. I like to do a mini yoga-type thing. A mix of downward dog, child’s pose, and cobra. If you don’t know yoga, no worries, just do whatever you feel you need to wake your muscles up.

5) Lay down, stretch out your body, and zone out. (I ask so much of you, I know, but this will help you get rid of mind blocks later.)

6) Put on comfy clothes. Pajamas. Yoga pants. Boxers. You choose.

7) Keep some snacks with you. Something light that won't make you feel icky afterwards and something that won't get all over your keyboard as you eat it.

8) Be productive in your new, zen, candle-lit, snack-ready space. Do that editing or blogging or query writing or work report that you need to get done.

9) Celebrate reaching your goals by doing something fun that you don’t usually have the chance to do.

So, what d’ya think? Easy enough?

What do you normally do to stay relaxed? Is there anything you've find that works really well for you? Or maybe something that works for your friends but not for you?

<3 Gina Blechman


  1. But strangling small children would be so much fun :( What about a whinny cat?

    A cool relaxation list Gina. I especially like the snacks idea.


    1. Well, I generally find that everything is better with snacks. :-)

  2. I try to do other non-writing activities as well like dancing and singing. :-)

  3. Great tips!

    Comfy clothes is a good one. Taking a drive is a good way to relax too.

  4. All excellent ideas!! Comfy clothes, stretching, etc. I don't eat at the computer (only glasses of water but even then I usually make myself go into the kitchen to get that so I'll get up from the computer once in a while!!). :) And taking a shower is a great way to start thinking about my writing.

    Have a great rest of the week!

  5. Very helpful. I do the clothes/music thing. My wife relaxes by watching tv, which I don't care much for. I hole up in my cloffice (that's a closet-office), turn on my music, and get in my jammies.

    I drink a beer or two, but that may not be a good thing to add to the list.

    - Eric