Posts Tagged ‘stress management’

Break up that stress!

January 31st, 2017

Feeling the stress? Change it up!

One of the wisest pieces of advice I have ever been given about writing is also applicable to life and work, especially at this time in the world. It’s called the Hat Scene.


The Hat Scene

The idea is this: When the tension gets too high, when everybody is on the edge of their seats in the movie theater or turning the pages of a book like mad, the main character takes a break and does something completely different, which must be entertaining and lighthearted. The term, I do not know if it was the speaker’s or not, comes from a movie called “Sleeping with the Enemy,” a psycho-thriller; and at one point when you can’t stand it any longer two main protagonists go to a school where one teaches theater and they try on hats, that’s all. The whole scene is full of fun and fanciful play. The viewers get a break in the tension so we are ready for what comes next.


Breaking tension gives room for creativity.


Now for something completely different:

Fun, fanciful play and a total change of scenery are really good for the soul, but also for your creativity and energy at work. That little time away doing an entertaining or exciting activity really different from normal can rejuvenate you and get you ready for something new or prepare you for some hard work ahead.


Here’s the idea.


Plan a break

Take a break when the going gets tough, but not too long of one, of course. A day, half-day or even a two-hour break will do. The point is to take your focus off whatever is bringing you to that level of stress where you don’t have an answer.


Then: BREATHE! Do some preparation so you are really not focusing on your “issue”, whatever it is.


Break it up and mix it up

Change the place, change the activity, if possible, change your clothes- or preferably all

Do some activity you usually don’t do. For me, reading a book may not “do it,” because that is a regular activity for me. But, going to a temporary art exhibit, walking along an unfamiliar path, watching a movie in a theater, and maybe even going to a hat shop and trying on hats would be appropriate for me, it’s whatever you don’t usually do.


Yesterday I went to see La la Land – this was a very appropriate break for me. Music, dancing, sunshine, bright colors. It was great! Before that I attended a small private art show of a friend of a friend, which also was colorful and brought spring into the gray of my Swiss winter.

It is also true that the place can help. Go outside and take a walk, go to a new space to and enjoy the light, perhaps you can work there for a while. If you usually work at a desk, find a table somewhere else. If you work at home, try some co-working space, if possible. Shake up your formula.


But why?

Our brains react to that change and they become more creative. We are not stuck in “every day” mode and we come up with better ideas. Our brains respond to the change positively and then when we begin to look for solutions to old stressful problems, we can generate new ideas. That’s why companies work off-site sometimes. That’s why masterminds are helpful.


So, what’s after the break? Move on!!!

Take that walk, go to that exhibit, change your work place or routine, go on a short holiday, find a Mastermind group (or join one of mine). But whatever you decide, you should remember to keep changing things around and shaking things up once in a while, for you, and for your job’s and/or company’s sake. That’s how you will become more creative and productive.


Enjoy your creative muse even in stressful times, and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:


Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle


Humor helps