Wednesday, November 25, 2009

stopping the treadmill

I've been away. Mentally. I am overwhelmed. Too much on the brain. The faster I run, the faster the treadmill goes.
I realize that I'm a person who is constantly on-the-go, never can sit still for long and always has a project or five; but I am finding that my poor old neck isn't liking the crazy schedule, my sleep just can't get slept with all my thoughts running through my cavernous nogging like elephants, and my ears are stick of all the noise and thumping going on...
The doctor suggests time alone. Time spent on my own. I do get this occasionally. Mom takes the kids overnight now and then. My sister watches the kids when I have non-kid-friendly errands. Friends take kids for playdates periodically.
My issue is that I can't STOP. If the kids are away, I am either feverishly painting, cleaning, organizing, wrapping or mowing OR I am getting in the adult socializing I need as well.
It is a endless circle and question. Do I value having things 'done', time with friends with whom I can use the 'f' word, or quiet blissful relaxation more? Unfortunately, I let rest or relaxation slip....EVERY time.
I need to remind myself how to rest. How to take a breather. How to calm my mind and still my thoughts. Is this avoidance? Is this me trying to hide from uncomfortable and unpsetting thoughts and emotions? I don't know for sure, but I do know that it is reaking havoc on my stress level, my tone of voice, and my neck muscles.
Tea seems to be a bit of a relief. I never really drank tea, except in social situations...much like drinking booze. hmmm......Anyhow, now I find if I just brew a cup of tea, I don't even have to drink it. It just makes me feel like I am doing something for myself. Calming. Quiet. Zen-like.
Lighting candles, turning off all the household lights and staying away from my computer helps as well.
Practising talking quietly does wonders.
So, I am thinking that I am going to try to practise shutting my loud and obnoxious brain up. Maybe meditation. Maybe exercise (which I SO miss). Maybe yoga. Maybe just sleep (now there's an idea). But I need some self-care. I need to rest me as I would rest my kiddos. I need to put my mental health first for a bit.
How do you rest? How do you recharge? Please give me hints. I need them.
~ A chronically crazed person.

P.S. Reading "Raising Your Spirited Child" has made me realize a lot of things about both my child and myself. SUCH A GOOD BOOK!
I have also read "The Omnipotent Child". Awful, terrible, horrible book. Don't read it. You will be convinced that your child is a horrible deviant, manipulative, self-centred, miscreant that needs professional help.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie,
I have a lot of trouble unwinding at the end of the day and quieting my mind. When I feel like I really need a good night's rest because it's been a long time since I've had one or because I am teetering on the edge of being ill or really awful to live with, I take the herb, valerian. I use it in a tincture or a glycerite mixed with some water. It really helps me to get a deep sleep for the night and it doesn't knock me out so if my kids need me in the night I am coherent and able to get out of bed to meet their needs. A lot of times that deep sleep gets me back to a better balance for awhile. One caveat is that for some people valerian is a stimulant rather than a relaxant. Hope you can get some rest soon.
Melissa M

Bonnie said...

Oh, I really hear you on this one!
My brain is not wanting to shut down either these days. And I can't sit without a project to knit (and I nearly cried when I arrived at a coffee shop yesterday without my knitting bag and therefore sat there with nothing to do with my hands for 45 minutes!horrors!)
I love tea. Not surprising, with the name of my blog. I really do find that it lends a little bit of calm to the routines. And a lot of the time the mug sits mostly untouched as I'm living with three crazy kids. But I need to brew up a cuppa every few hours. Or more. There is probably a 12 step program for my level of tea-drinking...
When I joined the Mama Renew program, one of the things we had to do for "homework" was stay at home without our children and not do anything housework-related. For five hours. Oh, hell, did it ever feel strange. But after about an hour or so, I had a urgent desire to make a collage. It came out of nowhere. So I started going through the stacks of old magazines, ripping and cutting, and spent four hours creating a "reminder" of sorts to myself about what I really needed and wanted and it hangs in my crap-I mean craft-room now. Mostly it is mocking me, but whatever! I still get a sense of accomplishment when I see it, and I must say, I can't remember the last time I felt truly relaxed like I was when I was all alone in my house creating something just for me, with no preconceived ideas or to-do lists.

That's my ramble. Hope you are able to find some moments of stillness in your life. I think this is a really hard time of year to find quiet though, isn't it? Especially if you have any sort of idea to keep the holidays at least somewhat handmade!

Poppy and Mei said...

Oh my copy of 'Spirited Child' is sooooo well thumbed.
I learn so much about myself everytime I open it!
Read the stuff on sleep again & then apply it to yourself for a week.
DO IT. You'll feel better, I promise...XXxx.

Jill Schacter said...

Need to stop the treadmill? I am the opposite of you. I choose rest and relaxation over doing. I could probably learn a thing or two from you on how to take action! You might find my blog helpful. (Sincwe you're asking for advice!)

I have some writing exercises there for people who have experienced a loss. (My husband died in 2006). At least when you write you have to slow down, sit, and think. I wish all the best for you. Widowhood sucks. My husband was also my best friend and my whole world became brighter when I met him. I am sorry for your loss and wish you peace as you rebuild your life,


nessabean said...

Yoga? It helps me unwind in the middle of the day when I am at my worst.

Hallie said...

I too think that tea is my saving grace these days...I make a large cup with one peppermint tea bag and one cammomile! Another thing I drink occasionally is something I got at the health food store called "Calm" When I feel my hands start to clench from frustration it really seems to take the edge off! lol James Taylor or the Nutcracker soundtrack are wonderful too. I put up a peg board/dry erase in my kitchen, actually on my pantry door, where I will see it the most and I put little picturs that bring me joy (the puppy I want, the perfect paper snowflake from my daughter etc) I write out sayings or quotes that I find uplifting. I know that sounds silly but it really is great for the mood. I don't know how many times I read the quotes in one day and I probably even see it without realizing. I figure when it's just me and the kids I can use all the peptalks I can get! Once on while listening to Joel Ostene on tv he said something like " we are not burried we are planted" I really needed that visual so I wrote it on my board and drew a was a great way to remind myself that good things are coming! Hope you can find some quiet in the caos! Hugs to you!

Jen said...

I am totally with you on this one, too, Jackie. The one thing that works for me is to go away somewhere. Three times since my husband died I've found overnight care for my daughter and headed to a hotel, or this last time, a Zen Buddhist farm and retreat center. Even a friend's empty house could work -- somewhere away from my daily stuff, where I can't bury myself in Doing, I have to just Be. Scary, hard, painful, but so necessary, and at some level affirming of my right to the luxury of empty time.

I hope you can find some peace and a calm mind.

Krista said...

"I need to rest me as I would rest my kiddos."

- I love this! Why do we all assume kids' needs matter so much more than our own, to the point where we are willing to run ourselves into the ground doing all the things we think we "should" do to be "good" parents? We ALL matter! Kids and adults alike! And if we don't make sure our basic needs are met, it just comes naturally that our parenting is going to suffer... We are not super-human!

Us parents were all little kids with needs at one time too, and just because we are walking around in adult bodies now, doesn't mean we grew out of those needs!

Hoping you find some helpful strategies for meeting your need to rest yourself and find that inner peace and calm you're needing :)