Pause and Relax

by Nancy Casey

There are lots of different exercises a person can do to relax. In some of them you consciously relax your body—from bottom to top, from inside to out. Some exercises focus on the breath—slowing it down, feeling it in your belly. Other exercises ask you to move with maximum awareness, slowly and deliberately. Do you have a favorite?

Today you will have a chance to see what it’s like when you combine writing and relaxing.

Put yourself into relax-mode as you settle in to write: pens ready, clean page. Draw a line at the top of the page where the title will go. Can you draw that line with your hand and arm completely relaxed?

Next, draw 3 dots spaced evenly down the middle of the page. They will divide your page into four “imaginary” sections.

Breathe gently, and use your favorite method to enter your relaxation state. Then begin writing. Write about whatever is on your mind. That might be what you see or hear. It might be a plan, a worry, or a memory. Whatever floats through.

When you get to the first dot, put down your pen and look around. Lay your hands gently in front of you. Close your eyes and do a little something to relax your breath and body.

When you begin to feel relaxation, open your eyes slowly and continue writing. If your mind floated off to a new topic while you were relaxing, write about that. If you are more inclined to pick up where your writing left off, you can do that, too.

Can you stay inside of that relaxed feeling as you continue writing? How does a person do that?

Work your way down the page. Pause to relax each time you come to a dot. Start your writing back up however you like.

Consider drawing or doodling on the page as well. (Would that be part of writing or part of relaxing?)

When you have filled the page, pause and relax one more time.

Read over what you have written. Even if you changed the subject a lot, it’s still probably all connected somehow. Think up a title that hints at those connections.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on the page too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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