Sometimes you have to get out of your head

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When Lara and I were running our business together, we started buying Leonie Dawson's journals to help us think about the previous year and plan for the new year. I've stopped buying them now because I never really have time to finish them and that bothers me irrationally. They're great tools to get you thinking about how things went, what you'd change and how you want to move forward. I did best with it the first year we got them. 

But my favorite part was a really short section that asked for a list of five things to do when a break is needed. The concept of identifying a finite list of ways to get out of work mode so I could return to a more productive head space was kind of revolutionary for me.

Since I'm going through my 52 Lists for Happiness in my own little way here on the blog, I immediately thought of that list when I came to the assignment about things that help you get out of your head. So, here goes:

  • Stories are the best way for me to turn off all the noise around me. I can escape into a book and let everything else fall away. (I try not to let it fall so far that the laundry doesn't get done.)
  • Music is so healing. I can be frustrated or mad and a fun song with a great beat will take me to a whole new space where I can relax and stop stressing.
  • Those days when you're hyperventilating and wondering how you're going to manage situations, there's nothing like having a chat or a glass of wine with a good friend. 
  • Taking a long walk helps me wake up when I need a jolt of coffee. And it can help me get out of a room so I can get out of my head when I really need to.
  • Movies and TV shows that have great storylines can be just as effective as a book for providing a vehicle to another world that doesn't share the same worries.
  • Getting immersed in creative writing can get me well and truly lost in another world. Unfortunately, it's not such a great way to pause work for only a short time unless that means hours or days.

I'd love to say I knit or crochet to escape, but I'm not consistent at practicing or even good at either one. I do both on occasion anyway. The jury's still out on whether such crafty activities are true escapism for me. I think I might be entertaining a fruitless idea that I'll one day be somewhat decent and grow to love them. I probably need to embrace my non-crafty status and stop buying yarn.

Please throw your own suggestions for getting out of your head in the comments - anything that works for you might help someone else. (Like moi.)

Day 11 - What do you wish you'd done more of in 2011?

What do you wish you’d done more of in 2011?

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I have a whole list of things I wish I’d done more of. It includes exploring Ottawa, consistently working on getting healthier, and several of the items on a long-ago bucket list.

I have crocheted some, but not nearly enough - I’d really like to finish the scarf I’ve been working on for Brandon for almost two years now.

I’ve gotten completely off the rails with practicing photography. That makes me sad. Part of the reason is my kit lens limitations. The 50mm I got for Christmas last year is fantastic, but also limiting. I’m finding I really want something like this now. Oy. (It’s never going to end, is it?)

Sign Language…yeah, I’ve barely even tried. It’s harder now that Brandon’s talking. 

I’ve had a lot of practice with Photoshop and Illustrator this year. I’ve also added Lightroom and InDesign to my list of software that I’m learning. I get to use them often for work, so that helps a great deal.

Blogging has put my creative writing interest on the back burner. One day I’ll try to get back to it, but for now I know it just isn’t where my heart or my head is at.

I’m never going to be a Web Designer by trade, but I’m progressing in what little I know. I can’t do anything exceptional, but I’m mostly happy with the results of what I am able to do. 

Cooking is something I wish I’d do a lot more of. It would certainly save us money as a family and that’s never a bad thing. I just wish I could derive some enjoyment from it. I don’t like it and I’m not sure how to change that.

Somewhere in here there are goals for 2012, but I haven’t a clue which ones I’d like to pursue yet. I’m still hopeful that I can finish that scarf before the end of this year. I should go work on it right now.