How to keep your sanity in a crazy world—by Traci Hall
As crazy as 2017 has been for the world, it’s been a mixed bag of emotions for me, personally. I am now at 13 By the Sea books. In 2014, I planned for 12, which I finished in March, to give me a solid and realistic look at my spot in the contemporary romance indie pubbing world. This has meant recreating covers, redoing interior book design, and tightening my newsletters with the right links and calls to action. For two and a half years I’ve focused on this one project, and for the last three months, I’ve been taking it apart, seeing what works, and putting it back together again. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Sink or swim.
After years of keeping my head down at my desk, it was time to take part of life outside my laptop. There was the FRW cruise; I signed on with an agent that understands what I want from my career; we joined the Chamber of Commerce to promo By the Sea; had lunch with patient and understanding friends. Christopher and I spent six weeks in San Diego to welcome the birth of Kennedi, and I went two weeks prior to that. We’ve known people impacted by Harvey, our entire state was covered by Irma, and we had to put down our beloved Benny. My son moved to Colorado, my daughter got married and I gained a son-in-law in addition to my granddaughter. I was able to reconnect with family I thought would be out of my life. It has been one of the tightest financial years ever—but we have the freedom to work from anywhere, which has allowed us to be with the people we love, when they need us.
Shootings, politics, Mother Nature, people really suffering without power and food, or shelter. Sickness, death. Some days I don’t want to check the news. We don’t have television, so I need to actually look for what is going on—and there are times when it is too much.
What to do? Everyone is different, but here are some real tips that work for me when things get overwhelming.
- As simple as it seems, you need to breathe. Be conscious of your breaths as they fill your lungs and your body, and feel the release as you exhale.
- Hot tea with lemon. The citrus zest is comforting, rejuvenating—sometimes I add a little honey, but not always.
- Watch a comedy. These days it doesn’t even have to be a full-length movie. You can watch funny videos or memes. Go to YouTube and search funny cat videos. Instant mood-lifter.
- Give yourself permission to turn off the news. It is important to be aware of what is going on, yes. What to do about it? You can’t fix everything, so start small. Go through your closet, and donate clothes. Choose a reputable charity and send in five dollars, if that is what you can do…the amount is not important. Say a prayer—if you don’t believe in a higher power, then send mental good wishes toward those in need.
- And last on my list here is, you got it, read a book. I like my happy-ever-afters.
I’d love to hear what you do to beat the blues!
PS–want to see those covers we’ve redone? check out the By the Sea series page on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZ5UV9H/?tag=communitybooks8-20