Tag Archives: rumination

50 Things to NOT Do Immediately Before Bedtime

You’d think that after 54 years, I’d know better than to start something right before bed and think, “It’ll take just five minutes.”

That’s usually when I lose track of time and the next time I look up, it is well past midnight, having overshot the estimated “five minutes” by about twenty times.

We all know that when we get ready for bed, we should be aiming to wind down to a relaxed state, to lead to a more restful sleep.

But sometimes it doesn’t take much to fall down the rabbit hole, stirring up one’s enthusiasm (or emotions) and messing up those plans.

Here they are, my 50 things that I suggest should not be done immediately before bedtime:

1. Calling a cellular/TV/Internet carrier
2. Tinkering with electronics
3. Downloading or updating apps… that’s usually when there will be technical problems like a device freezing up or a time-consuming reboot is required.
4. Learning to play a new electronic game
5. Checking out TV channels you don’t usually watch
6. Previewing the binge-worthy show everyone recommends highly
7. Watching cute pet videos
8. Watching funny baby videos
9. Watching music videos
10. Watching videos of people doing embarrassing things
11. Watching a captivating detective series
12. Performing Ancestry research
13. Cleaning
14. Decluttering
15. Wondering if that crack or that spot on the ceiling has always been there
16. Trying to figure out the probable causes for any given situation
17. Starting a craft project, even supposed a quick one
18. Reading recipes
19. Starting a recipe, even a supposed quick one
20. Eating a big meal or a big snack.. or sampling a recipe you just tried, because you’re up way past your bedtime and starved
21. Consuming anything caffeinated
22. Worrying about how the weather may impact an important event
23. Reading a side-splitting, hysterically funny book. It’s a nice way to end the day, but it’s too easy to start a cycle of remembering the funny parts and keeping yourself awake laughing long after you have closed the book.
24. Watching or reading a psychological thriller
25. Imagining how the furniture would look in different spots
26. Getting up and actually moving the furniture
27. Looking at old photos
28. Walking down memory lane
29. Starting to write a difficult email/letter
30. Checking out catalogues of any kind
31. Checking out an online retailer for ONE item…
32. Comparison shopping online
33. Checking out online news sources
34. Reading the comments posted after the news items
35. Worrying about the traffic or public transit issues you’ll probably have to deal with in the morning
36. Thinking about an upcoming event that causes butterflies or knots in your stomach
37. Thinking about how you could have better handled a situation
38. Thinking about a better comeback when someone said something nasty
39. Planning your future
40. Problem solving and weighing pros and cons.
41. Planning a trip
42. Booking a trip
43. Figuring out what to bring on a trip
44. Worrying that the time between flights might not be enough in case of a delay or technical problem
45. Fixing things that seemingly don’t want to be fixed
46. Working out. I don’t know if most people are the same, but working out in the evening is guaranteed to keep me awake for hours, and then stressed at still being up way past my bedtime.
47. Watching other people engaging in vigourous activity, like running to catch a flight on “The Amazing Race”
48. Taking care of anything that “should take only 5 minutes”. It seldom does.
49. Pondering the meaning of life
50. Starting a blog post… like this one!

To me, the best thing to do before bed is to read something very light, not too topical and that doesn’t stir up strong emotions.

Also, instead of counting sheep, counting the many things for which I am grateful is another great way to end the day and to drift off.

Did you enjoy this post? If you haven’t already, please check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.blog. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox. Also, don’t be shy, feel free to tell a friend or to share the link.
Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,
André

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Filed under 50+, Humour, Lists

Ruminating, Racing Thoughts and Overthinking

… or does “Overthinking, Racing Thoughts and Ruminating” sound better?

… or should I say, “Racing Thoughts, Ruminating and Overthinking”?

… or perhaps “Ruminating, Overthinking and Racing Thoughts?”

As someone who considers himself a proactive person, it is well within my nature to think things through before acting.

Not only do I want to avoid making mistakes, but when I make a decision, I’d like to think that I have been responsible, thoughtful, balanced, sensitive and kind.

I admit it, I don’t deal well with surprises. Getting blindsided sends steam shooting out of my ears. Getting pressed for quick decisions and reactions without the proper time to process the situation sends my blood pressure through the roof.

While I think others have more confidence in my handling of things than I do myself, perhaps it is a sense of not wanting to let people down by appearing unprepared, that I try to eradicate surprises before they happen.

But that’s exhausting. Anticipating every possible outcome is next to impossible and developing an action plan for every negative scenario is hard on the mind, body and spirit.
This is not to say I can’t be impulsive or spontaneous. I have a pretty good sense of what works for me and what doesn’t. Over 52 years, my gut has rarely steered me wrong. I just need to trust that instinct. Continue reading

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Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, mental health

Bell Let’s Talk: How Therapy Helped Me

A few months ago, I published a blog post about my anxiety and the signs that it was time to reach out for help. I knew that by speaking with a therapist, someone outside of my immediate circle, I wouldn’t feel like I was dumping or oversharing. In addition, I thought that a professional might be better able to suggest solutions to problems that seemed to come back again and again.

Little did I know how much better I would feel one year later:

I always knew I was a sensitive guy, but I didn’t quite understand to what extent. I learned to strike a happy medium in allowing myself to be the sensitive guy that I am without feeling that I was out of sync with everyone else.

As much as my triggers for anxiety seemed random and unrelated, they really do stem from a few specific events in the distant past. With the help of my therapist, I am working through those and trying to curb the anxiety response.

A pattern of lack of assertiveness emerged. Now that I know, I have been gently nudging myself into being more assertive in specific circumstances.

I learned that saying no (politely, firmly and without getting emotional) was a valid response that should not be feared when I really want to say no.

I learned that setting boundaries and calmly enforcing boundaries that were not respected, are an essential part of living and survival.

Even in the last few weeks, I find myself proactively drawing lines in the sand because once the boundaries are articulated, out in the open and agreed upon, life is a lot easier when uncertainty is removed from the equation. Continue reading

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Filed under Health and Wellness, mental health