Sunday, May 29, 2016

How to Manage Stress

Not all stress is bad. (a link to an article on good and bad stress). It's when you have too much stress or when you handle it poorly that you run into problems.

To handle stress effectively identify the type of support you require...
2)appreciation for skills
3)challenges to improve your skills
4)emotional support
5)reality testing (are things really how you think they are)

To handle stress effectively seek out people who can provide support...
1)intimate relationships
2)family members
5)professional organizations
6)community organizations
7)support groups

To improve your support system...
1)Identify the people who support you depend on and tell them how important they are to you
2)Ask for the support you need
3)Decrease time spent with people who are not supportive

Certain groups are especially prone to bad stress--menopausal women, people with dyslexia, and creative people.
Possessing a creative something like having a border collie for a pet. It needs to work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble. Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents... [I]f I am not actively creating something then I am probably actively destroying something (myself, a relationship or my own peace of mind).' -Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic)
As a creative person, I find it very helpful to get out of my head. This may include--going for long walks or ti chi or yoga or...

As a writer, I've always found it helpful to write about my stress. This way it is out of my head and down on the page where I can see it. In my head the worry seems a lot bigger then it does when I see it on the page. When I see it on the page it's a lot easier to brain storm solutions.

My creative mind loves to work. I can often work on more then one project at a time. But it also deserves time off. I find meditation leaves me refreshed. 

This is a huge subject and I know I've only stretched the surface. I'm very interested in learning new strategies. How do you handle bad stress? 

"a visit from a friend"
Photo by Leanne Dyck

Picture Books in Canada

Chocolate Lily Book Awards
young readers' choice award that encourages grade school students to read and enjoy the best fiction by British Columbia's authors and illustrators
link to 2015-2016 shortlist 

"flowers from my husband"
Photo by Leanne Dyck

Next post:  Managing writer frustrations and disappointments
What do you do when your writer world is falling apart? 
In my next post, I'll share what I do. I hope it helps.

Sharing my author journey...

Organization doesn't come easy for me. But I've found it to be so important. Especially, when submitting. I have a binder full

of rejection letters and lists that include...

Manuscript title
Name of publisher
Date submitted
Publisher response and date received

But because I work on multiple projects I required even more organization and so...

This week I used an accordion file to make a 'Submission Schedule'
This schedule begins in June and ends in February 2016
Inserted paper lists...

what I plan to submit and to who 
what I'm currently re-writing 
what I'm writing 

And now I know at a glance what the month will hold. I'm hoping that this folder will help to keep me focused. Months will tell. 


Darlene said...

Love the Elizabeth Gilbert quote! Going for walks and yoga help me too. Also talking to friends and even blogging!

Leanne Dyck said...

If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend you read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. It's fun, insightful and inspiring.

Oh, yest, absolutely blogging. I'm not sure how I could have forgotten to add that to my list.

Laurie Buchanan said...

Walks, yoga, bicycling, breathwork — all excellent stress reducers for me.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your comment, Laurie. I think getting out of your head and into your body is key for a lot of us creatives.