Monday, December 10, 2012

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

Focus On the Now

Avoiding Distracting Detours

Avoid Distracting Detours
Finals are in full swing and are proving to be exceptionally challenging for me. After two stressful days, last Thursday and Friday, I spent the remainder of my weekend sleeping and recovering. My mind and body do not handle stress well. It zaps all of my energy so I was happy to have the time to rest and reload my energy stores this past weekend. However, as my mind and body grows weary it becomes increasingly more difficult for me to keep my eyes on the road, staying focused on the now. My mind does not want to remain in the present because the present is filled with daunting tasks. Instead it prefers to jump to the future which holds Christmas celebrations and relaxation. Or it decides to wallow in the past- reading journal entries from a year ago, reliving memories from this time last year, having dreams about being in treatment. At this point neither of these detours are beneficial. Both are distracting, preventing me from focusing on the now and completing the work the lies ahead of me. I need to snap myself back into reality somehow and avoid these distracting detours. The sooner I focus on the now the sooner I will be able to enjoy my winter break. It's all up to me at this point. I have an assignment due tomorrow and then one last assignment due the 17th. But, if I am able to keep my eyes on the road I could potentially finish my last assignment early and begin my break sooner rather than later! I want us to consider an affirmation this morning in order to help us remain focused on the now by avoiding distracting detours-

Focusing on the present moment improves my productivity.

Devoting my full attention to the now and the tasks at hand I am able to complete my work more quickly and to the best of my ability. If I do not allow myself to get distracted by thoughts- past and future- I can be the most productive person I can be. During this time of year I become so tempted to take strolls down memory lane. Every date is poignant in my mind. For example, exactly a year ago today I was administratively discharged from the Renfrew Center. It was a terrible day, filled with sadness, fear, and uncertainty. But I cannot allow my mind to wander back to that day. It is a distracting detour that I cannot afford to take. If I allow myself to relive the pain of that day then I will be inhibiting myself from staying focused on the now and completing my assignment that is due tomorrow. At the same time my mind longs to jump forward and picture myself with my family on Christmas Eve. While this thought is more positive it too acts as a distraction. I am 2 assignments away from Winter Break and weeks away from Christmas Eve. It is best that I remain focused on the present in order to finish my remaining tasks. If I can keep my eyes on the road, rather than being lured by distracting thoughts, I will be able to achieve my goal- finishing the semester- all the sooner! 
This is NOT our exit-
This time of year is filled with distracting detours for many of us. We find ourselves taking strolls down memory lane and losing sight of the present. We neglect our work and jump ahead to more pleasurable times before they have actually arrived. We find our brains attempting to multi-task- focus on holiday shopping while at work, thinking about finals in our sleep, planning holiday get togethers while studying- rather than completely focusing on the task at hand. The sooner that we are able to focus on the now- rather than focusing on the then, was, will be, could be, should be, etc.- the sooner that we will be able to complete our tasks and reach the holiday break that we are all longing to enjoy. It is so difficult to keep our eyes on the road during this time of year when so many things are going on. But if we are able to avoid distracting detours we will find ourselves sitting around our Christmas Tree with our families sooner than we know it! 

Hang in there friends; Christmas is nearly here!

Ignore distractions and keep your eyes on the road-

15 Days Til Christmas, 3rd Night of Hannukah