You’ll get your downtime, one way or another

Sometimes amazing things happen to you.

Life can really suck sometimes.

When you find yourself in a situation where you wish life would give you something as harmless as lemons, here’s what to do.

There will be intellectual factors in this situation. If you lose your job, for example, you’ll need to make some plans. Things like making an estimate and applying for new jobs.

File that under D for ‘duh’.

What people often forget are the emotional factors.

After you get punched, right after you take care of any pressing issues, take some downtime.

Lie down on the grass or stare at the wall.

It’s easy to think of the grieving cliché: someone who responds to the ground falling out from under their feet by drinking blindly.

A less obvious, but still cliché, is the person who jumps into the job. “I need this,” they will say.

These can only be attempts to escape from their unpleasant reality.


What’s that?

Not an alcoholic, workaholic or any type of addict?

In fact, do you enjoy a lot of downtime?


However, with or without a screen on the face?

Social media, reading, TV, video games, mindless web surfing – they’re all distractions from the pain of it all.

And maybe you need a distraction right now.

However, take downtime first. Lock yourself in a room with nothing but your thoughts.

Lie down on the floor and face the ceiling.

Don’t think it’s a waste of time, it’s the most important thing you could do.

Don’t think it’s awkward, embarrassing, or lazy.

There is no need to think at all if you don’t want to.

Because here’s the thing:

Your mind wants to process what happened. And sure, you can bury your awareness in distractions so you don’t have to.

Processing is painful, after all.

However, you cannot hold out forever.

Do you know those moments when you come up with your best ideas? For many people, it is when they are falling asleep, in the shower, on a long walk, or driving a car. That’s because these activities are mental downtime. They are so natural to you that your conscious mind can tune out, letting your unconscious creativity flow.

Guess what?

These times are also when you process your difficult emotions.

Do you want to feel all the anger, grievance, frustration, betrayal, and pain while driving?

Or while you’re trying to sleep?

Yes, I don’t think so.

Unless you let it out at a healthier time, your unconscious will use those times to do what it needs to do.

If you’re lucky, that is.

Your unconscious may not let it all out then.

Instead, you could bury the bread deep.

When you process your discomfort, you can overcome it. When you bury it, it’s always there, eating away at you.

It could even erupt at some unexpected time in the future.

If that happens, who knows how much downtime you’re in for.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. People talk about releasing pressure because it’s such a great analogy. The sooner, more often, and more thoroughly you vent the steam, the safer it is for everyone.

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