Distractions Won’t Save You From Feeling Blah
They just distract from all the amazing things you could be doing.
If I’m gonna be honest, distractions are what got me into this mess in the first place. I would distract myself from reality by aimlessly browsing social media at unhelpful moments of the day — like when I woke up or when I was going to bed. I would play games on end when it would be more beneficial to do some writing or even clean my room. And these distractions exacerbated my helplessness.
Because, here I was, wasting time on unnecessary actions — and knowing this was making me feel even more like shit. I was wasting time on mundane things that won’t ever progress my daily life. All those endless videos on Facebook — half of which I’m sure I’ve seen before — did not add substance to my life. They just filled time.
This made me realize that I should be focusing on tasks that do add substance to my life. Or at least progress it. Even something as simple as folding washing, which sounds boring, is a good task to focus on. You are getting your future ready with nicely folded clothes, ready for you to pluck out from your drawer or wardrobe in a few days time.
At the crux of it, you need to find flow. This I learned from Adam Grant, who you may remember from that relatable New York Times post on languishing.
In his Ted Talk on the same subject, he debunked the myth that the key to feeling great is not optimism.
“In the early days of the pandemic,” said Adam, “researchers found that the best predictor of well-being was not optimism. It was flow. Flow is that feeling of being in the zone, coined by the psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.
“It’s that state of total absorption in an activity.”
For me, the many things that give me flow are writing, gaming, bushwalking, cooking, and sometimes reading (only if it’s a great book). For you, it could be anything that you really like doing. Gardening, crocheting, buying more books for your mountainous TBR pile.
Of course, you could say that endlessly scrolling Facebook also offers a state of total absorption. I mean, I’ve sometimes lost an hour of time being “in the zone” on social media, only to…