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Stress Cures

I have one of those little squeeze balls on my desk, the kind that are supposed to help you relieve stress. This one says Squeeze a Cowboy and was a bit of swag I probably got at RWA. It was from author Rebecca Zanetti and I don’t have a clue how old it is.

When I’m stressed I’ll grab my ball and squeeze it. Honestly though, it doesn’t seem to do me any good. It only reminds me how tense my hands feel. Or how weak they are.

Often working out will help, but its rare that I can leave the office in the middle of the day for a workout. I’d like to think wine would work, but if I’m really anxious wine actually makes things worse.

In the end I do think the best thing for stress, for me anyway, is just to walk away. Leave my desk, my house, the airport gate or whatever it is that’s stressing me out. Take a break completely and come back later with, hopefully, a new perspective.

But that’s just me. I’d love to hear any ideas for better handling stressful moments/days/weeks.


Category: Blog



  1. Jessica,
    You are so right about walking away from something that is really stressing you. I do think this is very important for authors to remember as well when they are struggling with a particular writing project. Sitting there staring at the computer screen and getting frustrated to force that story solution to appear just doesn't always work. Getting up to do something other than writing, or even just playing around with another writing project will often give your brain that freedom to stumble across the solution you were looking for.

    As for me, my way of handing that stress is cleaning. It is amazing what answers I find when my hands are in the dishwater or doing the laundry!


  2. When I get that stressed out, I need to be outside. Like outside, in the open land, not on a sidewalk. Preferably lying on the ground under some trees by a stream. One reason I really loathe big cities (by which I mean, really most any city) is because you're removed from nature.

    For me, seeing a few trees on the block, safely and docilely confined by wrought iron grates in the sidewalk won't cut it. I need to be totally immersed in it. Once that happens, I'm good.

  3. I teach meditation and it's changed my life as well as the lives of my students. It literally transports me away from my stress in minutes and when I open my eyes everything looks different—better, clearer, more manageable. And the best part is that anyone can practice them, anywhere, in just a few minutes. I've even done them on the subway.

  4. I'm so very much the opposite. If I walk away the guilt gets to me and my stress skyrockets. I tend to tidy my desk and make a list of everything I have to do and choose the easiest to tackle. Then do it. Crossing something off the list and having everything in order makes me calmer and eases my stress.

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