“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”
William S. Burroughs
The relaxation project : Step by Step
So earlier in this blog I mentioned my intent to find out what people do to relax.
*My main relaxation activity is simply to write. As my career choice is in the field of journalism, which I love, the type of writing that relaxes me is not journalistic writing, but rather, poetry writing – writing with no limitations – this is what relaxes me. Keep this in mind as it ties into the latter parts of the project!*
Given that my audience here will be mostly students, the people I interview or have interviewed already(soon to be posted for public view!) will be mostly students as well. Here’s how I have gone about it, step by step:
1. Choose an interview subject. This can be anyone, preferably a student, but I won’t reject any people interested in sharing their insights! After all, any of us could use a little 411 on destressing!
2. I will ask my subject what he/she does to relax. i.e. “What is an activity that upon completing, you truly feel more relaxed, more at ease?” They will discuss their relaxation technique or activity in full.
3. I will hand them a sheet to fill out. There will be one thing to fill out on this sheet of paper : “How relaxed do you feel? Rate your level of stress on a level of 1 to 5.”
1 = Mellow yellow, no qualms here
2 = Pretty chill
3 = Calm but slightly anxious/thinking about things I have to do/starting to worry
4 = Stressed/anxious/really worried
5 = Extremely stressed/beyond anxious/say the word “mellow” and watch what happens man!
The subject will circle which number most accurately describes his/her level of stress.
4. I will then hand the subject another sheet of paper and ask them to write a poem. I will tell them they may take as much time as needed and write about absolutely anything.
*In additon to this, I will inform the subject that if he/she does me this favor of writing the poem and filling out evaluation sheet(s), I will go on a destress day with them! This means we will set a date after Spring Break( so anywhere from mid-March to May), where I MUST join them in their relaxation activity. THIS means, ladies and gents, if you choose sky-diving as your true relaxation activity, I am going sky-diving with you! Most people, I presume, will then agree to writing a poem, if not for the sole purpose of seeing me try out something that seems completely ridiculous. I have to stick to my word after all. :]
5. When the subject is done writing their poem, I will hand them a sheet with the same rating numbers as before (1 = mellow yellow, 5 = extremely stressed), and ask them to now circle which number best fits their stress level. I will ask them to explain why their stress level has changed, if it has.
6. I will then, of course, ask if the subject is ok with either having their poem or photo published to this blog, along with their relaxation explanation. We will set a destress date!
7. I will post results for your reading pleasure.
Finally, after March, this blog will take on the form of posts discussing my experiences trying out the relaxation activities I agreed to try out. Wish me luck!
And as always folks, keep on keepin’ calm.