Monday, May 21, 2012

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle While Chasing Your Dreams

                      Climb high, climb far;
                      Your aim the sky, your goal the star.

1. Believe in your ability to cope. Embrace your strengths and hidden dreams. Remind yourself that you can influence the outcome of events in your life. Create action plans to address problems at work and at home. Find a way to carve out time to pursue your passions. After all, medical research indicates that people who have a healthy lifestyle routinely set aside at least twenty minutes (or more) of uninterrupted “me” time each day to relax, reflect, read, exercise, dream, tinker, stare into space or to do anything they personally want to do—like write.

2. Create a routine. Regular planning will help avoid stressful rushes in your life. Creating a routine also allows you to create time for your dreams. Then we can take that nagging voice in the back of our heads away. You know the one that says, “I know I can write that novel, chapter, short story or finish that project . . .I just need more time?” Create the routine and create the time.

3. Learn relaxation techniques and exercises. . . especially when your project (or your writing) hits a wall. Try deep breathing, visualization and meditation. A hot bath, a walk in the park, or some stretching exercises are also great stress relievers. I personally don’t believe in writer’s block or the proverbial brick wall. I think the brain just says, “Stop! Enough creative thinking, please.” I believe everyone needs down time to allow his brain clear and reboot, just like a computer. Clear the cache in your head by relaxing and doing something different.

4. Please get a grip on guilt. Guilt robs you of energy and motivation. Be realistic about your expectations at home and on the job. No one is perfect. It’s neither possible, nor desirable to try to be a perfect parent, employee or writer. Learn to say no. Be honest with your family when you workload is heavy, when you need to sneak away for “me time.” You cannot be productive when you are overworked, stressed or feeling guilty.

5. Talk to a friend, family member, neighbor or peer who shares you same passion. Take time to talk with a friend, even your spouse or child. Express feeling you have been holding inside. Talking about problems can help you blow off steam and give you the perspective you need to solve problems more easily. Once stress is relieved, your ability to pursue your goals comes easier.

6. Develop leisure activities. Practice a different craft, learn to play a musical instrument, join a community choir or weekly pinochle or bridge game, try your hand at painting, sewing or woodworking. Select a hobby you find relaxing. Find an activity you can do with your children or spouse. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d become a golfer. I took up the game several years ago to be able to get outdoors and play a sport with my husband. Golf courses are the most beautiful, peaceful, refreshing places on earth, full of nature, water and glorious landscaping. And no, I don’t play for score. I don’t even keep score. I don’t need that stress! I play for the exercise and fun of it.

On my next blog post, I will spoon up the last six tips. Meanwhile, keep pursuing your dreams and passions. . .and for some of us, that’s writing!

                                                            --Judy Ann Davis
                                                               www.judyanndavis.com
                                                               Three Merry Mysteries
                                                               Red Fox Woman



4 comments:

  1. Great advice. Especially about the leisure activities. The tunnel vision that true passion requires is often at odd with that. Sometimes I find that a drive, or lunch out with a book or my husband or a friend, even sitting on the floor with my kids, can be just what's needed.

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  2. The guilt is a big one for me - to get over the fact that I'm not perfect! :) I recently felt burned out (and it's still going on somewhat) because I was spending TOO much time on line. I connected with a couple local people who share the same interests. Now that I have a small writers' group here in town, my outlook is better! I realized too, that my family just doesn't get it. I lean on other writers to get me through the tough spots.

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  3. Thanks, Jenny. I don't know why writers seem to get tunnel vision (or compulsive) when working on a project. Forget that, it should be "projects" and those project ideas are always swirling in our heads. Sometimes I just have to clear my brain and realize there's another world out there.

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  4. Wow, Karen, I have your same problem--I need a support group of other local writers. Three of us do try, but obligations always seem to get in our way.

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