Facing The Emotional Upheaval of First Times

First times are stressful and exciting, and this has been a month of firsts. My first AltSexNYC conference, which also meant my first big talk based on the story in Bound. My first radio interview. My first BookExpo. A lot of what’s happened this month has been about publicity and much of it has been exciting. I had a blast at AltSexNYC. I’d done a lot of preparation and it paid off, but also, the conference was just full of really smart, interesting people. It was a real high. My first radio interview was a high, too. Tom Sumner focused much more on the kink/BDSM part of my book than I wanted, but what a thrill to be talking to somebody on the radio about the book at all. 

But the highs of these firsts are followed by lows that are hard to stomach, as my emotional pendulum swings from “Ohmygod I’m doing that thing!” to “Ohmygod, that thing is over. Now what?”

Sound familiar? 

So, here’s what I’m doing so that these mood swings don’t make me impossible to live with:

  • Meditation: I’m loving the Oak app and it’s 10 and 15 minute guided meditations. The guided breathing exercises are really good at helping me undo the stress I feel in the face of book promotion, teaching, or anything else that’s on my mind.
  • Walking: Now that classes are over I’m trying to walk every day. The challenge will be figuring out how to keep up a regular exercise habit when classes start back up. 
  • Reading: I realized a while ago that I’d lost my regular reading habits in the midst of all of this book-related activity. The irony isn’t lost on me. My reading habits had become very social-media/news oriented and I devoted very fragmented attention to what I did read. I’m getting back to long-form articles and books, and it’s really helping to steady my mind. This month I read Kimberley Robeson’s novel The Greek Persuasion, started a memoir, Saturday’s Child by Deborah Burns, and began Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book, Natural Causes.

What strategies work best for you when you’re fighting mood swings? 

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