R & R to manage anxiety

Anthropogenic Crisis No. 6903 copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale

With the conclusion of Mental Health Awareness Month, a parting article about how I deal with my anxiety, hopefully of use to someone. Hopefully evident with the above photograph from my Anthropogenic Crisis series, it’s sometimes good to take a walk. A little Rest and Relaxation, what we called R&R in our family growing up, which I suspect was a carry-over by dad from his time in the Army during WWII. Btw, today is his birthday, and he would have been a ripe 99 years old.

With all of the recent events, such as the death of so many young kids in Texas and the on-going madness by Putin in his brutal invasion of Ukraine, I think that anxiety must be reaching epic proportions. For me, anxiety is a constant battle and fortunately I now have some wonderful strategies to keep it in check, such as my R&R walks in the adjacent wilderness park. This is about allowing myself to be pleasantly distracted by this interesting landscape, focusing on where I am walking (and what I am not encountering) that frees up mind. By paying attention to these other things is both calming and relaxing for me and very shortly my jangled nerves have vanished. And with a camera or two in hand (I now count my mobile phone as one), this doubles-down why I am paying attention to other things than my frazzled nerves; how the landscape composition slowly changes and morphs as I walk the trail. Really nice.

I had considered riding a bicycle on these trails, but this would be entirely a different experience, a bit more physical (which would not hurt me). It would also be a wonderful alternative for R&R, but not very conducive for my photographic interests. I think I am more in tune with ‘slow’ art.

What especially drew me out the other morning for my walk were the really wonderful cloud formations over the adjacent mountains. At the moment I find the cloudy days really well suited for the underlying concept of my Anthropogenic Crisis series. The on-going climate change due to the warming of the oceans is synonymous with an environmental storm brewing and my process of abstracting the landscape seems to works really well with cloudy days. Or at least for me. LoL. The above photograph leverages the foreground flowers to draw the reader in and take them on the ensuing pathway forward to encounter the mysterious landscape and foreboding sky. Hopefully to reflect on why this landscape would look so unusual. What is going on? And why could this happen?

Likewise, subsequently developing this photograph on my computer has almost the same soothing effect. What I would call a win-win.

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day



Artist Book & book Workshop:

New artist book: 

Pre-publication SaleThe Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, the artist book is $50.00 USD & the Artist Special Edition (book + print) $100.00 USD, plus CA taxes for US sales and shipping. Message me (doug@douglasstockdale.com) or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice. Your name will be listed in the book as one of the supporters! Thank you.

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop (Sold Out), a virtual event on Zoom; November 5 & 6 and 12 & 13, 2022, 10am – 1pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). Wait list available for sign-up.


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