Have you observed when cats focus 100% on one thing and a second later, they suddenly jump and do weird things like trying to catch their own tails? This is exactly what my mind does in the first days when I decide to take a few days of break. It feels like thoughts are shooting from one end of my brain to the other, bringing together the craziest combinations.
My goal last week was to enter the plane to Thailand and finally get some sleep – no phone, no internet, nothing; just the beautiful vibrating sound during the flight. The past weeks and months have been quite exciting and intense at the same time. It does feel great, because Iook at the small milestones which I have accomplished and it motivates me to keep going. At the same time, I really looked forward to sleep. And I got it. Even my plan how to time sleep on the plane and when to go to sleep after arrival my worked out. Until my mind started playing tricks on me.
The past nights I was up with the strangest thoughts – they range from “What should you plan for the next collection”, to “Which café do I want to explore tomorrow?”. And then suddenly – boom – “Where is my passport????” or “Where is my ring?”. I freak, get out of bed and check about them. If I manage to fall asleep, crazy thoughts like these wake me up at night. For no reason – the things I am looking for are always in their usual spots.
I think it is just my mind dealing with a lack of adrenaline. I constantly try to push myself, plan everything out on lists and engage my mind – the latter is “on duty” constantly. And when I then decide to switch off and relax, it does not know how to deal with the lack of “stimulation” (i.e. “stress”). I get emotional about the weirdest things – a comment by a friend, a picture I saw, an advertisement I passed by. I obsess about small things, twist and turn them in my head and cannot get over them. And, of course, it even follows me into my sleep – I am not going to elaborate on my dreams or rather nightmares, they would just freak you out. (It even freaks me out myself to just think about the sh*t (pardon my French but this is the term I have to use here) my brain is able to make up.) I then end up reading a book in the middle of the night or I start checking my phone; which is usually the worst choice out of the two, because the flashy videos on social media or the sensational headlines just serve as additional impulses to that virtual carrousel in my mind.
In general, I consider it a positive character trait that I am motivated, energetic and pushing myself to accomplish things I am passionate about. At the same time, the periods when I try to relax and take a step back also are a reminder of how I treat my body, my mind and myself on a daily basis. It shows that the constant stress level is just not healthy.
I wish I could write an inspiring paragraph right now about how to deal with this situation or, if we want to talk clickbait: “the best method I found to find balance”. But, I cannot; because I simply have not found it as yet. I do think it is a good first step that I do notice it and that I am writing about this. I know that I may have to look into some strategies to put my mind at ease and stop the virtual carrousel from spinning in my head.
But the miraculous balance potion has yet to be discovered. When I find it, I will definitely share it with you. But for now, I am just trying to realise that my mind – however strong I consider it to be – sometimes can play tricks on me. It can keep me up at night, it can make a mountain out of a mole hole; just for the simple reason that there is a lack of stimulation (or stress). Tonight, I will try one thing: all devices will be powered off and when my mind starts acting crazy again, I will try to let it go. I will not dedicate any attention to it. I will keep you posted on how that experiment went.
What about you? Does your mind go crazy after an exciting and stressful period? Let me know, I would love to hear about your experiences – and how you deal with it.