Do you ever walk into the kitchen and think ‘what the fuck did I come in here for?’ or leave the house and loose complete sense of where you parked the car?
Do you ever find yourself having some ‘downtime’ in front of a TV programme only to realise you haven’t actually taken any of it because you’re answering work emails, or running in and out keeping an eye on the cooking or the washing or…more than likely, you’re on your phone…on Facebook?
Ever thought why?
The minute we wake up in the morning, it’s on. Like donkey kong.
We’ve got 17 minutes to get ourselves out of the door, leaving ourselves 9 minutes to make the 10 minute journey to the station, to make the train that will get us to work just on time. We get on the train and juggle between checking our work phone to pre-empt the shit storm we are about to walk into, and checking our own phone to see if anybody put anything ground breaking on Instagram whilst we slept. The morning at work is a flurry of meetings and forgetting that you actually need the odd five minutes to have a wee. We eat lunch at our desks, hurried, whilst trying to do our Ocado order, sort out our banking and catch up on the news in 15 short minutes. We get heartburn trying to reply to the 85 new WhatsApp notifications we have. The afternoon follows the pattern of the morning and before you know it we’re running home, to try and get to our gym session before the shopping arrives, leaving ourselves approximately 8 minutes to shove something in the microwave, have a shower and get to bed before we do it all over again.
And we wonder why we can’t remember where the bloody car is?
Our brains are full. To bursting. And if we’re not careful we’ll all be in mental institutions pre-50. And I’m not laughing.
We are living in the immediate age where if it doesn’t happen now, it doesn’t count. You must be glued to your phones to reply to work emails immediately, to react to friends news and photos instantly, to reply to potential suitors straightaway before they find someone else.
For crying out loud, we even watch TV now in a condensed hour every week by watching other people watch it for us. What are we doing?!?
It’s time to give our brains a break.
I took a 5 day bank holiday weekend this week. I went to bed on Wednesday night and my brain wouldn’t sleep. I tried to work out how I would catch up with 15 mates, do 6 loads of washing, write 4 blogs, pluck my eyebrows, and do the weekly shop to fit in around the plans I’d already made and whilst giving myself some time to sit down.
My head hurt and it was all my own doing.
Sod this, I thought.
I called time on rushing. Called time on the need for it all to happen now and decided to chill the fuck out this bank holiday.
On Thursday I got in the car with one of my best mates. We drove to the Kent coast where we were so far South our phones thought we were in France. I turned mine off. I stood in the sea for a while. I went for a coffee and didn’t rush it. I sat and stared into space for like a whole hour. I just looked at the sea.
I well and truly blew the cobwebs off and didn’t spend the whole day thinking FUCK – I need to stop relaxing because the shopping’s due and the ironings piling up and I’ve got to work late and try and see my mates.
I. Just. Stared.
I stared and made a pact with myself. That September is the month that each day, I will give my brain a break.
If stuff doesn’t get done, so be it. If stuff getting done will get in the way of me giving myself even half an hour of time to just stop, it just won’t get done.
I’m going to stop over committing to plans which mean I rush around like a prat worrying about being late.
I’m going to turn my phone off for at least 3 hours every day. And those 3 hours won’t include time that I’m asleep. I’m just going to stare out the bloody window on the train. I’m going to start looking up some more, not just down at my phone.
I’m going to enjoy TV in my own time, I’m going to cook nice dinners again, I’m going to cancel work drinks to go to the damn gym.
I’m going to make some me time.
And some time to give my brain a break.
Before it bloody breaks on me.