I thought a good blog post this week would be on how to unwind—not just during our current era of quarantine and “social distancing,” but on any day off. What my wife calls a holiday. That could be any time, right?

I’ve been running so hard lately, I’ve barely had anything like a day off for months. But I recognize how serious of a situation we’re in here, and even wrote about it recently in my Self-Care for Creatives post. Some of those same self-care recommendations are duplicated below, but hey—you can never hear these too many times.

  1. Exercise – If you’re not athletic at all, it might sound counterintuitive to you when I say, Exercise to unwind. But scientists and artistic types both agree that sufficient exercise is critical to long-term health. That means using exercise for stress reduction. I walked up and down my stairs for a good half hour today, so there you go.
  2. Meditate – I started meditating way before I knew David Lynch had been promoting it for years. I try to do at least 15 minutes of silent meditation every night before bed. (Well, I play the sounds of the ocean, which helps me tune out my tinnitus.) Now, that’s not a huge time commitment, but the benefits are tremendous.
  3. Eat right – I know, I sound like your mother, right? Well, I am a vegetarian, but I also love sweets. So I’m not saying you have to be a total health nut. But if you eat lots of healthy foods, and not much that’s bad for you, your stress levels can go down naturally—especially when you combine eating right with exercise, sufficient hydration, etc.
  4. Reading for pleasure – It’s amazing to me how many times I speak with a fellow entrepreneur and find out he or she never reads for pleasure. Business folks read business books, stock market news, blah blah blah…but nothing for fun. Of course, as a writer and one-time English major, I find this almost inexplicable. But I also do recommend things to them—including fiction. My own novels can be found here.
  5. Everything else – So a list of five will hardly be all-inclusive. Thus I thought I’d best save the kitchen sink category for last. Whatever you love to do for recreation—movies, crossword puzzles, listening to music—give yourself time for some of that on your holiday, and during this coronavirus era, too. I don’t mean just “official” holidays, either. I mean those Sundays coming up that you usually reserve for laundry and cleaning. Take a week off. Nobody cares if your floor is a little dirty. Seriously.

What about you? What are your favorite stress busters? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

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