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Truckee Creative Retreat

aka Getting Out of the Heat

Home 102, Truckee 82. That’s degrees Fahrenheit, and as far as I’m concerned the lower number wins.

The temps at home these past few weeks have been playing with triple digits like a wave coming up the sand, but for this week, and possible next, they ware hanging way up the beach in solid triple digits. Between the hot weather and poor sleep nights, my creative brain has been on hiatus.

Lucky me, I have a someone living in Truckee willing to host me when temperatures soar. And, they encourage me to set up my space for writing, painting, drawing –whatever creative outlets I want to pursue as long as I don’t make too big a mess and clean up after myself.

I was feeling really bad about myself for not being productive at home. Then, as I was watching the weather predictions, in horror – 111, 117, and wondering what I’d do –we still don’t have whole house air conditioning, I read a few advice articles about how to handle the upcoming heat, and learned a few things that made me feel better and gave me some ideas for changes I need to make.

One NYT article on how heat affects the brain cited a Harvard study comparing performance of group of summer students – one group was in a dorm with air conditioning, the other without. There were noted changes in performance -not in a good way – even when temperatures were just 4 degrees hotter and students were not reporting feeling uncomfortable. Performance and others things got worse as temperatures rose. Oh, maybe my zombie-ness wasn’t just laziness even though it didn’t feel that bad, yet. (It was only 99…) It advised finding ways to not have your body overheat, no matter what the temperature said outside. Ok, for me time to get back to frequent cool baths and showers, or cool hat or neck cloth habit.

Another article warned of common prescription mediations during heat waves. Huh, I learned that the blood pressure medication I take can surpress the feeling of thirst making it much easier to become dehydrated and, you can imagine that might not lead to good temperature regulation or clear thinking. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty–drink on a schedule, the article recommended. Ok, new habit to work on.

And, for me, I know the hotter it gets the less I move. And the more I move, the more creative ideas and energy I have. So, I need to get out of the heat and/or figure out how to keep moving even if it’s hot outside. Since I arrived yesterday I’ve been on three walks, put my feet in the river, and will head out again when I post this. So, so grateful be here.

And, guess what? It feels like it’s working. This morning I wrote a poem for the first time in ages. I painted the little chiplmunk in the pine tree who chirped at me while mediating and i’ve got some new ideas rumbling around.

And how about you, what are you learning?

How do you, or are you, dealing with heat waves?

Handling creative blocks?

I’d love to hear from you, Lisa

Other heat and learning articles

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