Healthy Distractions to Counter Unhealthy Ones

I usually sleep through the night, wake rested, seldom needing an alarm to rouse me.

That hasn't been my case sense the freaking insurrection happened. Now not only is my sleep suffering, I'm drawn to my phone to check the news. In the middle of the night! Whoa, that's no good, and so not my usual MO, at all.

Yes, I want to stay up to date on the news. What I don't want to do, is constantly check in on it. When I do that, I go researching the cognitive and psychological impact of uncertainty that seems put us all somewhere on the anxious-to-bat-shit-crazy spectrum. And worst of all, I definitely don't need to get on social media that reenforces the tribalism that feeds the fear and hate of others.

Anything we do often enough becomes a pattern, a habit.

I do NOT want any of these activities to become my patterns, my habits, become my norm.

I for one am really going to focus on healthy distractions from the distractions that don't serve humanity well. Really, the healthy "distractions" are things that should be the norm, part of our regular activities.

Feel free to play along. Here's what I'm doing more of with my days to stay sane and resilient in these crazy times.

Do Somatics. We've all heard how meditation is good for our physical, mental and emotional health. Somatics is a form moving meditation, and personally I find it much more effective than other meditation practices. Somatics calms me. It usually helps me sleep more soundly, so maybe I need to do a bit more before bed. To each their own, but if you don't have a meditation practice, or want to get rid of pain at the same time as you meditate, visit my website to learn more about Somatics.

Soaking in nature. I love to start my day walking my doggie. I may like our walks more than Panda does. She's kind of lazy. 
Besides eating, walking and barking a squirrels,
sleeping is one of Panda's favorite things. 
Rain or shine, our walks give me time to move my body, enjoy fresh air and surround myself in green space. Science knows it's good for us. Your body does too. While walking my mind is more open to generating solutions/ideas/plans to what I want to do with my day/business/life. Sometimes I just like to sit down outside and listen. Listen to the differences between the leaves and the pine needles in the trees. Listen to how many birds I can hear. All of this gets me out of my head and calms me down. I also love to use the outdoors as my gym. If you are in the area, you can join me for my Take It Outside Fitness classes on Wednesdays at 830am.   

Upping productivity using my body. OMG! I can't believe how much time I can spend at my computer thinking I should be productive. I'm gonna turn that sense of being productive toward activities that use my body--gardening, crafting, chores, etc. I know a lot people like to relegate these things to others, because, again, we think we should dedicate the bulk of our time to work, work, work. But I can't believe how great I feel to actually get a task finished and see the end results. You know what I mean. How many of you cleaned out your closets and junk drawers when the pandemic started. That small sense of accomplishment and control over the situation is good for you!

Additional things I'll keep doing or do more of:
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat lots of veggies and some fruits.
  • Get a variety of movement into my day-- for me that means I'm gonna do more hula hooping and indian clubbing
  • Set timers and blocks of time. To keep me on task, I'll set allotted time for certain things that I know are rabbit holes. I'll also block my daily schedule with particular to-dos that are non-negotiable. Well, I hardly think anything is non-negotiable, but I have to be somewhat disciplined to get work done. :-) 
  • Learn new stuff. I've signed up for so many online classes since the pandemic. Time for me to finish them! ha!
  • Read printed materials. I have so many amazing books on somatics, the brain, humanity and more. So when I feel the pull to read news on my electronic devices, beyond my allotted daily check in,  I'll turn to printed materials instead.
I hope these things are helpful for you too. Feel free to share your tips and ideas in the comments below.

Ok, gotta go do some hooping.

peace to you all,
Kristin

PS I wrote this blog post a few days ago, and have already started sleeping better after incorporating  these things back into my life. 

You are currently on my blog. Here is my website: thinksomatics.com There you can learn about what Somatics is and how we can work together to make the world a saner, calmer place for all of us. 

Comments

  1. Sadly, I have had to cut way down on my wine. I can have a glass early in the evening, but after 7:00 pm only a half a glass is okay for sleeping. I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart beating really fast when I drink two glasses, and I then don't sleep well for a couple of nights later either. I realize this is also hormonal but after noticing this pattern with wine, I can't ignore it. If I go wine tasting, it has to be early in the afternoon. And now that I think about it, that is just fine!

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    Replies
    1. Good points! Since COVID started, I've had a small glass of vino practically every night. But anything beyond that and it impacts my sleep too. We also eat dinner earlier, since my husband now works at ungodly early hours now. Everything influences everything. :-)

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  2. I decided I am going to start putting time aside to actually take all those courses I've signed up for over the years (including finishing yours!). I've been habituating doom scrolling and too much TV binging. I keep thinking if I watch "one more episode" of whatever, my soul will be satisfied, and it never is. Or if I look at one more article in the news. Habituating such a dis-attachment to myself & the world. So devoting time to look for more inspiration from people I admire is how I'm going to interrupt my pattern!

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    Replies
    1. I totally get that. I've got so many directions to go in, that sometimes it feels like I don't know what to focus on. I find having accountabili-buddies helps me focus. :-)

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