Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and can not go back to sleep because you just can’t shut your brain off? No matter how hard you try, every thought about everything that is going on in your life comes into your mind and you can’t seem to stop the flow of information. You wind up laying there tossing and turning and before you know it hours have gone by. That happened to me the last couple of nights and I began to think why this may be happening.
As we go throughout our day we are bombarded by information. At work it comes from all angles. Our computers, phones, meetings, memos, messages and just general conversation. Along with that we have all of our personal issues finding their way into what ever extra minute we may squeeze out during the day. Then at the end of the day when it’s all over new avenues of information start to flow.
We hear the news or the radio on the drive home and we get bombarded with even more information. We turn on the TV after we get home and the news stories, political ads, regular advertisements start to invade out thoughts. Our loved ones get home and we hear all about what was going on with their day while we tell them about ours. We pick up the newspaper that we may not have gotten to in the morning or check our personal or work email and the information keeps coming. When you consider all of that, it is no wonder why we can’t seem to make it through the night.
What I haven’t quite figured out at this point is how to shut it all off. How do you just stop and do nothing? Even with the “me time” I talk about it involves some activity and rarely involves completely shutting down. Even when I was painting my parents living room I couldn’t take a break. I kept going until it was all finished, no matter the hours. It is if there is some gene in us that keeps the drive going, unfortunately sometimes until we collapse.
I come by it honest. My grandmother and my uncle were exactly the same way. They would go until they were forced to quit. Most of the time that involved manual labor. Now that society has added all the technology we have today, it has become practically impossible to unplug at a time when we need to unplug most. We know the news is never good, yet we watch it. We know we need to stay away from work after hours but we still sign on to see if there are messages to be answered. We know we need to take some time for ourselves, yet we still live on our phones, texting, talking and searching.
I would venture to say that many of us experience these same issues and the answer is just to unplug. Put down the phones, step away from the TV, sit on the front porch, hang out by the water or even go for a swim. Easier said than done, but something beneficial for our health that we all need to think about. If you have any secrets, share them with us. In this world that never stops we could all use a little encouragement for some much needed down time.
Have a great weekend, find some downtime and remember to be the reason someone smiles.