Everyone has their go-to ways to relax, unwind and even keep their mind off of what’s going wrong in life. It’s slightly more complicated when you’re in pain. I was discussing this with a lovely woman who sat next to me at shul (hey, it’s a long service on Rosh Hashanah and you can’t stay focused for all those hours without socializing a bit), but I’ll save that for a separate post. Distraction from both physical pain and emotion distress are definitely not solved with Sudoku or a bubble bath (both of which I happen to dislike, by the way).
Everyone has their talents, skills and preferences (and I hope you share yours by commenting!), but I have managed to find a few activities that suit me. I truly wish reading was one, because I do love books, but when I’m bogged down emotionally, I can’t concentrate at all. Instead, I color. I used to keep my niece busy for hours when she was in my care by sharing a coloring book page with her. We’d compare pages and giggle over Auntie’s silly color choices and it was always a nice, mellow activity. I have stepped it up with “adult” coloring books and pages you can print from a plethora of websites dedicated to this very hobby. I use Sharpies, colored pencils or gel pens mostly. It’s relaxing, calming and keeping inside the lines does actually occupy my mind enough to be a good distraction. I’d be happy to link you to some freebie pages below if anyone is interested.
I also sew. My grandmother taught me to sew a simple running stitch at age 3 and I’ve enjoyed sewing ever since. You don’t need a machine. If you learn some basic stitches, you can make a variety of things, from a simple throw pillow out of an old dress shirt to freehand embroidery. I recommend this to those as hopeless as me at crocheting! 😆 I like crafts in general, including jewelry making, art journaling and woodworking.
If you’re not feeling well enough for these kind of things, I do have some things I like to do when laying down is my only option, but I’m bored just the same. I’ll make a new playlist on my phone with songs that fit a particular theme or mood, download a free “fluff” e-book that doesn’t require you follow a plot line too closely or I find a new blog or two to read from and follow (I’ve found some great new blogs and even friends this way). Afterall, there isn’t much to do when you feel that awful, but I know I get really restless and punchy staring at the four walls all day long, even when I’m very sick. It can also help you recover. An uplifted mood does have an effect on your body’s ability to fight off whatever may be attacking it.
I’d love to hear how you get through the tough times and keep your mind occupied or even just how you pass the time sick or not!