3 Ways Down Shifting Healed My Frazzled Brain
I don’t know about you all, but when I first started staying home due to Corona Virus, it took quite some time for my mind to shift down. But now that it has I am reaping the rewards; I feel amazing and my mind is healing.
This is what I’ve changed.
1. Quit Multi-Tasking
I continuously flitted from one thing to another without getting much completed. I had so many things I wanted to get done I thought my head would pop.
Trying to do many things at once permeated my entire day.
- I was eating a meal, checking my phone, and playing a game on my tablet
- I was watching tv, journaling, and checking my phone
- I was cleaning my closet, dusting the dining room, and making a shopping list
- I was reading, snacking, and watching tv
I have many more examples of mindless multi-tasking but I think you see the point I’m trying to make here.
I found when I started to pay attention that I was doing everything half-assed.
I wasn’t being mindful. I wasn’t present to what I was doing. How had I let my focus get this bad??
Now I have a schedule and work my way through tasks and projects one at a time.
Single tasking is seriously important for my brain, I realize. I have been using time blocking at home to get projects completed in systematic chunks, and I find that really works for me.
When I’m working on one thing and something else pops in my head, I can say to myself,” I’m doing this now, I have time scheduled for that later” and continue on with my task.
I’m now getting things done one task at a time.
2. Let Go of Digital Distractions
During my normal work day I was looking at my phone constantly. I had my phone on me at all times and I felt wired and frazzled.
I used the excuse that I care for my elderly mother and what if she needs me? But the truth is, I was addicted to looking at my phone in order to avoid or procrastinate.
I have this procrastination or avoidance habit that I have really become aware of during this time of slow down. When I have something to do that requires thinking, if I’m tired, I avoid it by checking my phone or sometimes getting a snack, (another bad habit I became aware of).
Pulling the Plug Instead
But I’m aware of these habits now. In the future, I will use my phone as I currently am, when I’ve set aside time to do so. Maybe at work that will be only during breaks.
I realize now, I am calm, focussed, and I’m looking at my phone only a few times a day.
I will also maintain the awareness of my procrastination or avoidance tendency so that I can pause and choose the right thing for me in the moment.
Funny how slowing down allows you to stop and choose versus mindlessly powering forward unconsciously.
3. Stop Over Scheduling
I used to fill every minute of my precious time because I gave away or spent so much of it, that I always felt I had very little left.
I was over scheduling my time.
- I worked full time outside my home
- I went to the gym or to yoga every night afterwork
- Happy hour
- Member of an adventure club
- Book club
- Grocery shopping for me and my mother
- Doctors appointments for me and my mother
- I have tons of friends and community activities
I could probably go on and on but again it’s obvious. I had every minute of my day planned with something that needed to get done. And the thing is, I’m a creative person and I like to read – guess what I wasn’t doing at all?
Of course, I felt pressed for time.
Blank Space in My Schedule Instead
Now I am home. I have time for all the projects, reading, and creating.
I am scheduling tasks I want to complete as well as time for meditation, journaling, and reading.
I’m also leaving some time unscheduled. I can do whatever I want there; watch TV, scroll on my phone, whatever. The interesting thing is when I get to that unscheduled time, I usually find that my phone or the TV is not what I really want to do. Huh?
So when the world get’s back to normal what am I gonna do? I’m going to take back my time.
- I will work less hours
- I will do yoga and workouts at home as I am now
- I will plan groceries and errands better to maximize my efforts
- I will question if every appointment or activity is even necessary and if I truly want to exchange my time for it
- I will have boundaries like never before
- I will live and socialize but I will nest and nurture myself as well
- I will create a schedule filled with ease and joy
I have no intention to let things slide back into the chaos that was my life before this forced pause. There is always a silver lining, it seems.