We all have times of deep emotional stress, difficult decisions to make, and difficult people to face (mostly in your own family). Anyone living outside a cave does. It is human nature to shun and run from difficulties but we have to face them if only we can find a way to think it through clearly. I hate having a difficult problem to solve or emotional issues to deal with. It makes me crazy and I find it hard to focus. I don’t think well under stress and so I have in the past made some really bad spur-of-the-moment decisions. I have found that there are several things I can do the keep this from happening again.
Photo manipulation of my image.
Pull weeds. I have the best-kept garden in the neighborhood when things are going badly in my life. When I can’t control the weedy patches/craziness around me, I can at least rip out the weeds in my garden. I get to think and the garden gets helped too. Win-win.
I go for a bike ride. The fresh air helps to clear my head so I can think. It has the added benefit of physical exertion and different scenery to bring focus and clarity.
I take a long walk. The physical exertion helps me sort out what’s right and what’s just stupid. I can feel my heart better when I’m in the open and way from yelling or crying… mostly my own.
Get in the car and drive. It may be an escapist mentality but it helps to get away from the problem and think before returning to work through it. This is only advisable when your eyes aren’t filled with tears. Hard to drive when you can’t see where you are going. I have more than once jumped into the car to drive away but realized I couldn’t see where I was, much less where I was going. Walking is a much better option in those cases.
Go get coffee. It doesn’t sound like a calming thing to do but sometimes in the coffee shop watching other people come and go helps to remember I’m not the only one in the world with problems.
If I can get alone, I like to knit. Knitting is one of those soothing, calming activities that is repetitious and allows your mind to wander to other things. It also is orderly. There is something very therapeutic about the orderliness of lined up stitches that helps to order other parts of the mind, in my opinion.
I have been illustrating for children’s magazines and written several books with my own illustrations. With my newly acquired degree in Fine Arts, I will be illustration more children’s books and magazines.
I live in Fresno, California with my dear husband, who creates with video and theatrical productions. I taught watercolor lessons every day to senior citizens in my community until a couple years ago when the program was cut due to budget cuts. It was very therapeutic for them and for me. I also belong to the Society of Western Artists, San Joaquin Valley Chapter, and serve as the treasurer for 10 years now. I have entered local and regional art shows every year for decades and have received many ribbons and awards for my work. I love to read (of course) children’s books to see what is being written, what is hot, and what is not. I also teach knitting and crochet, some classes meeting at Starbucks.