Remember to take time to engage in the activities where you find joy when stressed. Engage your senses by burning incents, wrap up in a soft blanket, build a small alter of your favorite artifacts, or listen to nature, music, or the sound of silence. Actively participate in anything that centers you and diverts your focus away (even for a minute) from the stress. When you come back to your responsibilities you may feel more capable of managing. When NorthNet Directors are feeling the pressure, here are some of the activities they engage in. Maybe you’ll find one to try. Be well.

Mary George / Placer County Library

Lori Easterwood

Stress relievers:

Daily walk break at work (birding along the way—phainopepla spotted!) , candles, tarot with friends, cooking winter squashes all the ways (kabocha miso curry soup was peak comfort squash).  Sooooo much tea. 

Rivkah K. Sass | Library Director & CEO

I love all of these suggestions. Walking my dogs has helped me maintain what little sanity I have left. Organizing drawers and releasing some belongings from captivity. Lots of tea in the afternoon after my obligatory two cups of coffee!

Narinder Sufi

These are real stress busters, reading it takes me to a memory lane.

London, especially in these months, where you see people happy for no reason, partying as they head towards Christmas holidays. Shops are open till late and beautifully decorated with lights and exciting gift items. There is a street music playing on each corner, cafes are serving mince pies with special holiday drinks (variety of teas)- I am hopeful to experience it again sometime soon and that brings peace and excitement at the same time.

For now, seeing my 2 year old grow and becoming his own person in so many ways. If the day is really wearing me out, then there are chunky chips (steak fries) from a local café!!

Learning to practice gratitude way more than I have ever done.

Reading (whenever I get some time) See no Stranger- Valarie Kaur

Christopher Cooper

Thanks for sharing everyone ???? Narinder,  I remember spending the holidays just as you described it when I was living in Earl’s Court in ’86. Thanks for the vivid narrative.

I am enjoying walks with my dog, working in my garden, canning applesauce, conversations with partner, friends and family, work colleagues, listening to music, and appreciating the people in my life, reading A.J. Jacobs It’s All Relativevery funny!

Rita Lovell

My de-stress “go tos” are Yoga, caring for my plants, walking/hiking (or otherwise being in nature), being with the Grandmunchkins, and organizing stuff (well, at least having stuff organized brings me joy)  😉

Mark Fink

Stress Relievers: 

  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Alternating between caffeine and beer
  • Long Spotify playlists
  • Currently on a science fiction bender reading  N. K. Jemisin and the Broken Earth and the Inheritance Trilogies.

Henry Bankhead

Stress Relievers:

  • Growing things; thinking about growing things (Mangelwurzel for example); obtaining seeds and starts
  • Baking insane quantities
  • Dragging heavy blocks of chert out of the hills

Best Recent reads:

  • 36 Streets by T.R. Napper
  • Kraken Calling by Aric McBay
  • The Sequence by Lucien Telford

Christopher Platt

Stress relievers:  

  • a good workout to 70’s disco or 80’s synthpop (I have thoughts on the new ABBA but that’s a different thread…)
  • morning nature hikes followed by pancakes to celebrate.
  • easy, carry-you-along feel-good reads (A Funny Thing Happened to Norman Foreman, The Guncle, etc)
  • Great British Baking Show

Best recent reads:  The Matrix & Cloud Cuckoo Land.

James Ochsner

Just read The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes (I like dark Russian stuff)

Now that my kids are all grown up and have left the nest, my wife and I listen to Vampire Weekend out of sentimentality, I guess.


raking patterns in my gravel front yard

walking the dog in the fog

writing to myself about life

Carolyn Brooks

For me right now it is reading, quilting, walking in nature, baking, and vacation planning.

Warm regards,

Stacey Zwald Costello

Things that have been bringing me joy lately:

Kind cards/gestures from friends

Writing thank you notes to said friends

Paul Simon (always Paul Simon- my greatest dream would be to have him write a song about me, and I will forever regret that I was born too late to be one of his great loves- probably too tall too)

Tule fog and misty moisty mornings

Watching my kids rake the leaves

Best book I have read in a long time: Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours. The writing is incredibly beautiful and helped me to finally have some words to describe the very complicated feelings I experienced during our foster to adopt process.

This entire thread is going to be joyful!

Todd Deck

Thanks Mary for sending this out. For me it is long walks while listening to audiobooks. Currently I am listening to Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie and narrated by Kenneth Branagh.