While waiting for a friend at a bookstore after work, I saw this book and immediately grabbed it. 1001 Ways to Relax by Mike George is like Vicks on your back when you have the sniffles—comforting and luxurious, a treat you need when you start to have work-related nightmares.
This is not the real cover. I’ve decided to draw my own rendition of book covers of the books I read if I like the book enough (or even if I don’t). Like a graphic review, if such a thing existed (Project!):
I was skimming this book and managed to remember some nice and/or unusual tips. Each tip is followed by a semi-scientific explanation that made sense when I read it, but I can’t remember the explanations anymore, so the explanations here are mostly self-serving personal, heh.
DISCLAIMER: The tips in bold are paraphrased from the book, because it was just too awesome not to share. No copyright infringement intended. All the tips in bold are from Mike George.
Here are my favorite tips:
Give presents for no reason. Since I also want to get rid of some books that I’ve read already and other things cluttering up the house, I’m looking forward to surprising friends with these “gifts”.
Place a clear/smoky quartz in front of your pc. I’m in front of the pc the whole day, so might as well try this, since it supposedly absorbs radiation. No harm in trying, right? Plus it prettifies your desk, and gives you a weapon totem.
Peel an apple in one neat strip. I don’t know why also, but sounds fun and challenging! Maybe it has something to do with the concentration and focusing on the moment.
Make your favorite childhood meal for yourself. I think mine was Piattos cheese flavor and Pop cola. And FizzWizz for dessert. Easy peasy.
Marble massage. Place marbles in a basin with hot water. Add some peppermint oil and soak your feet in it, while pressing it against the marbles.
Pavlovian earlobe thing. Apparently, like that Pavlovian dog theory, if you’re experiencing/thinking about happiness and pleasurable things, and you pinch your earlobe, your body will remember this as that goodvibes trigger. This means that when you’re stressed you can pinch your earlobe to beckon those faded pleasurable days.
Try something new each month. I’m planning on making weekly “creative” challenges for myself, to make it more manageable. Maybe as simple as “make a new origami each day for 7 days.” or “blind contour drawing of a still life object each day for a week.” Any suggestions?
When you’re happy and calm, write yourself a calm letter which you’d read when you’re stressed.
I didn’t know about “Drishti" before reading this book. But now I do and I want to try and see the world with this in mind.
See all relationships as fruitful. Because they bring self-knowledge.
Say “Good Morning” and mean it.
Talk to strangers.
Listen to more fugues. Like J.S. Bach. I don’t get why either, but as of now I am googling it and preparing to listen to it. It might be life-changing!
Also, listen to indian raga.
Learn to appreciate abstract art.
Read “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman.
Read “Sonnets to Orpheus” by Rilke.
Open any book and read a random passage. Savor the ability and freedom to read.
Write to your favorite authors.
Spin in a circle.
Make paper planes/origami.
Make a clay model of a thing you like.
Create dada poetry from random words.
Buy a book of “walks”. I want to try that Celdran/Ivan Dy walk!
Design a garden. To wit, my dream garden (drawn when I was two):
Write a review of your most pleasurable experience.
Before sleeping, imagine a rainbow-colored disc near your heart. Spin it in your mind till it becomes white. I can’t remember the explanation behind this, but hey, rainbows are always nice.
The first book you read this year: The Adrian Mole Diaries by Sue Townsend
The last book you finished this year: Little Bee by Chris Cleabe
The first book you will finish in the new year: Until the real thing comes along by Elizabeth Berg
Your favorite “classic” you read this year: Is “I capture the Castle” a modern classic? Haha.
The book series you read the most volumes of this year: The Hunger Games trilogy, Scott Pilgrim comics, Pretty Little Liars (It wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be. It was actually intriguing, like Veronica Mars meets Mean Girls meets Gossip Girl meets Skins, with all that rainbowy sexual tension)
The genre you read the most this year: LGBT fiction, young adult, haha.
The book that disappointed you: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. I expected something Ruth Reichl-y, or Sarah Addison Allen-y, or even Hoffman-y, but ended with some serious Wally Lamb like emo drudgery mixed with Kafkaesque philosophizing. Ugh.
The book you liked better than you expected to: Pretty Little Liars. See reasons above.
The hardest book you read this year (topic or writing style): I gave up midway on a lot of books for 2010. Maybe it was the writing style mostly, but I’m sure they were awesome books. The Unnamed, since it depressed me, Bee Season, because I got bored by it, The Little Stranger, which I bet is interesting, but it was an audiobook which I really couldn’t finish, work got in the way.
The funniest book you read this year: I like the Runaways. Oh Joss Whedon, you genius, you.
The saddest book you read this year: Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Read it, and weep. And be disturbed.
The shortest book you read this year: Plain Janes?
The longest book you read this year: I can’t remember.
A book that touched you: If by touched you mean I cried, here’s my weepy list: -Between Mom and Jo -A lot of Berg books, if not all, haha. -The Year of Fog
A book you read this year you want to recommend: If you’re queer, try the comics of Ariel Schrag, books by David Levithan and Julie Anne Peters. If not and you like the magical realism of Alice Hoffman and Isabel Allende, try books by Sarah Addison Allen. If you like Anne Tyler or Anna Quindlen, try reading books by Elizabeth Berg.
A book that you discovered this year that you will definitely read again: A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
A book that you never want to read again: Cruddy by Lynda Barry. It was amazing but also horrific and scary.
And finally, make a New Year’s Resolution: Review all the books I read, even if it’s just one sentence. :) Create an organized Books I’ve read list and organized TBR list.