Think less, do more

I took my husband to the doctor this morning because he had some symptoms of Covid: mild fever, fatigue, coughing, sore throat, headache. It turns out he has strep. They did a Covid test on him, but we won’t get the results back until Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, my work won’t let me come in until his Covid results come back. I certainly understand the precautions given the pandemic, but of course I feel perfectly well and am disappointed that I couldn’t go into work.

Yes, disappointed. That I couldn’t work.

Today was the last day the office coordinator was going to show me the ropes before I was in charge of the office next week. She’ll be on vacation the first few days and now it looks like they’ll have to find someone else for Monday at the very least.

My boss was not happy. I have to remind myself that she’ll get over it. Sometimes you can’t control things.

I want(ed) to see how I’d do with the challenge of being at the office by myself. Which is quite a change from my typical non-confident self.

Additionally, I find it interesting that I’d rather be at work than at home. Even if it’s a slow day at work I feel better if I’m doing something besides sitting on my ass, even better if it’s doing something outside of the house.

The good news is that I was able to watch several episodes of the anime, My Hero Academia, which my kids discovered and has gotten me into. Finally, I can talk to them about something again since they’ve gotten over their favorite fantasy book series, Wings of Fire.

I had my teletherapy appointment with my therapist today, as I do every Friday, and I really wanted to talk about why my brain makes everything out to be A BIG DEAL.

To those who don’t know me I come across calmly on the outside. However, my brain is actually always racing. It’s always going a thousand steps beyond where it needs to be. My therapist says it’s cognitive anxiety. Even I don’t feel anxious, my thoughts are very preoccupied by anticipation and worry. Behaviorally, it often paralyzes me from taking actions I need to take. Rarely, it causes me to be pushy with people I love.

I wondered allowed if this is just a part of my personality I have to live with the rest of my life, or if it’s something that can be reduced over time.

I told my therapist I want to be an easy-going person. Not just on the outside. I really want my brain to stop catastrophizing situations.

My therapist says that I need to practice my “What” skills from DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). “What” is what you do to be mindful which is:

  1. Observe – notice your surroundings and your thoughts
  2. Describe – describe what you observe as facts and not judgments
  3. Participate – fully immerse yourself in an activity

She says I really need to work on the Practice part. The more I can be completely focused on the activity that I’m engaged in the better.

In other words: Think less, do more.

Mindfully, of course. Sometimes people do things without thinking about them and that gets them into trouble. That’s not my problem. I think things to death.

I told my therapist I’d work on it this week. I need to figure out ways to actually engage in the Practice. I think this might be why work is so good for me, because I’m fully engaged in what I’m doing while on the job. Now I just need to translate that into home life.

When I’m driving I need to focus on driving. When I’m doing the dishes I need to focus on doing the dishes. It’s okay for the mind to wander a little bit, but my engagement in actual life is really weak. Need to build those Participation muscles!

I need a hobby. I might try knitting again. I stopped because I completely fail if I try to make anything besides a scarf or a hat (and my hats aren’t that great).

When I was in occupational therapy classes last fall I learned about the concept of “flow,” which is a state of peace and contentment that emerges when you are really focused on a physical task. That it has therapeutic effect on the mind and the body. Maybe if I can make progress on my Practice muscles I can help others do the same thing one day. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Think less, do more

  1. Ah-ha… ypu’ve given me an insight to by current frustration with school. Programming used to put me “in the zone”, focused and content for hours. Now it pisses me off… I can’t grasp even simple concepts and don’t enjoy it at all. I dunno what I can do about that but it’s helpful to at least identify it.

    I find crochet to be far easier than knitting. But I get the most chill factor from trying new things, any new thing. Past adventures have included needle felting, wet felting, pour painting, “paint & sip”, stained glass, glass mosaic, quiche making, striptease, aerial acrobatics, literally anything unique and interesting. But I still have generalized anxiety at all times. It’s significantly lower during classes but that’s because I consciously remind myself it’s okay not to be the best in a group of strangers (and if I’m worst, someone else’s ego gets a bimp).

    I hope you find your chillax!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My current thing to relax is polymer clay, but that takes buying a whole bunch of stuff to get started, and then you have to figure out where to store that. I can knit and crochet, and quilt and cross-stitch, and crochet is definitely easier and less stressful for me. If you make a mistake, you can just pull out a little of your work without messing up the whole thing. With knitting, I’d always worry that I’d drop a stitch, not notice it for a long time, and ruin the whole thing.

    My best “in the zone” thing is normally choral singing, but that’s obviously out, and won’t be coming back for quite a while.

    I’m also learning Spanish online on Duolingo, have been for years. At my age languages are hard, but I guess I can get into the zone there sometimes. And it’s free, so there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 5 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write primarily about my mental health journey (I have bipolar disorder), and I also discuss my deconversion, mindfulness, exercise, music, reading, and other cultural topics.