It’s the long weekend! The dreaded long weekend.
You see, for people with noisy minds, it’s hard to shut them off. In fact, they don’t shut off. Brains don’t shut off. Which is a good thing, in the grand scheme of staying alive, but not great if you’re the kind of person who listens to all of the constant thoughts. And if you’re reading this blog, I assume you are that kind of person.
So the long weekend can be kinda shit. It’s essentially more days off of work. And work is a great way to keep the brain busy. You take that away and I have nothing to keep myself busy. So you either find something to do (cottage, Fringe, Pride, Frisbee, writing a blog post) or you’re stuck with nothing to do. Nothing to do except listen to your thoughts.
Thoughts about all the things you should be doing. Thoughts about how the long weekend is your chance to catch up on all the things you’ve been putting off doing because you were so busy doing other things. Yay! We get to do more doing, but this time do different doings.
The other option is to take a break from doing, and just enjoy the time off. But for many of us, we can’t take time off, or stop doing, or at least stop thinking about doing. Students sometimes ask me, “How do you do nothing?” And I use all my learnings and wisdom and respond with this gem, you might want to write it down, “I don’t know.”
Honestly, I still struggle with just being able to be. To just be. And not feel like I’m supposed to be doing something. Achieving something. Meditation helps. Try meditation.
Great Cam, thanks for the unhelpful post.
Wait! I do have some advice. Maybe not great advice. And that’s to reward yourself when you do do something. I’ve noticed that when I “achieve” something, my brain will allow me some time off to bask in the glory.
Take this post for example. Once I post this, I’ll be able to take some time off. My brain will say, “Cameron, you should be doing something productive at all times,” and I’ll say, “Hey brain, gimme a break, I just wrote that post.” And brain will be like, “Okay, take a couple hours. Depending on whether it gets likes.” And I’ll be like, “I will!” And then I’ll be able to do nothing, knowing that I did something.
Ideally, we can get to a place where we can do nothing and allow ourselves to do nothing, but the way we’re raised in this part of the world, it’s easier said than done. So the next best thing is to take breaks in between the achieving.
Reward yourself for achieving a day’s work by taking the night off. Fully off. Not working into the night to stay busy.
Reward yourself for achieving catching up on emails by getting up and going for a coffee.
Reward yourself for achieving waking up and getting out of bed by taking a moment to appreciate life.
It’s really about sliding the scale a little towards a break. How much do you need to do before you’ll allow yourself to not do? I’d say, you read this post. That’s good. In fact, I’m so proud of you for reading this, take the rest of the day off. You’ve earned it. (If you don’t feel like you’ve earned anything from reading this, just know how much you’ve brightened my day by reading this. You’ve done something wonderful for someone else. Be proud.)
In conclusion, if you can’t do nothing, don’t beat yourself up for not being able to do nothing, just reward yourself for the stuff you do.
Happy long weekend!
Blog post done. Let’s hit the beach!