This week I’ve been obliged to face the fact that a lot of what I call “rest” isn’t real rest. I may not be exerting my body when I’m lying on my bed, but watching TV, surfing the net, tweeting, reading, chatting on the phone, writing, knitting, sewing and even thinking are not the same as doing nothing except rest.

I think part of my relentless mental busyness serves to distract myself from physical discomforts and other anxieties. But it’s all got a bit out of hand lately and my brain feels so stuffed with words, images and ideas that I can’t think straight. I’m making crappy decisions about what I do with my time and energy which wastes my limited resources.

Having noticed what’s going on I’ve been making efforts to change my behaviour. Which is not easy as I’m restless by nature and habit and full of curiosity about the world! Still, small steps get you where you want to go… Assuming you can stop yourself from exploring every enticing by-way that appears.

My first steps are to limit my internet time and to take opportunities to reduce my level of activity and/or mental stimulation. For example, I’ve stopped listening to the radio on while I’m preparing food. I have to eat, but I don’t have to listen to the news. It’s just a small thing, but if I keep making little savings they’ll hopefully accumulate into a healthier energy balance.

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6 Responses to Resting

  1. I recognise that feeling, I’ve been having it today! I do make sure most days I do my 2 short rest periods without any distraction, which does help. But today I have this feeling i am heading into a major flare. No particular reason why, it is just a sense I have. I am wondering now though whether it is because I have quite a few things I’m mentally juggling. Even though I am not doing lots of physical stuff, I feel tired easily. We’re going away very soon for a few days to see my parents and I suspect it is a lot to do with the organising and anticipation of that. I just hope the sense of doom I’m feeling today will be misplaced.

    And I need to do some more culling of blogs/newsletters I follow….but not this one 🙂

    • Good to know you won’t be culling my blog 🙂 I bookmark blogs I like rather than following – that way I feel I’m choosing when to visit rather than responding to an email notification. Obviously I could choose when I respond to notifications, but somehow they feel more like a pressure. Odd logic maybe, but it works for me 🙂

      Hope your premonition of a flare isn’t realised and that your visit to your parents goes well.

  2. Tamara Epps says:

    I’m the same in that I have a lot of mental busyness which makes proper resting difficult and depressing. I tend to go through phases where I am able to rest a reasonable amount of time, and phases like the one I’m in now where the only way I can rest my body is by lying down and watching something (as without something to distract me, my body starts fidgeting). It takes a lot of time and practice to work out what works best for you, and of course there is the high chance that your body will need something different by the time you’ve figured it out.

    I like your suggestion of little savings, and might try and implement that in my life a little more. At the moment I am fighting between extra exhaustion/pain and my depression getting out of hand. I figure that as long as I’m aware of both and where I am with them, the better my chances of balancing.

    • I hear you re the balance between depression and pain/exhaustion! I still haven’t figured that one out, but as you say awareness helps. Ditto about needs changing by the time you’ve worked out a seemingly OK regime…

      I’ve felt utterly ghastly today and it’s very frustrating not really knowing why. It could be that I overdid it a bit yesterday; it might be a shift in my hormonal balance or just a random migraine. Not knowing the cause of flare-ups makes it difficult to know how to avoid them in future!

      • Tamara Epps says:

        Sorry to hear you felt so bad – I also have the problem of not knowing what is causing flare-ups, and often I feel like I’m going round in circles. But hopefully we’re both going in an upward spiral rather than a downward one.

      • Thanks Tamara. My new attitude to rest is throwing up all sorts of emotional issues – not very comfortable, but hopefully an opportunity for growth.

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