Got a Lot on Your Mind? Braindrain!

Got a Lot on Your Mind? Braindrain!

Do you have a lot on your mind? Doing a braindrain can be a great exercise to help you capture all the issues and ideas so that you can deal with them in a rational manner.

What’s a Braindrain?

A braindrain is like a brainstorm, only instead of trying to come up with as many ideas as you can that relate to a focused topic, your objective is to spill out all the busy-ness in your head onto paper. It’s a useful way to get an overview of the big picture.

Funnel Cloud

My Braindrain

I have been on medical leave for almost a month now. I’ve had lots of doctor appointments and email conversations. I’ve researched topics related to asthma and better self-care. I’ve had to do a lot of resting. And I’ve learned a lot of things I don’t want to forget. So, today I did a braindrain. You can type one on your computer or phone, write it in your journal, or just spill it out on a big piece of paper.

Here’s a sampling from mine:

  • If I use my emergency inhaler more than 2x per week, I need to call my allergist.
  • I like my job and miss my colleagues.
  • I enjoy seeing my friends’ and family’s facebook posts.
  • I enjoy writing to Mom.
  • Humidity is one of my big asthma triggers.
  • I’ve found some great new blogs to follow.
  • I love reading my Bible daily.
  • I need to add more fruits and veggies into my diet especially carotenoids and leafy greens.
  • I have learned how to use my planner more effectively.
  • It is good to sit still.
  • Dark chocolate is still good for me.
  • I need to be a more faithful vacuumer and duster for my health’s sake.
  • I can always remind myself my life is in God’s hands; God loves me; God is good; and God is in control. I have nothing to fear.

As you can see, I let the ideas come in random order, although thinking of one thing sometimes reminded me of other related topics.


What Will I Do With My Braindrain?

When I look over my list, I see there are things I need to remember for when I get sick. I’ll gather these on an index card and put it on my bulletin board.

There were more healthy eating suggestions on the list than I included on your abbreviated version. I want to make another index card with an “Eat These!” list on one side and a “Limit These!” list on the other to keep in my wallet. I will also make an index card for each and put them on my fridge.

I tend to over-embrace the Puritan work ethic, and I tend to get stressed. I’m going to make another list, on a blank page in my planner, of things I enjoy doing that are restful and relaxing.  Then, I’m going to try to remember to look at it when I feel stressed.

I have also created a new daily item for my planner: Calming Activity.

The Braindrain: Another Great Benefit of a Literate Lifestyle

I am a person who thinks best with a pen in my hand. I love using the braindrain exercise  to capture or quiet what’s on my mind. It feels really good to get everything recorded in one place.

Your Turn

Please use the comment box below to share your own tips for coping with having a lot on your mind. Or share a braindrain of your own. I’d love to hear from you!


Whilst I Lie Here Sick–My Life on Pinterest

Asthma! Grrr!

I am now on week 4 of lying about the house in an effort to recover from an “asthma exacerbation” brought about by high humidity and a respiratory virus. Basically I’ve been living at levels 1, 2, and 3 on the “Pain Scale” I adapted from the Samn-Perelli 7pt. Fatigue Scale.


Too Tired to Read! Don’t Want to Watch T.V.!

While being in the state of “Extremely tired, very difficult to concentrate,” let alone move around and do the simplest of chore,  yet highly susceptible to boredom, what have I been doing? Pinning. It is my favorite “brain-dead” activity. All I have to move are my fingers and my eyes, and as someone who loves visual imagery that is pleasure enough.


What Have I Done on My Pinterest Boards!

Follow the links if you would like to check out any examples.


Why I Love Pinterest:

As I already said, I am a very, visually oriented person, and so I love feasting my eyes on the beautiful images.

Better yet, Pinterest is eliminating my need for additional file cabinet space. No more clipping and filing writing information, historical references, recipes, and teaching, craft, and holiday ideas.

As a fiction writer, it has provided a quick and easy way to save other types of inspiration like art and photos for settings and characters.

And, it’s just a great place to collect things I love, all without having to take up physical space collecting them!

I think it has saved my sanity in these long boring days when even journaling felt like too much. Pop in on any of the links and take a peek. (Oh, and feel free to pin whatever you want; my boards are about sharing.)

Your Turn

Are you a pinner? Leave a link to your pinboards in the comment box. I would love to check them out!


A Yearning to Write

I Yearn to Write


I have been longing to write.

So little and so much seems to have happened in this month.

It started with a cold, it flared into asthma, it landed me in the emergency room, and has been cause for much reflection and self-assessment this week.

A Little Background

I was actually diagnosed with asthma about ten years ago. However, being in the midst of a “survival” lifestyle, I did not actively pursue information about my new condition, instead trusting in my physician to tell me what to do. She didn’t.

Our health insurance changed. I got a new primary care physician. Reasonably, she assumed that when I came to her, already diagnosed and with medications prescribed, I had an asthma plan. I did not.

I did not understand my condition, and while mainly it stayed under control with the minimum care guidelines I operated under, it would knock me flat a few times a year. This time, I woke in the night, dizzy, disoriented, needing to consciously stomach breathe because I could not get enough air into my body any other way. The end result—a long morning in the emergency room.

Lightbulb Moment

I came home with meds and care instructions, and as I kicked  back in my recliner trying to recover, I finally did what I should have done ten years ago—research.

I Need to Make Some Changes in My Life.

  • I need to be more proactive in my health care.
  • I need to be more attentive and responsive to the way my body feels.
  • I need to slow down and take care of myself when my body tells me to, instead of powering through.
  • I need to be okay with accomplishing things at a more manageable pace.

And…I need to write. I’ve read, I’ve taken extensive notes, I’ve written notes to myself, and I have longed to sit down and reflect, to write.

Writing seems to be the only way I fully process what I am thinking and learning. Writing is the way I make sense of things, make decisions, set goals, dream, reason, pray.

I need to write, and I want to write here. I want to blog. I want to share what I experience and learn, I want to encourage readers and writers, and I want to help others grow in their writing craft—whether it is used purely for their own entertainment and sanity or for reaching and blessing and entertaining others.

I’m not in a place to commit to a schedule, however, once again I need to recommit to this blog.

If you can, please share: How does your reading/writing lifestyle impact the quality of your life?

*graphic background: Depositephotos