Pia shares Her Dark Half - Issue #10

I don't know about you, but I'm over this summer heat!

Feeling lethargic? Like, a vampire drained all your energy last night? That is...if you were even able to sleep! Are you currently spread out half naked (and not at all in a sexy way) on a couch or bed with a fan blowing in your face; and moving slowly like a zombie, all moaning and groaning? Maybe even smelling like one?

If your summer is anything like mine, you might be feeling guilty for feeling unproductive these days. It's the worst - you've got lots of things to do, but can't seem to get going. At. All. You're dragging your feet to get even the smallest tasks done.

(I can tell the lazy days of summer are really messing with me while trying to write this newsletter.) And don't even get me started about getting into creative mode! 

I mean...how are you supposed to be creative in this heat?

That's a task on a whole other level! Combine high heat with high humidity and forget about any real productivity and ability to focus. There have been studies that prove that hot temperatures affect your brain and can reduce your cognitive function. So, don't feel guilty, you're only human! Unless you're a creature of the cool and pleasant night, most of us have to function during the day and suffer the fury of the summer sun.

Lazy days of summer or: How to be productive when it's blazing hot outside

So, keeping in mind that just reading this newsletter and concentrating is hard right now, I'll keep it short. I've picked my brain for a few tricks I have learned through lots of trial and error that just might help you stay creative.

Adjust your work schedule if possible. I realize some of you are bound by offices and 'normal' working hours. If you're working part-time, freelance or remote and you're able to switch up your day, try these following tips:

Obviously, keep cool. If you have air conditioning in your home, well, good for you and congratulations on your high energy bill! Open up your windows and doors if there is still cool air outside and get some fresh air, or pre-cool your place with the A/C in the morning. Then shut it all down for the hot part of the day. I just bought some blackout curtains and they work wonders keeping the blinding hot sun out. I've heard vampires swear by them! Have a fan at your desk to keep the air circulating around your computer...they suffer too!

Stay hydrated. And I mean water, not coffee or booze... you know who you are! But seriously, your brain needs water especially now. Don't wait until you're thirsty. Keep a glass of water handy at all times. Want to get the creative juices going? You need to keep your innards juicy. (Oh my...what did I just type, lol). Make a big jug of iced tea or cucumber water and stay away from sugary drinks like soda.

Do the important and/or difficult tasks first! Do your most complex and involved work when you first get up. The longer you drag things out, the less motivated and energized you'll be later. So, stop procrastinating and get to it! You'll feel more productive when you're done and less guilty when you eventually fizzle out for the rest of the day. This is also where some of your daily habits come in handy. At least you got that one thing done! (I touched on that in a previous newsletter)

Eat small meals. Avoid having to use the oven or stove at all costs. Keep it light and cool with yummy salads or charcuterie boards. The last thing your body wants is having to digest a heavy meal when it has to work hard just to keep cool.

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. - Regina Brett

Take a nap to refresh your mind. The Spanish have the right idea with their siestas! They have it figured out. Keep it short, though. Anything over 30 minutes might make you groggier than before.

Take ten minutes to meditate. It helps me when my brain feels like scrambled eggs and I can't focus. I've been using Headspace for years now and highly recommend it. Or use Calm. Both are apps that have free versions for noobs. The world would be a much better place if more people meditated. Fact!

Get the blood moving. Once it cools down in the evening, take a walk and get some evening air. It might help you sleep later, especially if you took a long nap earlier in the day, ha!

It's ok to take a break, especially when a real vacation is out of reach right now for many, especially us creatives. Go binge on that TV show (cough, hint..The Sandman) or watch that movie in the middle of the day! Check out that funny horror short on your tablet while you dig into that ice cream (see what I did there?) Read that book or comic. Put on your earbuds and listen to your favorite music while stretched out on the cool kitchen floor, like a cat. Why not? It's not like you're going anywhere . . .

Well, that's it for today. I'm all pooped out. Done for. Spent. Thanks for reading to the end. Time to crawl back into my cool, dark cave and take a nap.

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost. - Henry Rollins

As always, have a creative weekend!

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Thank you from the bottom of my black little heart!

Dark Greetings…. ‘see’ you in two weeks and stay frosty!


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