I have this thing against ‘distractions’ when it comes to mental wellness. I think it’s possibly just the term that irks me, as it seems to put weight on the fact that we just redirect our suffering to some menial task. And it got me thinking about care strategy vs distraction.
When you’re going through hell and someone suggests ‘going for a walk to clear your head’, I often think wow, if only it were that easy. But in turn, movement is a wellness tool for me, and does in fact allow me some clarity.
Clearly defining what is a care strategy and what is a distraction is key to how I interact and perceive that activity.
And maybe all care strategies are distractions and vice versa.
However I tend to have a hard time indulging in something when I label it a distraction. Therefor identifying care strategy vs distraction is key to how I spend my time, not only that, but how I benefit from both care strategies and distractions.
I’m more aware these days that I need less distractions and more self development, and the term ‘distraction’ brings with it my own self guilt.
Now I like to lean into my moods and explore where they stem from and what they could be telling me, and then if needed, I will ‘distract’ myself from the revelation – if it is too heavy to unpack in that moment.
And I think that’s just it. In crisis, distractions are a tool to soothe and move away from troubling emotions, but in the long term we can’t just base our self care and wellness routines on distraction. They have to dig a little deeper, hold space for curiosity and nurture our mind body connection.
8 years ago I was not in a mind state to do anything other than distraction. I filled my days with one thing after another to void me of the complete turmoil I had came up against. And back then golly, that certainly was a wellness tool for me. My mind and body were far too fragile to be exploring the root cause. I had to gain some stability before I reduced distractions and focused on the bigger picture.
If you’re routinely avoiding your problems, then they will never be resolved.
I also think the moment you start losing joy in a ‘distraction’, it leaves space for even more unwanted negative emotion and can further your anxieties.
I found this article from Mental Help that shares ‘For best results, the thing you engage yourself in as a means of distraction should be both absorbing and interesting to you’. The pleasures and joy that come with hobbies are a great distraction for me, but I all too often also indulge in the wrong thing.
is scrolling through TikTok really an engaging distraction that you actually enjoy? Does it helps you grow past what you’re going through, or merely put your troubles on hold for a few videos longer? – look at me whining about TikTok and I’ve only been on it for two weeks haha but I can see where these ‘distractions’ can become unhealthy.
Perhaps choosing to be more mindful of what we fill your time with and for what purpose, can really go a long way in strengthening the tools that benefit us and taking a step back from what serves you less.
In a world of handheld distraction and societal noise, what are care strategies are allowing you to live to your fullest potential, and what ‘distractions’ are holding you back?