How to rest... even during those times when you just can't...
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
What do you do during those times when, you really need to rest, but you just can't? Like, during times of crazybusy stress. Or times of deep distress or despair.
I recently went through a time like that: when the stress was so intense that my brain just would. not. shut. up. And, getting still and quiet was the worst, because that's when the stress got really loud.
How do you rest during times like that?
Honestly, you do the best you can. There is no magic I can tell you about to force your brain to be quiet and chill the hell out.
What I can tell you is what worked for me during that time.
Here are 5 things you can do to take at least a moment's rest during intense stress, or crazybusy-ness:
1. Take a few minutes to focus on the stress. Give it center stage, let it have it's moment in the sun.
I set a timer for say 3 minutes and said "ok, stress, have at it, the floor is yours until this timer goes off..."
Giving myself permission to think only about the stress was actually a relief. By not stuffing it back down, or trying to ignore it, it was easier to let it go and get quiet when I needed a break.
2. Choose something peaceful to focus on. You always have a choice in what you're thinking about - whether you're stressed out or not.
Find something in nature, or a favorite picture and choose to focus only on it for a given period of time.
3. Focus on your breath. Something you can always focus on is your breathing is always there with you.
Make a conscious effort to breathe as deeply as you can for a few minutes and only focus on the breath.
4. Use a timer. Something about knowing that I had a finite amount of time to be peaceful helped me to settle in.
I set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes - whatever I thought I could do that day, and told myself "I only have to be quiet for this amount of time."
5. Move. For me, movement is the key to stillness. Going for a walk, or doing a yoga sequence. Some days, even a really heavy-duty workout was what I needed to finally pull myself away from the stressful thoughts.
Stress and distress suck. They really do. They can cause all sorts of physical issues along with the mental turmoil. It's important to at least try and rest even during those times – even if it's only for a few minutes at a shot.
What do you do to rest during stressful times?