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OT: How do you recharge your batteries?


eric

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This is a bit existential, but I'm curious what helps folks ground themselves for the next bout of stress in their daily lives. I myself can benefit from a week or two of vacation, but those kinds of soul relaxation only happen a few times during the year. So I've been trying to come up with quick ways to re-focus, whether it be a particular song I hear or 2 hours just sitting in the sun. There are a few books that help get me back to a motivated state.

 

What do you do in order to prepare yourself for the work week? Any pep routines or song choices? Particular inspirational quotes? More esoteric ways to recharge them batteries? Come on folks...help me out!

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Working out. Even if it's just 30 minutes on a stationary bike or treadmill. If I don't burn some energy I'm stressed for the week. Worst case I'll walk around the block Sunday Night, but I need to do something...

 

I'm an avid book reader, I can usually knock out >25 books a year. Reading greatly relaxes my mind, I just have to be careful, as I have a tendency of blow off things I need to do to finish a book :) Spending the evening Sunday night reading really works for me.

 

Clean up and organize the apartment. Nothing starts my week worse than waking up to a messy apartment, dishes to do, junk piled up in my desk. I'm not a neat freak, and I used to be kind of a slob in my teens, but I've come to realize this greatly improves my week - waking up on Monday morning and find things nice and organized. It's like the apartment is an extension of my brain, I can't think clearly if things are a mess. Took me years to come to terms with this, as I hate cleaning up and I have a tendency towards chaos, but it's amazing what a difference this makes for me.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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I like to get out for a fresh air workout - especially cycling. Art galleries do it for me. Also I get creatively pumped with some great concert DVDs... latest favs being McCartney's The Space Within US, Steve Winwood SoundStage, Peter Gabriel's Secret World.

____________________________________
Rod

Here for the gear.

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For me its two basic things. Meditation and walking. I do these regularly. There are times however when I do find myself doing other things as well. Reading is something that really relaxes me as well as video games. All these things I guess contribute to my method of keeping myself sane.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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Great point on the physical workouts. I've been a bit lax on those lately. During most of the calendar year, I hit the fitness center 4-5x per week, doing a variety of cardio classes like spinning and then some strengthening stuff, abs & glutes, etc. I am trying to work out a good balance between pure weekend recreation, fitness and motivation to make me do better during business hours.
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Sometimes, I need to eat something with habaneros (which taste great [kind of fruity] if you can get past the heat) in it--this usually get my juices to boil. :)

 

I also need to listen to a few tunes. Sometimes, I need to listen to something slower and more deliberate to calm me, and other times I need to listen to something more active (like Bebop) to pep me up.

 

I also meditate, read, exercise, and try to jam with a tune I've never jammed to (or played) before.

 

And, of course, joking around a little with the wife helps too. :)

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Ok, I have 4 of these and almost a shoebox full of the batteries. In my garage I have about 10 AC outlets and I always have these guys recharging. I use them in my AX7, MidiJet, all my MIDI controllers, PK-5A, heck almost everything uses them.

 

http://www.atbatt.com/images_lg/cef-14nc.jpg

 

When I go to a gig I always have a extra dozen or so with me that have a full charge.

 

BTW, what's with the thread drift? :confused:

 

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Eric:

 

I don't think this thread is off-topic at all, because, for me at least, the answer is playing music! :thu: Nothing relaxes me more than a 30-60 minute session at my keyboard or my acoustic grand. In fact, it's for this reason that I'm grateful I never tried to make it as a professional musician. I can still get joy from just playing my instrument, and my sense is that that occasionally gets lost on those who do this for a living. (Okay, pros, don't jump on me here. I'm not saying that this happens to all of you.) I'm reminded of something a friend of mine said to me a few months ago. This guy was the drummer in the band I played in in high school, and he went on to be (and still is) the drummer of one of the most popular wedding/mitzvah bands in the D.C. area. The guy's been gigging constantly for the better part of the past 20 years, and he's made a ton of dough from the business. Anyway, he and I were out to lunch some time back, and I mentioned that I had joined a casual band that got together once a week to jam and have fun. And he says something along the lines of, "I can't imagine going to play and not getting paid for it. There's just no way I would go to the hassle of hauling my drums somewhere if there wasn't a paycheck involved." Clearly, the joy of just playing has been sucked from this guy, but not me! I still love it -- and, frankly, rely on it for my sanity! :thu: :GRIN:

 

Peace and music,

Noah

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Eric:

 

I don't think this thread is off-topic at all, because, for me at least, the answer is playing music! :thu: Nothing relaxes me more than a 30-60 minute session at my keyboard or my acoustic grand. In fact, it's for this reason that I'm grateful I never tried to make it as a professional musician. I can still get joy from just playing my instrument, and my sense is that that occasionally gets lost on those who do this for a living. (Okay, pros, don't jump on me here. I'm not saying that this happens to all of you.) I'm reminded of something a friend of mine said to me a few months ago. This guy was the drummer in the band I played in in high school, and he went on to be (and still is) the drummer of one of the most popular wedding/mitzvah bands in the D.C. area. The guy's been gigging constantly for the better part of the past 20 years, and he's made a ton of dough from the business. Anyway, he and I were out to lunch some time back, and I mentioned that I had joined a casual band that got together once a week to jam and have fun. And he says something along the lines of, "I can't imagine going to play and not getting paid for it. There's just no way I would go to the hassle of hauling my drums somewhere if there wasn't a paycheck involved." Clearly, the joy of just playing has been sucked from this guy, but not me! I still love it -- and, frankly, rely on it for my sanity! :thu: :GRIN:

 

Peace and music,

Noah

 

Great post Noah! Sounds just like teh drummer in my band!

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Managing stress falls into three principal categories/techniques. The goal is to incorporate strategies from ALL THREE of these areas:

 

1. Physiological Techniques this includes (1.) Improving diet/nutrition; (2.) Physical fitness; (3.) Relaxation training (e.g., 2:1 breathing); and (4.) Meditation.

 

2. Cognitive Techniques - Most of us feel that we spend too much time worrying about various problems. The key issue, however, is not the sheer volume of worry, its what we tend to worry about. In many cases, folks worry about things that are really quite unimportant and not directly under our control; things we cant do anything about. To the extent that we can stop wasting cognitive effort in this fashion, we can help manage our own stress. Examples include (1.) Inappropriate Self Talk involves telling ourselves over and over how horrible and unbearable it will be if we fail, if we are not perfect, or if everyone we meet does not like us; and (2.) Catastrophizing over the horrors of not being successful, perfect, or liked/loved. The guiding principle in all cognitive techniques is realizing that we cant always change the world around us, but we can change our reactions to it.

 

3. Behavioral Techniques - these techniques stem the rising tide of anxiety by adopting actions/behaviors that are incompatible with stress. For example, when confronted with rising tension, choose to insert a brief period of delay (i.e., time out). This interrupts the cycle of tension that accompanies stress. The behavioral techniques also include building pleasure into our lives through hobbies, vacations, and other enjoyable activities.

 

There are also a host of organizational-based strategies for managing stress (e.g., changes in organizational structure and function, changes in the nature of specific jobs, employee fitness programs) but these may be beyond the scope of the present thread.

 

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Yeah Noah, one of the best trios I was ever in would get together usually once a week to play. No money, no 'rehearsal', just playing. We each had our other paying music gigs, so we didn't think about money.

 

During the years we did it, I think we only played 5 or 6 actual paying gigs. You grow faster when you don't have to think about all that stuff, and a great way to recharge your batteries.

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Managing stress falls into three principal categories/techniques. The goal is to incorporate strategies from ALL THREE of these areas:

 

1. Physiological Techniques this includes (1.) Improving diet/nutrition; (2.) Physical fitness; (3.) Relaxation training (e.g., 2:1 breathing); and (4.) Meditation

 

2. Cognitive Techniques - Most of us feel that we spend too much time worrying about various problems. The key issue, however, is not the sheer volume of worry, its what we tend to worry about. In many cases, folks worry about things that are really quite unimportant and not directly under out control; things we cant do anything about. To the extent that we can stop wasting cognitive effort in this fashion, we can help manage our own stress. Examples include (1.) Inappropriate Self Talk involves telling ourselves over and over how horrible and unbearable it will be if we fail, if we are not perfect, or if everyone we meet does not like us; and (2.) Catastrophizing over the horrors of not being successful, perfect, or liked/loved. The guiding principle in all cognitive techniques is realizing that we cant always change the world around us, but we can change our reactions to it.

 

3. Behavioral Techniques - these techniques stem the rising tide of anxiety by adopting actions/behaviors that are incompatible with stress. For example, when confronted with rising tension, choose to insert a brief period of delay (i.e., time out). This interrupts the cycle of tension that accompanies stress. The behavioral techniques also include building pleasure into our lives through hobbies, vacations, and other enjoyable activities.

 

There are also a host of organizational-based strategies for managing stress (e.g., changes in organizational structure and function, changes in the nature of specific jobs, employee fitness programs) but these may be beyond the scope of the present thread.

 

 

 

Moonglow I found this to be a very interesting read. It was very well worded and often these principles are often overlooked. I certainly could do a better job of remembering these. I am currently dealing with some issues that I feel are directly related to not following these principles and in many cases doing the exact opposite and creating a the worst possible scenario at times. Great post! :thu:

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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Marino, you really should! :)

 

Tonite it was listening to Orbital's "Middle of Nowhere." Man, 1999. It really felt back then like we were on the verge of the future we'd all been dreaming about, and it was in the music. So much excitement, optimism, hope, joy.

 

Then came 2000, Bush, Bin Laden, the reassertion of power over the US economy by the worst, most conservative forces in the business world, and that brief moment of light was all over.

 

Nothing but ashes and rain, now.

 

So, on to the work week; nothing left to lose at this point, but some sleep! ;) Hartnoll, thanks for the memories.

 

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Several ways (not in any particular order):

 

1) Vacation to the Outer Banks, NC.

 

2) Day trip to Old Man's Cave here in Ohio.

 

3) Play my guitar.

 

4) Play my keyboard.

 

5) Strength workout involving weights, crunches, pushups (which I do three days a week).

 

6) Cardio workout (3 to 5 times a week these days). My workout of choice is running. My distance of choice when not training for anything specific is 3-7 miles. If it's super nasty outside, I'll use the treadmill. If I'm injured a bit, I'll use the Orbitrek.

 

7) Play some mind-numbing computer games I find online at miniclip.com, addictinggames.com, or kongregate.com. There are others, but those are my favorites.

 

8) Play a football game or baseball game on my GameCube.

 

9) Ice cream.

 

10) Diet Dr. Pepper.

 

11) Alone time with the wifey.

 

12) Stay up later than usual and watch Letterman or Leno.

 

13) Play with the kids.

 

14) Plan nex year's vacation.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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I can easily kill 2 hours in a big home electronics store, or a well-stocked local music store.

 

This, however, can be an expensive form of therapy. Yesterday I walked away from a Labor Day sale with an American Jazz bass. Got it for the price of a Fender Standard, but I really don't need a bass. Now the question -- sell it, or sell other stuff and keep it???? WWED? (What Would Eric Do?):grin:

"Oh yeah, I've got two hands here." (Viv Savage)

"Mr. Blu... Mr. Blutarsky: Zero POINT zero." (Dean Vernon Wormer)

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I like to learn new things musically, I think learning helps keep me energized. Reading helps also.which I admit, I didn't do much until recently.

 

My main goal is to keep my life simplified and that way you may get lucky enough to have time to help others out or be involved in other interest. The trip with our church group to work in Mississippi was one where I made a lot of new friends and felt like I was doing something worthwhile. These type things are fun and definitely a break from the norm, which helps energize me.

 

Then there's grandkids, oh yeah thats a pick me up :). Also , my youngest has graduated from college and is continuing his music career locally. We purchased a sound system and are working together . He has hinted around about letting me play the Mandolin with him :o Thats been fun, the whole family and friends showed up at Starbucks to root him on. The kids growing up and leaving out on thier own really changes the dynamics

 

I think it can be tough when your raising kids and working and trying to play music. If it were me I would slow down ,cut back, enjoy the kids and be involved with them ...if they'll let you . :) And get involved in others lives, it will be a good example for your kids to see and immulate.

 

 

 

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Best diet soda ever.

 

Couldn't agree more. A few years ago, I made the switch to diet sodas generally, so they all taste okay to me now. Even before I did that, though, I tried Diet Dr. Pepper and really liked it -- and that was when all other diet sodas tasted like sh*t to me.

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Managing stress falls into three principal categories/techniques. The goal is to incorporate strategies from ALL THREE of these areas:

 

1. Physiological Techniques this includes (1.) Improving diet/nutrition; (2.) Physical fitness; (3.) Relaxation training (e.g., 2:1 breathing); and (4.) Meditation

 

2. Cognitive Techniques - Most of us feel that we spend too much time worrying about various problems. The key issue, however, is not the sheer volume of worry, its what we tend to worry about. In many cases, folks worry about things that are really quite unimportant and not directly under out control; things we cant do anything about. To the extent that we can stop wasting cognitive effort in this fashion, we can help manage our own stress. Examples include (1.) Inappropriate Self Talk involves telling ourselves over and over how horrible and unbearable it will be if we fail, if we are not perfect, or if everyone we meet does not like us; and (2.) Catastrophizing over the horrors of not being successful, perfect, or liked/loved. The guiding principle in all cognitive techniques is realizing that we cant always change the world around us, but we can change our reactions to it.

 

3. Behavioral Techniques - these techniques stem the rising tide of anxiety by adopting actions/behaviors that are incompatible with stress. For example, when confronted with rising tension, choose to insert a brief period of delay (i.e., time out). This interrupts the cycle of tension that accompanies stress. The behavioral techniques also include building pleasure into our lives through hobbies, vacations, and other enjoyable activities.

 

There are also a host of organizational-based strategies for managing stress (e.g., changes in organizational structure and function, changes in the nature of specific jobs, employee fitness programs) but these may be beyond the scope of the present thread.

 

 

 

Moonglow I found this to be a very interesting read. It was very well worded and often these principles are often overlooked. I certainly could do a better job of remembering these. I am currently dealing with some issues that I feel are directly related to not following these principles and in many cases doing the exact opposite and creating a the worst possible scenario at times. Great post! :thu:

Thank you for the kind words. I glad you found something useful! Actually, this represents an extremely truncated portion of a much larger (approximate two-hour) presentation I have given countless times on stress. In my lecture/presentation, I thoroughly discuss what stress is, and the effect it has on our bodies, social relationships, family, and work-related issues. I also elaborate on the above techniques to include conducting a couple of hands-on exercises for managing stress. Now if only I could better follow my own advice.....

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Working out, SCUBA diving, playing guitar. Keyboard is too brainy for me sometimes, acoustic guitar or ukulele you can play while turning off your brain. D, G, E, A, repeat. :)

 

Perhaps if I had a real piano and not the sampled kind it would be more therapeutic.

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I watch racing, F1, Nascar, Cart, IRL, NHRA. I usually get some good naps in those races if I'm watching after work. I don't have time on the weekend so I avoid coverage and watch them all week. I work out, but lately that has sucked, because I injured my ankle on the stairmaster, so all I can do is swim, and that's not doing it for me. I learn drum parts from the melodic hard rock I listen to at the gym and do air drumming on the stairmaster, which is really invigorating and relieves alot of stress and improves my time skills, which have always been a weak point, but are improving alot. (Our Doors drummer isn't complaining anymore about me rushing) Like to read the paper, I only seem to order up books and read them when an upcoming trip is nearing. (And then they get read on the trip/flight). Love to watch documentaries from Natl Geo and History Channel, and American HotRod and news and gossip from spanish tv. Surfing the internet is another pastime. When my bands aren't working I love going out and watching other bands. Yeah let someone else entertain the crowd and I get to watch. Hopefully they are good. I need to practice more, but with my day job and these other interests by the time I get all this done the evening is over.

 

John

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