De-Stressing for These Times (and All Times!)

I think poets naturally show a gratitude for life. We appreciate solitude for writing, and yet, perhaps when there is too much of it, like during the pandemic lockdown, it gets a little much for us all. Before the pandemic, I would make it a point to get out of my office twice a day to do errands, just to break up the long day.  Now, errands aren’t something I am doing.

I learned when I was in  my thirties, when I was facing a major, unexpected crisis, to be grateful for what I had, though it didn’t seem like I had much left at the time. I learned to practice affirmations, and to this day being grateful and affirmations are a way of life.

During the pandemic, I am eating a lot of canned food, something I didn’t do much of before. I’ve never been creative in the kitchen, in fact, I always do bad things in the kitchen. In my lifetime, I’ve only really mastered baking chicken and making rice krispie cakes with cereal and marshmallows. Mamma wouldn’t let me in the kitchen when I was growing up, because it was her sacred place, so I didn’t grow up with an appreciation for making my own food. I have relied a lot on eating out, particularly in my twilight years. Now, my eating-out routine has been “tabled,” no pun intended.

But rather than think, “Gee, this isn’t great food,” I am grateful to have food, as I think of those who don’t have anything. Rather than focus on negative thoughts, it’s  always good to replace the latter with positive ones for your mood, especially during sequestration.

At the very least, I hope people aren’t spending time at home drinking alcohol and eating obsessively, as this isn’t helpful for one’s well-being, especially now.

I try to sleep a little longer, so my mind is sharper, and I can strategize for future times when my work in meeting with people and doing writer’s events will be restored. Without things to plan for and look forward to, life doesn’t offer much. No matter what our predicament, we need to have hope and plan. Make a list for the short-term, like three months out, and of course, for the long tern, like a bucket list.

I look forward to enjoyable things, such as sitting out in the sun. Yesterday, it snowed here in the Midwest, and it was very gray. I look forward to May weather when things will be in bloom, as now the trees are still bare. It’s still a little cold for me to enjoy walking, but I keep the window open for fresh air and I hear robins in the morning. Hearing birds chitchat, reminds me that it’s life as usual for creatures, a soothing thought.

I also practice deep breathing with the window open. This helps my thought processes. I like to daydream about simple times and simpler living. At night, I watch light-hearted television, re-runs from the 1960s. I enjoy watching Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show. If only living simply and having community connections were still the same in the 21st century, as they were then. But maybe we can strive for that in some ways by connecting with those in our own neighborhoods. In the U.S., there is “NextDoor” online that allows us to connect for free with those in our immediate areas and share valuable ideas and resources– a good method of connecting.

And, since we are writers, we can still create and get published. I’ve never been one for journaling much, though some of my friends do it. With journaling, you can’t often share what you write and  get it published, as with other types of writing. That’s why I prefer writing poetry and short stories. So much of writing for me, at least, has to do with sharing and networking to get input on how  others perceive what I write. Hearing other people’s comments, gives me ideas for future work.

As far as my own creative work, I look forward to getting more poems published in the coming months. If  some of your work isn’t getting published, persist in submitting it to more places or revise it. And,  you can even email what you write to friends and family as a way of maintaining communication lines.

Writing is healing, and I thank the people who’ve already read my new poetry/reference book, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, and written to me about how the book personally speaks to them. As a reference book, it also provides exhaustive ideas on how writers can network with others to share the written word and to promote writing as a healing exercise.

Always connect with your fellow writers, and let them know how their written piece or book has affected you.RipplesCover020120.inddWriters shouldn’t hide in the shadows.  They need to share their work to keep up their momentum, motivation, and goal planning.

And, thank you to all who regularly comment on these blog posts featuring writers from about 50 countries. It’s wonderful to connect with writers of different cultures, thousands of miles away, and know that your writing is impacting their lives in some way. That’s why we write.

Copyright 2020 by Charlotte Digregorio.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
This entry was posted in Author, Books, Charlotte Digregorio, Healing, Poetry, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, stress and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to De-Stressing for These Times (and All Times!)

  1. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #2: Charlotte Digregorio reflects on her #Coronavirus pandemic response, and her book “Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing” is out!

  2. MaryJo says:

    Your response too the pandemic is most affirming. Gratitude is the key I think.

  3. Big congratulations for this new book, Charlotte.
    I will share it this week on my two blog and my Facebook page.
    Grazie mille!!!

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