Tips for Spacey Days.
Here’s the irony of the runaway mind:
On tired days, I think a lot. Yet I’m too tired to plan. My executive function is asleep, yet I can think in circles about what I oughta be doing; I can do stuff in my head but not in real life; I can think about random topics ad nauseum.
Tip #1: Notice this is happening.
I’ve said this before, in other tips, and I’m saying it again now.
Tip #2: Do a check-in with yourself.
Are you too tired to plan?
Is planning not working?
Is any kind of planning or decision-making working?
While you’re at it, check in about your energy level:
What’s your physical energy level?
What’s your mental energy level?
What’s your emotional energy/stability level?
Tip #3: Remember, it’s not your fault.
This morning I was bugging myself about it this way: I was thinking, without even quite noticing, that if only I had been exercising more, I wouldn’t be so tired.
Regardless of the accuracy of this statement, it’s not my fault that when I’m tired, I can’t plan so well.
In my case, I’m pregnant, and so I’m tired. Silly me! I am getting exercise whenever I feel up to it! And I can’t predict how much energy I’ll have! (Fact is, that’s true for other reasons when I’m not pregnant. But when I’m pregnant, I can’t push the exercise as much, and doing so certainly wouldn’t make me feel rested.)
Tip #4: Is there anything predictable about your mental state?
Is there something that has triggered your mental state? Don’t think big and psychological here. Think what you ate, how much you slept, whether your hormones are crazy, what you did yesterday… and use it to acknowledge where you’re at. Does it help you to know this? Is there something that will help?
Tip #5: Get out of your head. Because that can really help. Don’t fight yourself, but use the information from the questions above to come up with some stuff that might make your body work better right NOW so your brain will, or to let you LET GO of it. Move. Sleep. Read. Whatever.
Tip #6: Or, get right into your head. Do something that feels useful and that your brain can latch right onto, like going through e-mails, or reading some articles- let your mind get lost, and make a note that you’ll come back to planning later. You can’t plan now, so it just ain’t the right activity.
That’s a start. What works for you?