Saturday, August 29, 2009

People Magazine: The Ultimate Mental Vacation

For me, because my mind is already hypervigilant, relaxation is about the most overwhelming demand anyone could make of me. You seriously do not want to see me on a weeklong sitting-on-yer-ass-on-the-beach vacation...I can't even imagine why in the hell that is fun for people. But it is a fact that most people with ADHD don't take medication for their entire lives, for various reasons...that means you better learn some skills to make life more manageable when the naked, chemical-free brain is unleashed.

So I tried something new this week. I went to a yoga class this week and LOVED it. was mentally engaging enough that I was totally into it. Will definitely try it again. I was indeed so relaxed when I was done I didn't want to talk. AT. ALL. And that's a rarity, lemme tell ya...I was also shocked at how much raw energy I released from various underused parts of my body. Wow.

Another idea I am tinkering with: meditation. I started tinkering with meditation in high school. Unfortunately some of my experiences made me not want to do it anymore. That's a whole other story in itself filled with weird "out of body experiences" but I'm going to let my 30-something year old brain take another stab at it.

You know what really relaxes me though? Okay true confession, I am way too engaged by true crime stories...on television, and today, it happened to be on the internet...I literally spent 5 hours doing nothing but read weird tales of true crime on my computer...I hardly moved...and I can't normally sit and read like this unless I'm REALLY into what I'm reading. My body felt like delicious, relaxed Jello when I was mind felt free. You know what I think it is? Now that I don't actively infuse my life with drama/wild abandon/charmingly spontaneous plans that disrupt all decisions that came before (classic ADHD method for keeping ones life interesting enough to focus on) it's safer for me to read about other people's drama...and weirdly, perhaps disturbingly, that's relaxing.

The true crime stuff must tap into the same part of my brain that People Magazine taps into, and People Magazine is seriously the ultimate relaxation inducer for me. I'm not joking, and oh, how I wish I was! People Magazine is one of my only consistent tools for relaxation. I used to bring it to school when I was working on my paralegal education...I finally gave up trying to "just focus" in class and discovered accidentally that if I brought a magazine to class to read (hidden behind a school book!) that it was way easier for me to just stay planted in class instead of needing to get up to leave and run around in the halls (pretending I was doing something other than avoiding going back to class). I also (note to teachers who think that all fidgeting in class is a bad thing) got WAY better grades once I started allowing myself these little indulgences. In addition to it being a great bite-sized in-classroom break, I can sit and read the thing cover to cover with absolute focus and obliviousness to the world around me. My hypervigilant brain just goes "ahhhhh" and leaves me alone for awhile as it pores over the glossy, moron-infested pages. Think about that for a minute...a trashy celebrity magazine gives me the same effect that people pay money for drugs to achieve. If only reading it took more than an hour!

With People magazine as my most trusted method for relaxation, you're probably beginning to see why I needed to reach out for more creative ideas ;) But oh, I'm not one to fix what ain't broke. I would much rather focus my energy on making better, saner decisions in my life, and allow myself vicarious drama indulgences if that's what it takes...

I'll still go to yoga though...that shit was hardcore!

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