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NaNoWriMo: Take an Inspiration Break

I have to admit: I am not good at taking time off. Last week my spiritual director said to me (again), “Too much of a good thing is still too much!” No kidding.

When we do too much (even if it is all good stuff), we feel worn down and worn out. When we cannot write, we may think we have writer’s block when we are just plain tired! That’s when it’s time for an inspiration break. Here are five ways to get inspired (aside from looking at the amazing beach photo above):

1. Take a Nap. According to a Harvard study by Sarah C. Mednick, participants who took a one-hour nap in the middle of the day were able to improve their performance levels. Even Winston Churchill believed in naps. He said, “When the war started, I had to sleep during the day because that was the only way I could cope with my responsibilities.”

2. Zentangle® One of my wonderful clients introduced me to Zentangle, the art of meditative doodling. I bought a book, Totally Tangled by Sandra Bartholomew, a pen, and started doodling. It’s one of my favorite ways to take a break and get inspired.

3. Take a Walk. Moderate physical activity can increase cognitive capacity—by driving more blood and oxygen to the brain. On top of that, walking in nature can restore our ability to pay attention. Next time you get stuck, take a ten-minute walk around the block. I am guessing your writer’s block will disappear!

4. Mandalas. I use Everyone’s Mandala Coloring Book by Monique Mandali as my grown up coloring book. In my house, this is usually a family activity. We take out the colored pencils, put on music, and color. Not only is the practice relaxing, I usually come up with a few writing ideas when I am coloring. If you’re an adventurous sort, try making your own mandala and then coloring it!

5. Take a Virtual Tour. Most museums offer a virtual way of visiting their galleries. The Teacher’s Guide has a great list of places to visit. Take a break from writing and explore one of the museums you have always wanted to visit.

Your turn. What’s your favorite inspiration break? Leave a comment. Three of you will be chosen to win a postcard!


6 Responses

  1. Sally Brower

    My cats sit on the chaise across from my writing desk. A few times a day, they come over to my chair and want to be picked up. Petting them and holding them is a wonderful break from the mental work I have been doing and a nice break for my hands from the keyboard!

  2. My advice is to eat the healthiest meal you can find. Food is rejuvinating as long it’s living! Maybe follow up with a stroll through a bookstore. If they can do it, I can do it! Enough said.

  3. Donna Harris

    I find that my spending quality time with my family a nice relaxing break for myself…there’s nothing better than when my eldest child asks how my book is coming along and asks if he can have a look at my work in progress. It really is great.

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