Dear Preston: Can You Help Me Unwind Without Wine?
December 9, 2014
I have the worst anxiety and it really gets in the way of the creative process. I do not want to take prescribed drugs or drink too much wine, but I am now having a couple of glasses a night just to relax. I know you work out in the gym quite often, but what are some other rituals you have to calm your mind and get Inspired?
I am very familiar with the anxiety that you speak of; the anxiety that seems to embrace us at the end of the day. This is especially true (for me) when nothing seems to have gone right. Of course, there are also those mornings when I have woken up with tension so bad that it has left me wanting nothing more than to crawl back into bed and watch TV all day. I personally believe that tension and/or anxiety finds its way to people in all professions, including the event world, where there is little room for remake. In moments like this, there are three rituals that usually work well to put me back on track.
Journaling: I usually start my day by writing three pages longhand. This practice was suggested by author, Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way. Have you ever heard of the expression, “leaving your troubles behind”? That’s how I feel when I do this. Once I write all of my fears and anxieties down, I feel as though a cloud has been lifted and I have been left free to confront the day.
Visualization: There is a very powerful visualization practice that I encourage you to practice. When you begin to feel anxious, I suggest that you close your eyes for 10 minutes and just image that your God or Jesus, is whispering into your ears. Hear the voice remind you that s/he loves you, and /she’ll always guide you to make the right choices. In fact, I also suggest that you do this visualization before you go to sleep
Exercise: The third one was mentioned in your letter. Doing some kind of exercise is a wonderful way to release tension and anxiety. This could be as simple as going for a 15 minute walk. I cannot tell you how this practice has changed my life. A workout is the quickest way to start feeling good about yourself. Some of my most creative Ideas has come to me while I am doing some form of excise.
Most importantly, I encourage you to be easy and loving to you self. Give yourself a break. Once in a while, allow yourself a couple of glasses of wine to relax, without judgement. One of my secret relaxation techniques is excessive TV watching. On a Sunday, I can easily spend hours escaping in this mindless pleasure.
Question: How do you relax when you are feeling stressed? Also, will you share with us your number one guilty pleasure in order to escape?