What do you do when you need to get your mind off of things?

Hey Elphas! I know this has been a really hard few days for many given the state of the world right now -- from Roe to the impending shaky economy, it's not an easy time to engage with the world.

My roommate and I have a tradition -- when we're feeling really tired, mentally, of whatever we're engaged with, we'll say to each other "I need to do something with my hands."

It's our code phrase for "I'm not ignoring you, I just need to zone out for a little bit."

Then, we'll clean the dishes, cook something (bonus points if it requires kneading, like pizza dough), create something, or start mopping.

What is your version of "doing something with your hands"? What do you like to do to take your mind off of the current state of affairs?

I love this, Naomi! My version of "doing something with my hands" is watercolour painting with music, a podcast, or a reality TV show in the background (where I don't have to pay much attention). I also really love going on bike rides when I'm mentally blocked and need some clarity. I have a tendency to overthink, so it really helps me get focused if I occupy myself with tasks I can zone out to while doing.
I love this!! Wow sounds so up my alley. They all sound good individually but as a combo this is one heck of a selfcare night in 🀩
Ahh I love bike rides! Are there good spots near you?I just moved to the Boston suburbs and haven't found my bike route yet but that's a favorite for me as well <3
Yes! Not any hard-core ones but there are a few really pleasant city routes around Buenos Aires. The city has become quite bike-friendly over the years, so new routes are slowly popping up everywhere (some could use a little extra TLC, though πŸ˜†). There are some really beautiful parks nearby so I usually go to the Lagos de Palermo when I need to soak in some greenery 🌳
I journal out my thoughts using pen and paper. I find that after I write things down, they occupy less space in my mind.
YESS! loooove love journaling
I do this as well, @smritiIt feels like brain-dumping all the things in my head, putting it on paper actually helps me make connections that would have been difficult to make mentally. Sometimes, when I'm lucky enough, I get to notice one big pattern of thought with clarity. It's an a-hΓ‘ moment actually :)
@maluerre I sometimes read entries from the past and am able to connect the dots too.
When my mind and heart are too overwhelmed, I seek bodily experiences that bring comfort. I find that sitting in the sun at a park or beach to take in the sights, smells, and sensations really helps.
I love this. I find it really helpful to do those things too. πŸ’š
can never go wrong with a beach walk <3
sitting in the sun at a park πŸ’š
The β€˜doing something with your hands’. is great. Even free sketching can help with this. I also will often meditate or go for a walk to feel like I can get out of my head.
I throw myself into learning something new, most times. That is one of the few things that I find wholly engaging.
I have a good friend who does this too -- she loves to work when she's upset. I respect it -- I wish I was like that too! I have trouble focusing when I'm upset though. What kinds of things have you learned about recently? Are they mostly physical (like knitting/carving/pottery) or mental (learning french/sudoku/etc)?
Mental works best for me. Recently I've been studying programming, deepening my knowledge of Linux, and improving my high school French.If I'm doing something like knitting or needlework (both of which I love), I'm also listening to an audiobook (currently Guns, Germs, and Steel).
"Doing something with my hands" is an awesome idea. For me, I need to do something more physical, so I tend to workout. My quick go-to, since I'm lucky enough to live near a large, beautiful lake, is to put on my walking shoes, walk-run to the lake and spend a good 15 to 30 minutes staring into the vast expanse of water. When looking at something so massive or expansive, I feel like all these negative things are small--that it's a huge world out there and things can change for the better.
I hate that working out works so well because it takes so much mental energy to convince myself to do it but you're so right -- with the added bonus of the lake at the end, that just sounds wonderful.have you read "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running"? It's by Haruki Murakami and is a meditation on what running means to him (and how running is like and unlike writing) -- feels like a similar vibe <3
I haven't read that book by Haruki Murakami. Since I'm on vacation this week, I'll start reading it. Thanks for the recommendation!
let me know how you like it! it's one of my favorites!
This week I’ve started back on Duolingo and I’m addicted. It’s helping so much for me to decompress. I’m reviewing my Spanish and French and starting Chinese. I still feel like adding in Portuguese or Italian, but 4 at once is kind of crazy isn’t it? πŸ˜‚ Might do it anyway. It’s making me super happy.
Oh wow so many languages, that's fantastic. I love Duolingo. I am learning Italian
nothing is crazy if you're having a good time! also I bet if you do all four of those latin languages (chinese might throw you for a loop but one non-latin one isn't overload) you might even like accidentally learn latin XD
What a great thought! I've never thought about it this way, but I definitely do this. A lot of times it ends up being cleaning/cooking, but in the past I've gotten this kind of release doing crafts (cross-stitching, painting, coloring books) & playing with toys like Legos/Orbeez (I was a nanny for a year). I think I'd like to get back into nanny-mode types of stress release ;)Similar what a couple others have said, physical fitness is my go-to. I like dance fitness a lot for is fun & freeing, and having to try to learn a series of steps/moves can help refocus your thoughts, & give you an opportunity to laugh at yourself/be silly to help release tension/stress (personally love Fitness Marshall & Hip Hot Fit on YouTube)
Nanny-mode types of stress release work for a reason hahaha sometimes we just need to parent ourselves <3 love the recommendations for dance!
I probably ought to try doing something with my hands, but my go to at the moment is diving into a book instead. I find it a much higher guarantee that I will stop thinking about whatevers on my mind, because I have to mentally immerse myself in the world the author is creating instead!Love that you and your roommate have such good communication πŸ€—
ooo my mom is like that -- she loves sci-fi and you can always find her reading something fun (she's also a school librarian so you'll probably find her reading YA novels to test drive for her students hahahah)What genre do you pick? Are there any that are particularly soothing?and yes he's a special one! my best friend for about 10 years -- wacky and creative and fun and kind!
Woops such a slow reply, sorry!For me it's either sci-fi or fantasy, where you have to picture a whole different world, or things like magic or races of creatures that don't exist so it really stretches the imagination!Sounds like a great friend 😊
aaaaaa that's my mom's favorite too -- she loves that kind of escapism :)
I'm the same way, cooking/baking is my therapy! Even wrote about it It's making something with your hands, making something for yourself, and nurturing yourself with something delicious at the end.
thank you for sharing your blog Lily :))) cooking is truly therapeutic -- it's a go-to for me as well!
Great question! During a particularly stressful and demanding job and a lot going on personally, I somehow had the idea to teach myself to knit using YouTube. It has become one of my all-time favorite things and better than any fidget spinner. πŸ˜‰ (I never understood those!) I love making things with my hands (jewelry, paper crafts, weaving, knitting, cooking) and have become obsessed with knitting. It is a really great thing to have when I spend hours on Webex calls, especially during the last two years. Keeping my hands knitting forces me to focus on the meeting and absorb everything, instead of multi tasking with emails and chat. And I have a lot of pretty sweaters or socks to show for it. Highly recommend
This sounds great! I just watched that new rom com release on Netflix and knitting was so front and center in the movie it was pretty interesting.
I like to do lots of crafting. I particularly like to do lots of embroidery and cross stitch. Crafting just allows me to turn my brain off and relax.
I use Breathing Techniques, to slow my heart rate down. As an Optimal Breathologist - before introducing these concepts to others, I learned to sit with this or at times go on a Walking Meditation during breaks to release my worries out into nature. It calms me to gaze upon trees, flowers, plants and other living things because it is a reminder to me that life is in a constant state of Flow, no matter what or how I may be feeling when at a stand still. The Breath is a reminder of that as well, it is revitalizing for the nervous system so as to eliminate the need to constantly "do" something, but rather simply be present and participate in the natural occurrences of life. Learn More by visiting: