Do you find yourself living in your head from time to time? Where your brain doesn’t switch off?
Do you replay conversations from the past repeatedly, make up future ones, think through projects, problem-solve and try to hold to-do lists in your brain?
From the second you wake up to the time you finally go to sleep again?
I have felt all of the above over the last few weeks – all the time. I am usually pretty good at compartmentalising. I am great at organising my thinking, doing and relaxing time, but lately, I have been working on so many projects that I have not managed to get out of my own head.
And instead of being genuinely creative and productive, I have been making silly mistakes that require re-work. I seem to have a very short attention span and I have let the pressure get the better of me, which has resulted in a lack of sleep and sheer exhaustion.
I didn’t know it then, but I had to find a way to get out of my own head.
My friend and I at my favourite surf spot about to head into the waves.
I visited my friend Charity, who lives on a farm down the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, about an hour drive from Melbourne, over the Easter long weekend.
I got up early and headed down to my favourite surf spot on Saturday. The sun was shining, and the waves were rolling in at 4 feet.
I paddled out and caught my first wave.
I had the biggest smile on my face as the conditions were simply perfect. I was in the water for 2 hours and felt all of this weight falling off me. My legs and arms were burning from the exercise, but I felt a lightness that I hadn’t felt for some time.
I finally had gotten out of my own head.
All that mattered was the water, my board, the next wave, paddling back out, smiling at the other surfers. Cathartic.
It’s strange because I have been surfing for a long time, but it has never been this liberating. And I truly needed it.
I needed to pause. Not think. Just be. Just enjoy nature.
I feel so much better now, even three days later and back in the office. I didn’t think much about work for the rest of the weekend. I slept well and have had a very productive morning. Even with deadlines looming, I feel calm and confident.
Lesson for Me?
Recognise when I am so much in my head that it is counter-productive. It’s not about going through a ‘busy patch’ of work. It’s about realising when I cannot stop thinking and worrying and when it starts to affect me physically.
I am determined not to let that happen again. I will, and must, pause and go for a surf, a long clearing walk or run and start meditating every morning and evening again – just 10 minutes of mindfulness and affirmations.
Bring it on world! It will be a mad few months ahead, but I learned my lesson, and the ocean helped me.
What do you do when you can’t get out of your head?
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