One Thousand Thanks: 1133 – 1143. Taking a Break

tea kettle

Having tea and relaxing sounds nice but is hard to do.

Right now, I am taking a break from work for several reasons including going home to get some rest. This is a great blessing, but I am very nervous about it. Resting is something hard for me to understand in recent years. Although I long to sit and rest, my body craves doing something physical while my mind yearns to be productive.

So, instead of fretting about my restlessness, I am going to say what I am thankful for regarding breaks from work. Cue another list of thankfulness although this is not Thursday.

1133. Time to think – It is hard having time to spend with your thoughts when you are so busy. I am looking forward to having more time to really know what I need and want.

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Coping Skills: #82. Catch a Nap

My cat Princess sleeping

Even animals need rest.

With only a few hours of sleep last night, I awoke drained and unready for the day of my sister’s graduation. Thankfully, the long road trip there and back provided a great time for me to take some short naps. Although I rarely can fall asleep during the day, these periods of relaxation were actually very helpful and rejuvenating.

Taking a nap is common in certain cultures. Many people used to go home from work and rest. We even encourage children to take a break during a busy day of playing. However, there is often a stigma attached to napping now. You are considered lazy, childish, elderly, unambitious, etc. Only those who really deserve naps should take them, and being in a position where you need that rest is something to be ashamed of and try to escape.

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Thoughts from a Lazy Saturday

Oh, I would love to have a day like this sometime soon. This is a great way to cope sometimes.

JACKIE LEA SOMMERS

I was very kind to myself today.

I wore sweatpants, took a long nap, ate chocolate, watched Harry Potter.

I’ve been terribly stressed lately. I really can’t say I recommend closing on a house and starting renovations at the same time your first draft is due to your editor. Just saying.

When I get really stressed– as in, very stressed, not just my regular run-of-the-mill stressed– my body starts to shut down. Sometimes I get really weird inflammations– like the inside of my mouth or the tissues around my eyes. When this happens, I know I’ve got to find a way to chill out.

Hence all the self-care today.

I’m in a tough spot with my first draft. I love the characters. I have a beginning, middle, and an end. I know those are both very good things. But I also get very overwhelmed by how much more there…

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Top Ten Signs of Discontent

Me in black and white

Are you struggling with being discontent?

I am discontent with my life. Today, that realization dawned upon me. So many times, my mind turns to what is wrong with myself and the situations that I am in instead of being content with the journey of each day.

Being discontent takes root in many ways and can change with each moment. I am anxious with people but lonely alone, nervous with romantic feelings but unloved single, stressed busy but bored without plans, etc. The list of my fickle discontent goes on much longer than I care to admit.

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One Thousand Thanks: 922 – 932. Free Time

Stump in stream

Sometimes we need to stop and take a break instead of rushing down the stream of life.

For the first time in months, my schedule was clear today. No school, no work, no meetings, no medical appointments – nothing. Yes, there were many items that I needed to attend to, but it was still wonderful to feel less pressured.

Today made me realize why the phrase “free time” has the word “free” in it. There is a freedom that you have when no one else owns part of your day. Being busy and productive brings a sense of accomplishment. However, too much happening can make you feel weary and trapped.

So here are some wonderful benefits to having free time that I enjoyed today and look forward to having in the future. I would love to hear what you appreciate about having a day where nothing is scheduled.

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Taking a Moment of Silence

Life rushes by us so quickly. In our society, we seem to be pressured to move from one thing to the next without even time to take a breath. After all, that would just be wasting time.

Work, school, cleaning, social events, networking, family outings – the list of things to do never seems to end. All of this time, noise bombards us. Cars blare horns when you do not move soon enough, rock music rattles clothing in malls, and friends screech with laughter and silly jokes. Sometimes, silence seems impossible to find.

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Cutting Something Out of Our Lives

Stairs at a college in Oxford

Stairs at a college in Oxford where I found some peace and quiet

Everyone has been harping on me to eliminate something from my schedule. Work, school, extra curricular activities – they are all great, claim my parents and medical caregivers, but even too much of a good thing can lead to disaster.

However, I feel stuck. Already, so much has been given up from my list of things to do. I have not gone to Toastmasters the past two meetings and never joined choir or speech team. The amount of work that I have done has cut down for two of my jobs to very few hours. Yet, my life still feels chaotic.

Society puts so much pressure on us to be busy. Working is a virtue as is pushing yourself to accomplish as much as possible. Taking time to rest and simply be is almost unheard of, at least where I am from in Midwestern America. You should always be moving forward and completing some task. That makes a successful person.

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Coping Skills: #62. Taking Time to Recuperate

Mario Sleeping

Mario Sleeping

Yesterday, I felt miserable. In fact, my dizziness was so bad that I could not get to the doctor in time for my appointment. As my head spun around like a merry-go-round, knives pierced my brain and nearly knocked me over whenever I moved. At work, I tried hard to stay strong and keep going. However, I finally gave up as my co-workers kept begging me to go home. In tears, I told my boss who was perfectly fine with that.

Taking a break and letting yourself rest can be a difficult coping skill. Doing this too often can become isolation. However, if you do not do this enough, you will end up ragged and drained. Being able to go back to the dorms and have a quiet evening was a huge blessing last night.

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Top Ten Ways to Adjust to New Medication

Many people who have struggled with health know the roller coaster ride of finding the right medication. Sleepiness, not knowing what dose is right for you, weight gain, decreased attention span, having to wait several weeks to see if your new prescription works – these are just a few of the challenges faced when trying a new medication or altering an old one. Sometimes, it does not even seem worth the effort, but finding the right one can be life-saving.

Flower heart

A flower heart that I left on the grave of J.R.R. Tolkien

Last night, I forgot to take my evening medication. At 1:30 AM, my brain was still racing which altered me to the fact that something was wrong. Seroquel, one of my pills, makes you extremely sleepy and helps me to make it through the night restfully along with calming my intrusive thoughts. Taking it late was not a big issue – until this morning. At 8:30, I awakened with my head throbbing as if someone had hit me with a sledgehammer. Maybe this is what it feels like to be hungover, thought my naive brain once it adjusted to the pain. All morning was a struggle to simply function. Walking, talking, and typing seemed like laborious tasks.

The reason that I bring this up is because it reminded me of adjusting to new medication. That process can be simple or painful and aggravating. Often, I wish that someone would have given coping skills and helpful tips to me. Sure, doctors explain all of the potential side effects or dangers. However, that is not the same as someone sitting down and comforting you through the uncomfortable journey.

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Coping Skill: #51. Going to a Museum

Museum

The Museum that I went to today

Art is an amazing thing. It both inspires and excites, frightens and overjoys, challenges and heartens. Thus viewing it can bring peace as well as imagination and creativity. One of the best places to doing so is at a museum.

There are many museums although they can be expansive at times. However many of these places are free although donations are encouraged. Still, these places are well worth the money and time

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