Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stress Management — Away from Connection/Promotion/Productivity

Sorry I'm a bit out of sync with my usual Sunday or Monday, Wednesday or Thursday schedule. I've been out of town and out of internet/cell phone connection which I find very relaxing, but not so great in terms of writing productivity.  I'm thinking of adding a third very short blog once a week — or irregularly — about coping with, avoiding, and/or reducing stress. So here's the first.

I just spent three days on the Long Beach Peninsula in southern Washington — just before "the season" actually starts. We did mostly nothing but walking, riding bikes, playing cribbage, eating lots of seafood, sleeping. We drove from south to north, visited the cranberry farm, watched the oysterman replant oysters from their original basinette into a day bed, saw lots of eagles and shore birds, marveled at the beauty. We were rain doused and sun charmed, whipped by the wind, warmed by the friendliness of the native razor clam diggers at low tide. We were relaxed.

We agreed early on to not talk about any problems of work or family, but to stay in the present.   This was surprisingly easy to do once we made the decision.  We realized after we returned home that we often "overtalk" the problem-solving process: chew it up and hash it over more than is needed for sure. Why? Not sure.

Research shows that increased exposure to nature can decrease stress, particularly for women.  That — and no news coming in from the world at large and our own small world, no clicking or buzzing, ringing or rattling from sundry machines gave us a few bonus days of stresslessness even on our return to some everyday YUK.

No, I can't and you can't do that 3 day away thing often, but even an hour or so away from it all occasionally, sitting on the grass looking at clouds could help reduce stress — as long as you're not doing any negative self-talk.
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