Free & Wild: Your Brain Wants A Break
So you leave your comfort zone, you start to find yourself, to become comfortable in your own skin. You’re learning to love your body, learning to love new experiences and feelings… but what about when it’s just too much.
It happens! No matter how well or poorly life is going, we can get caught up in to do’s, pleasing people, meeting deadlines…
It doesn’t matter how happy or fulfilled you may be; your brain wants a break. Your brain NEEDS and DESERVES a break.
There is this awful stigma (although decreasing) around needing downtime. We are a society that praises busy and run-down as if that is some justification of how successful you are. If you need a day to yourself, to rest, and you haven’t “earned” it, you’re weak, or suffering, or sad, or upset, or needy, or lazy.
This stigma is amplified when we are constantly connected - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. We are literally never without interaction if we don’t want to be.
This constant tool can be so beneficial, but we can often also be blinded by how consumed we really are.
Think of how much time we spend in a day, consciously or subconsciously looking at other people’s lives, comparing ourselves, having FOMO because someone is doing something we want to be doing. There’s all this information floating around in our heads, crowding and blocking our own personal thoughts and intentions.
All this work we put into our mindset, into our goals, and into our bodies, slowly become engulfed by what others are putting into theirs.
I often find the root of the cause recently, when I’m feeling extra overwhelmed and self-conscious and confused, is social media, the amount that other people’s information is crowding my brain.
Sadly, just turning off isn’t always that easy. What will I miss? What if people want to contact me? How will I share this awesome view that I’m seeing, or this cute coffee, or my hangout with friends if I’m not logged in?
It sucks, kinda, when you’re used to being so “connected” but the very thing facilitating those connections is causing you stress.
Here’s some comforting news though;
It’ll all still be there.
Whether you need 10 minutes away or 10 days, everything you “miss” will still be there when you come back. The messages, the pictures, the ability to post your pictures and thoughts; it’s like hitting pause!
Now here’s some less comforting news... your real life, those things that actually matter and have substance in your life, they might not be there if you take a break from them, or they might worsen. Is causing yourself more stress and anxiety over comparisons of lifestyle really worth your precious mental health? Is scrolling through your phone really more important than taking in the air and company surrounding you? Is missing a beautiful moment to laugh and breath and enjoy life really worth checking that text?
These are things we can’t pause, things we can’t necessarily check back in on.
It’s okay to unplug, it’s okay to not have a reason, it’s okay for people to not know everything going on in your life and it’s certainly okay for you to not know what’s going on in theirs.
It’s not selfish, it’s self-care.
You put far too much effort into your precious self to lose any of that to some virtual influences. Online presence is wonderful, but only if we can always remember the separation between what’s real and important, and what is less so.
So with all of that, how overwhelmed are you right now? How much of your day is spent aimlessly staring at a screen and not putting 100% into your life and goals?
I challenge you (and myself too) to step away for a bit.
See what you can do and how clear your mind becomes. Start with a day, a full 24h, log out of your virtual world and plug into your real one. Make YOU the first priority, and I guarantee you won’t regret it and honestly, you’ll probably also find more time for those little things you haven’t been getting done!
- Alyssa Walsh