Oct 2, 2007

Just Sleap On It

Last week, Marge and I presented our mission work to two groups in Kalamazoo, and spent the weekend in Detroit doing the same.

Monday, I had some difficulty knowing what to do with myself. I just felt out of phase with whatever my schedule should be. I purposely didn't do anything productive. I took a nap, read some comic books that my son got from the library, and went to bed early. Actually, the whole family turned in early.

I feel a little more on keel today.

There is value, for anyone, but especially for Aspies, to know when it's just time to do nothing, and then go to bed. Down time is critical to adjusting to a changing or active schedule. While in Detroit, Sunday morning, I got up earlier than I needed to so that I could stretch and then have a time of quiet Bible reading/study. That was so helpful. While driving to and from Detroit, there were times when I just didn't talk at all. My son read quietly and Marge napped. I listened to music or talk radio.

So, even when your schedule is very active, you can build in quiet down time activities that help you stay "in frame". Otherwise, we start feeling overloaded, and we can start feeling disassociated from ourselves.

I call it "out of the frame". Sometimes I feel like I'm there, but not part of where I am. Like I'm in a movie, but just got bumped out of the "frame" of the picture. I think that it is do to an overload in the part of our brains that does the emotional processing. We need more time to integrate what things mean and where they fit in our frame of reference.

Take the time that you need. It's so easy as an adult to feel compelled to be "productive", but often the best thing to do is to do nothing. Go for a walk, a swim, paint a picture. Some people love to golf, because it helps them refocus. Look for the thing that helps you and commit regular time to it. Make it a priority.

Being stressed out can hurt your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.


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