Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How do you give your mind a holiday?

Reading Kerri Sackville's post today made me realise just how tired I am. You know how you know you're tired but you just try to forget it and drink too many coffees and forge ahead? I'm there. Mine is not so much a physical tiredness - I'm actually getting more sleep right now than I have for ages, with my insomnia finally deciding that it was done playing with me for a while - but mental exhaustion.

I am so tired of thinking.

My head is full of thoughts all the time. From the moment I wake up to the last ten seconds before I finally fall asleep mid 'I really must xxxx tomorrow'. I am thinking about the boys, The Builder, the house, the bills, the weeding (I'm looking at the image on this post and thinking about the fact that I have more gardening to do...), the fact that I didn't buy the curtain rings yet despite many, many notes to self.

I am thinking about the edits on my novel and having trouble keeping ideas for the next one at bay. I am trying out some new things work-wise and they require a whole lot of extra thought. I have two feature articles on the go, plus some work for regular corporate clients that needs to be monitored.

I am thinking about the fact that I still have not unpacked the 'desk' box in my study - which means that the filing system is not happening. I am thinking that it is ridiculous that I do not have time to unpack the desk box.

I am thinking about what to have for dinner tonight, and tomorrow night and every night ad nauseam.

I am thinking about what time I will need to get up on Friday morning to make a 10.30 appointment in the Big Smoke. I am thinking about my flights to the ProBlogger Event in October. I am thinking about whether or not I have remembered to book accommodation for said event.

I am thinking about Mr8's school work and Mr5's reading. I am thinking that I haven't remembered to subscribe to the Reading Eggs website (have you seen it? It's great for kids!). I am thinking that I haven't bought a birthday present for Mr5's friend or a wedding present for the two (!) weddings I'm attending in the next three weeks.

I am thinking that if I don't get off the internet soon I will be late to pick the boys up from school...

Always, always thinking.

I'm not sure a holiday helps with this kind of tiredness. As they say, 'wherever you go, there you are'. Maybe I should try meditation, or yoga, or some other short break from my brain.

Any suggestions? What strategies do you have in place for giving your mind a rest?




33 comments:

  1. I think it is called life. Sometimes you need to take a step back and give yourself permission to stop thinking, if just for a moment. Problem is if you are a thinker, you will always be a thinker. I know, I'm a thinker too. Ponder, thought, worry, dream, create, analyse, organise, allocate, anticipate.
    Maybe just surrendering is enough?

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    1. I think you're right. Need to become a positive thinker, not a washing machine thinker!

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  2. Oh this is sooo true. A million and one things. I try to keep lists - but then the lists get full and I forget where I've put them ;-)

    I try to plan each day. Make a mental note of 2/3 things I really want to achieve. If I can get more done, then brilliant.

    The rewards, of course, are essential to the planning! A block of time you save for yourself, no distractions other than a really good coffee and a great book ... and no guilt. That is banned.

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    1. I like your thinking. Am going to see Magic Mike tonight. That should fit the 'no guilt' time.

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  3. I leave the house and walk or run. Sometimes I listen to music while I run and other times just the sound of my sneakers pounding the sidewalk is enough for it all to just fade away. I just focus on one breath at a time. in and out.

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    1. I was thinking as I walked to pick the boys up that exercise is good. Active meditation. But I have trouble with turning my brain off as I go.

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  4. Um, was I supposed to cry reading this?!
    I thinks I'm hearing you loud and clear.
    xxx

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    1. No crying allowed! We are all in the same boat I think!

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  5. If you find an answer will you share? My head is so full that it has shut down on me...

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  6. If I didn't have to worry about dinner ever again I would be thrilled.

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  7. Meditation or yoga...don't even consider it...you'll just feel guilty if you don't get around to it! Maybe put limits on your thinking..ie.meals..I'm only going to think of planning up to a week at a time. When the week is finished then I will think of the next week. While you're in the present week, concentrate on just making those meals the most enjoyable you can day by day. You will have so much more energy for just enjoying the present..next weeks meals will be planned and eaten in there own time. Maybe you only need two lists..things to concern yourself about today and those to concern yourself about tomorrow...or next week...wait, that's three.

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  8. Sorry..spelling error..should be 'eaten in their own time'.

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  9. Walk. And then walk some more!

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  10. When I was a busy mother with a food outlet and an alcoholic husband, I nearly lost it...
    The best advice to help my busy busy brain came from a GP. He suggested I go buy a heap of little magnets from the hardware store and use them to hold notes of anything I wanted to remember and put it on your fridge.
    Don't use post its as they lose their significance! I then thought of the idea of learning songs and poetry. I would carry the words with me and consult them when I got stuck. My mind was busy but in a nice way and the notes on the fridge freed up my thoughts. It worked for me but it does take a conscious effort. I know the words of a lot of songs!!! Best wishes.

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  11. I actually got on my knees today and prayed. I felt like Elizabeth in Eat Pray Love although I think she was on the floor, snot dripping from her nose. My thoughts have been circling around and around and around since I set myself up alone with my daughter away from my ex. I thought it would make me happy being free from his stress but somehow I've acquired my own set of stressful thoughts around it, and I am just so sick of it flooding my mind with me having little or no control over it. So, like a good catholic girl I went to the last resort, prayer, to see if it would calm my mind, bring me some solace, and help me to get over this phase of my life. I cried (no snot), hoped, and said please god help me ... I felt a bit better ... And am now back to doing all my normal stuff - some university work, looking after my ick daughter, making cookies for school recesses. All fairly pedestrian really, but yes, I feel better.

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  12. I can so hear what you are saying, unfortunately I am now 52 and have been feeling like this my whole life. When I was younger I would always fall asleep on the bus on the way home. My two girls are just the same noe 22 & 25, however the younger one is part of the Raine study in Perth, is being examined for fatigue, so I will keep you posted, my mind ever stops either, maybe that's the link? Can't change the typing mistake, ho hum

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  13. Book yourself a shiatsu massage. let the shiatsu practitioner help you to rebalance all that energy that accumulates in our head as we think and think and think til we can think no more. And then once you have done that I agree with the exercise suggestions. Turn off your brain and run or walk. No thinking for 20 minutes. A tip I was given once when doing a meditation course is to quiet your mind if a thought comes in, in your mind say 'thinking' and then let the thought go. You could try that while running or walking. Good luck!

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  14. I can really relate to this feeling...feeling it now, actually. I haven't found a solution, but a tall glass of wine and a nice long walk around in nature seems to help a bit. Hope you get some rest soon.

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  15. I had to learn how to practise mindfullness (I know, that word is being thrown around a lot of late) but I really needed to because when my mind is constantly thinking I start getting anxious, which leads to panic attacks which leads to me being fairly useless to anyone. So, I practise mindfullness. It helps still the noise.

    Mr 5 has been doing reading eggs for the last two years. It's a great program. I was wrapped to discover that there is a way to use it on the iPad, so was he. :) they also have release a new app called eggy words, which is all the sight words.

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  16. Can remember what that was like, in a high stress very busy job with a family to look after as well. There were about 100 things to do each day (or so it seemed). It helped me to jot down every day a list of the all the things that needed to be done in the next day or two (sometimes it seemed I didn't have time even to make the list, but usually I would make myself do this as I knew how well it worked) and then assign priorities to each item and work out approximately how long each thing would take and check the deadlines. Every morning I'd go over the list from the day before, the really quick things I'd do early so psychologically I knew some things were out of the way. Then I'd begin tackling the other things. It gave enormous relief to cross things out as they were done. The other thing that I often failed to do but which is very important is to schedule some time out for yourself and not feel guilty about it (this might be doing some exercises, going for a walk or just sitting with a coffee and a book/magazine for 20 minutes). Once you have a list and can see that you're crossing out things that are done it makes you feel a bit better. At least it did for me. And for meals, I often used to cook up a big vat of hearty soup or casserole in winter and freeze a number of portions. That way, at least for a couple of meals, it would be easy. Best wishes, Pamela

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  17. I watch The Real Housewives of New York City ... and the rest of the wortld just fades away. Along with my brain for one whole hour. Do it. It's like a mini-vacation to a whole other planet.

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  18. I recently wrote about feeling mentally exhausted and having absolutely no headspace to do some of the thinking I needed to do.

    Not sure how to clear some, but I have to say taking a break from the computer (though I was supposed to be writing) and spending some time veging certainly helped.

    And yes, I'm a list-maker. Helps me feel more in control.

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  19. You have just described my life. And I have no solution. I'm sorry.

    The only thing I can think of is wine, which can provide short term relief from thinking and a lot of laughs if you use it wisely.

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    1. Dear Bec, So sorry to hear about your difficulties. Sometimes taking baby steps using small practical ways of dealing with them can help, like lists and prioritising if you're feeling stressed by all the things you have to do. But at times there may be no real solutions to the problems and the tragedies that can happen during a life time. The older you get the more you experience. But don't think alcohol should ever be used as a crutch to help when you're feeling down or worried or depressed or a bit overwhelmed by life. It might start as just one or two glasses for a laugh but trouble lies that way - and alcoholism. Wine, or whatever one's favoured drink, is best enjoyed in happy times, eg with a meal or celebrations. It is never wise to use wine or any other alcohol as a relief measure.

      Our son is very wise, at times when I've felt depressed for whatever reason (eg pain from a health problem), he always says I should write a list of the two or three best things (more if possible) that have happened in the last day or so and think of things to be thankful for. Then concentrate on these and appreciate our blessings. It does help. Even if it's just something very simple like enjoying a beautiful flower or a blue sky or a smile from a loved one. Spend a few minutes concentrating on these visually and internally(some would say meditating) and feel how calming it can be. This is not a solution to your problems, but minutes of calmness and appreciation of the beauties in life can help us get through a difficult day. And showing kindness to others, even strangers, without expecting any thanks or reward. Your reward is knowing that you've done something, probably quite small, that just might have brightened another's day. And for those who are believers, prayer. Best wishes, Pamela

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  20. I was in the same situation a few weeks ago and really couldn't see a solution (apart from coffee in the morning and wine in the afternoon which isn't really ideal).
    Then I spent three days skiing with two friends who aren't married and don't have kids. My amazing husband stayed home with mine so I could have a break.
    It was incredible - I'm NOT one of those exercise nuts who thrives on pushing themselves but I did find that the physical challenge of staying up-right forced me to stop thinking and be in the moment. Plus I was so insanely tired that I slept really well. I came home feeling so rested.
    So I think that maybe the solution is to put yourself in a situation where you can't think beyond the moment.

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  21. I really 'think' meditation is it. I'm doing 5 mins in the morning and it's having an impact. I've always been overly analytical. Now I'm learning when to switch on and off. I've tried to start with something that's achievable - only 5 mins and we'll see if I can build from there!

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  22. Thinking? What is this thinking thing that I have never heard of?
    I'm so empty-headed....

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  23. Hi Al, My only advice would be to hire a cleaner - at least it gets one thing off your back :) x Jo

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  24. I'm thinking I need a mind holiday too.

    This is all that Domestic Thought that we never managed to share when equality added an extra 50% to our workload...

    x

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  25. I watch The Actual Average women of recent You are able to City ... and also the relaxation from the wortld just dies out. Together with my brain for just one whole hour. Get it done. It's just like a small-a vacation in an entire other planet.
    Web design india

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  26. start singing, then keep singing, you can't sing and worry at the same time

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