Friday, December 15, 2006

15-Second Vacation

When we were in grad school (MFA ’96, UTexas at Austin…lo, those many years ago), my friend Polly had a great stress-relieving technique. When the work started to pile up and deadlines loomed, she whipped out a little picture of a tropical beach and took a “15-second vacation.” Soon, all the costume-design grad students had little clipped views of beaches, waterfalls and mountains taped to our lockers. The photos of luxurious resorts were a little silly, and probably exacerbated any money-issues we had, but they made us smile and lowered the tension for a little while.

Give it a try. Right now the combination of end-of-semester/holiday/family gathering/winter demands are enough to freak anyone out…especially if you find yourself not having time to do yoga (horrors). Find a picture of some place lovely—without any people, so you can imagine yourself there—and post it near wherever you get the most stressed. These days, you could even make it a screen saver if you need to “vacate” before you start working on the computer. Visualize yourself in the scene, doing whatever you find relaxing and invigorating, and shut out the here and now for 15 seconds. If you can fit in a quick breathing exercise, even better (see July 4, Breath and the Ball Gown). Try and savor the escape and when you return, keep the positive energy flowing as you move into your next task. It won’t make the to-do list any shorter, but it might make it feel less oppressive.

I like to visit La Peruse beach in Maui. Wherever you go, Have a Great Trip! ©Brenda K. Plakans. All Rights Reserved.

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