After work today I was incredibly stressed.
I was done with the day of doing things and all I could think of was what more I should be doing. This is something I’ve had problems with many times in the past. As I thought more about what I should do, it became framed in my mind as something I should do. And since I didn’t have energy to actually do it, in my mind I felt like I had failed in the day.
Or in other words, I had excess energy, vortex forces were in effect which caused drag, collapsing into a depletion of willpower/endurance.
A long time ago I wrote about the necessity of finding hobbies. What I really need is any activity that relaxes me. Video games, reading, cooking, anything that can get me away from thinking about what, in my mind, needs to be done. Anything that gets me out of my head, where I’m constantly saying “ I need to be doing more.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about this in his autobiography - that sometimes holding on too tightly can cause you to fail.
Tonight I downloaded a video game. I got some Valerian root tea, initially to help with sleep, but it did relax me a lot. I cooked. And that was a good start.
I think that planning it out in advance is key. Usually I just start wasting time on reddit and looking up random stuff. Which is fine. It’s just for ME, that doesn’t get me off of the habit project. And not having readily available go-to’s doesn’t help.
Hobbies are great - but they have to be ones that I don’t want to include in this project. And that’s problematic, because I do want to do so much. Many things are “sticky” for me - they get me thinking immediately on how I can master them, and I think it’s why I’ve steered clear of so many. I need some that I can essentially throw away (I discuss this a bit here).
Cooking seems to be one of those, but it can be very exhausting. Programming was actually super relaxing when I was following lessons on Code Academy. General learning on Khan Academy was also relaxing. Right before I started this project I took a lot of notes (I’ll have to look them up) on relaxing, and one thing I discovered was that I genuinely enjoy learning…it de-stresses me.
Having my mind off the project seems like it’s a huge key TO the project. That forgetting, the time off, actively knowing when enough is enough, seems to work to reduce this drag. And some people even seem to consider relaxation as a willpower manufacturing process.
In any case, it’s great to see old ideas, like this and my recent post on Pavel and Mircrocycling, come back into the fray once again.