Antidotes to Stress

I can always tell when I am feeling overwhelmed and in need of mental space and down time.

I usually start with movies. Ultimate brain candy types of movies. Then move onto TV, again with the brain candy. These come first I think because they’re relatively easy to do with or without children; I can zone out just as easily to Star Wars, Over the Hedge, Ben 10 or The Secret Saturdays as I can with Transformers, The Matrix or American President.

When movies or TV don’t do the trick, I immediately throw myself into reading. I hardly ever search out something new; instead choosing to go back to well worn favorites that take me on some fantastical ride through imagination and wonder, and far, far away from anything even remotely resembling my daily life. And this level varies by degrees I think. When I just need some temporary diversion, something that speaks to me but is a quick and lovely read, I usually reach for Christopher Moore or Tom Robbins or David Sedaris. But lately, and this is how I know I’m just about at my stress max, I’ve been reaching for the more heavy hitters. Those books that exist entirely in a world of fantasy and fairytale. Completely other worlds created from the depths of someone much more creative than I. So I picked up Eclipse on Saturday morning. And Breaking Dawn on Sunday afternoon. Thinking that over a thousand pages of Edward Cullen would surely mollify the stress monster within. Give me a weekend off to cavort with vampires and romance in my head.

Not so much.

So I picked up Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince last night. Thinking, well it would be nice to read it again before the movie comes out next week. Knowing all along that I was just trying to extend my sojourn into a world of magic a wee bit longer.

If this doesn’t work I’m afraid I’ll have to pick up The Lord of the Rings again. Journeys into Middle Earth are usually reserved as a last resort sort of thing, but it may very well come to that.

There could be worse things.

No comments: