I feel like we are continually admonished to “live in the now” and not spend too much mental time looking backwards (depression) or forwards (anxiety).
Add diabetes into the mix and its never-ending checks questions calculations and figuring… “living in the now” gets sort of swept away before one can even get started!
And, I’m sort of wondering why someone else is telling me how to think, to begin with… was I complaining about something or asking for help? Maybe not.
It’s the same sort of reason I refuse to read Real Simple magazine—none of those “simplifying” solutions are simple. Seriously. Drives me crazy. They spend all this time sort of trying to make you feel bad if you have a disorganized desk, drawer, or heaven forbid house…just simplify by doing this simple 17 step process every time you cross the threshold. Crazy making!
Ooh sorry; didn’t mean to rant there.
What I do think is important is having some mental down time—time where you and your mind don’t have an agenda. You aren’t singing along with Pandora, you aren’t reading the ticker tape across the bottom of the screen, you aren’t on hold with an insurance company. You aren’t making the grocery list or driving to soccer. You aren’t trying to accomplish much of anything at all.
Mental down time. It doesn’t have to be living in the now. It doesn’t have to be living in the yesterday, or in the tomorrow. It is more about not having a running commentary at full speed. It’s trying to allow your mind to slow down and saunter for a bit.
Some people want to meditate. I haven’t ever really been able to achieve any sort of nirvana while attempting to meditate… I’m asleep far before I reach any enlightenment!
Some people want to knit. (Love that someone said yesterday their favorite exercise is knitting.)
Some people want to sip coffee and read the morning paper. For me, it’s running or other exercise. Some people garden.
Whatever it is, your mental down time is a lot like a rest day off from exercise—essential for your health. Just like you only can get physically stronger when you are at rest, your mind needs a break from its usual pace.
Think of it as what you do after all five of the kids return to school after a busy summer spent driving, vacationing, sightseeing, and funning. Those first few quiet days.
Just try sometimes to have an hour or two to give yourself a mind break.
I think you’ll find it’s really quite nice.