Everyone has their own way to cope with stress. I know that a good way is to exercise. It really let’s off steam and mellows a person out. Not only does it provide a good release, but it’s great for your heart and tissues and other parts of your body. I’m not one of those people. I exercise because I have to, not because I want to. I do feel good about exercising, but when the chips are down, I don’t think, “Gee, I’ll lift weights and that will make me feel better.”
For some people, they love a good soak in the tub. My daughter is a “soaker”. Ever since she was a tot, she’s loved a good hot bubble bath. As she grew a little older she began putting candles around the tub and softening the lights to take a nice long relaxing bath. I’m not one of those people either.
When some people get tired of city living and need a change from the grind, fast pace and parking lot traffic, they head to a remote natural setting to unwind. Sounds great doesn’t it? I admit, sometimes it’s nice to get away, but if I’m upset or trying to cope, all that idle time only hinders me and makes me think more.
So what’s the answer? For me, the best form of relaxation therapy has always been writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a paper I needed to write for a class, a project for the PTA (in my younger days), a eulogy for a dear loved one, or a book on a hard and fast deadline.
Writing has and will probably always be my best kind of stress-buster. It helps me cope. Doesn’t matter what the situation, once I’m deep into a story, I can totally detach from the daily grind, from disheartening news and unpleasant things I’d rather not think about – like the thousands of people displaced by the fires nearby today and the amount of homes being lost. When my father died, the only thing that helped me was pouring my heart and soul into a story. I remember thanking God that he gave me the gift of writing, because for those few hours each day when I sat at my computer, I coped. I forgot. I slipped into the fantasy world I had created and I could be happy.
I love every aspect of writing. I love the beginning and middle and end of the book. I love editing, re-reading for pacing and continuity and making the story better. I love the sound of the keys as I type when my story comes easily and the words fly onto the page. I love knowing that my hard work will be rewarded with a cover and a back blurb and that someday soon, someone will read my book and smile or laugh or cry.
Writing is my therapy. It’s what’s makes me the happiest. It’s what I look forward to in the morning and what drives me during the day. It’s better than a glass of wine or a pill or a long drive on a spring day. What’s your “hammock on the beach?” What helps you cope? Do you have a writing/book related form of therapy too?
Happy Trails and Happy Reading!