I’m always amazed at how the mind and body can understand a situation long before you can comprehend it. For example, if you’re running yourself ragged you may fall ill, or become physically tired. The body knows you need rest and will do everything in its power to ensure you receive that rest. When it comes to the mind, you may plague yourself with worry and doubt to the point where your brain refuses to process more information. Try as you might, your mental productivity plummets. In my case, I was in the latter camp earlier this week. I tried to write, but I experienced something close to writer’s block.

I stared at my computer screen, but the words and will to write refused to come. It wasn’t until I stepped away from my computer for a while did I feel some of my mental energy returning. Even then, I wasn’t running at full capacity. I finished my writing assignment, but I wasn’t pleased with the results. My mother happened to visit me in the midst of my ordeal and commented that I looked terrible. She went as far as to insist I take a day off from my night job. After a moment of pacing back and forth in my living room, I complied with her advice. She lingered around to make sure I was okay before leaving for the night. I then sat down on the couch, ate dinner, and watched a few dark comedies. (I don’t why, but a dark show like BoJack Horseman really helped me to feel better. Perhaps it is that feeling I’m stressed, but I’m not trapped in a quagmire of full-blown despair.) I returned to my computer to edit my writing assignment and found the flow of words to be better.

Ironically, I recently wrote about stress on the job and the dangers it can present. When you ignore your own need to rest or mentally unwind, you can find yourself a situation similar to what you want to warn others about. Sometimes the best course of action is to walk away from a particularly stressful situation, and to rest your mind. Other times, mindfulness or focusing on your present (instead of being anxious about the future) is a better solution.

Have you ever been mentally overwhelmed and forced to take a break from a stressful situation?

A quick update on my challenge: Writing down my tasks is a big help, but I realized I also need to create a plan to decide how long each task should take.

BoJack Horseman. As long as my weekends aren't this bad, I'm okay.

BoJack Horseman. As long as my weekends aren’t this bad, I’m okay.

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