Chasing Squirrels

Hi ya! Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace dear friend, how are you going today?

This space is for a time of quiet reflection, a time for us to have a much needed break from the stress of life, together over a cuppa…

I have a lovely tray set with tea, coffee & treats for us to share, as we sit indoors today. As an icy blast of winter has blown up from the Antarctic here on the east coast of Australia.

Now we’re settled in my warm study with cuppa’s in hand munching on delicious gf choc ginger & date slice, let’s reflect upon how we are fairing emotionally & mentally at the moment.

It’s been well over three months since most nations took varying degrees of lock down measures to protect us from the nasty CoVid19 virus.

Facing all the massive changes that this time has heralded, can take a toll on our emotional & mental health!

Let’s get personal

Over the last few months I have been very busy, far busier then I had been before this CoVid19 lock down began.

Once upon a time I was great at multi tasking, especially when my daughter’s lived at home. But today I’m not so good at it, due to Fibro fog (explained in Listening…) & limited energy levels.

The other day, I realized that although I may have looked like I was multitasking & believed I was, I actually wasn’t.

brown squirrel above snow at daytime in selective focus photo

Let me set the scene

I had an audio message playing, one I was very interested in hearing. And at the same time thought I would have a little glance through a book my daughter gave me last year.

However, as the audio message ended 30 minutes later, I realized that I had become so engrossed in looking through the book, I’d heard very little of the message!

My attention had been diverted to chasing interesting little squirrels that took my attention away from the main task at hand, which was listening!

Later that day, I also realized that I hadn’t been giving my lovely hubby my undivided attention when he was talking to me!

Oh I looked like I was listening with all the right nods & noises but those little squirrels were running around my thoughts holding my attention!

The significance of chasing squirrels

Squirrels, better known as distractions grab our attention when we desire a much needed emotional diversion! This often happens subconsciously.

Especially when we’re trying to process an uncomfortable situation that may have us concerned, anxious, worried, fearful or overwhelmed.

These squirrels take on the appearance of interesting books, blog posts, movies, tv shows, eating, cooking or baking, online shopping, social media, news feeds or anything that grabs our attention & gives us that much needed distraction, often binging on them.

Why diversions? They give us emotional space before we face the deeper emotions we are actually feeling, that are simmering in the background & may be rather uncomfortable for us to address…

At the moment none of us can get away from the fact that this time in CoVid19 lock down has changed our world as we knew it!

This post-lock down world is looking vastly different & yes, just a tad scary, to the pre-lock down world we knew only a few months ago.

Not only with continued social distancing, travel restrictions & how we gather together in public spaces but also the economic, social & emotional impact upon our households, communities & nations.

Name that Emotion!

Last week in our time together we traveled to our ideal retreat destination for rejuvenation & renewal in Brave New World.

As a professional therapist, I recognize my behavior in chasing squirrels. Which signals a need to return to the retreat & process the reasons why I’m subconsciously seeking these distractions.

I need to ask myself the following…

  • Exactly what am I feeling at the moment? Name the emotion/s.
  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What is causing these emotions?
  • Is it solely this CoVid19 situation & all of its ramifications or are there other issues at play as well?

Helpful strategies…

  • Prayer
  • Journaling our emotions out in words or art
  • Chatting with a friend or counselor
  • Going for a lovely walk to think
  • Requesting others to pray with/for us.
  • Behavioral modification

Once we recognize the emotion/s & the cause, we can address them instead of chasing after distracting but interesting little squirrels.

20190714_133517

What did I do?

I had a good ol’ chat with my Heavenly Father & wrote my thoughts & feelings out in a journal with a hot cuppa beside me. Then I went for a lovely walk with Him along the waterfront remembering that…

“Casting the whole of [our] cares on Him for He cares for [us] with great affection.”

1 Peter 5:7

Through these strategies I came to realize that I had allowed myself to look at the waves of the Overwhelm again (yes, I’m a work in progress!), in trying to deal with a few things in life including the CoVid19 experience & legacy.

How are you processing your emotions my friend? Are you subconsciously chasing interesting but distracting little squirrels while those deeper emotions are simmering in the background? Maybe it’s time to face them head on…

Until next time,

Jennifer

 

 

You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook

 

 


Β© 2020, Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog, All Rights Reserved. Photo on Pexels.com & by Jennifer.Β 

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24 thoughts on “Chasing Squirrels

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  1. This is a beautiful post and a great reminder to take care of our emotional health Jennifer. I’ve had the same experience with audiobooks more than once. I subscribed to Audible so I can listen to books while I’m cleaning, cooking, or doing my watercolors, but I often find I can’t remember anything I heard afterward. I read a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf about brain health. In it, she talked about the concept of multi-tasking. I wish I could remember exactly what she said, but it was something along the lines that true multi-tasking isn’t possible. If you’re trying to do more than one thing at a time, one of those things is going to suffer. Take care of yourself and stay well sweet friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Terri for your encouraging words! πŸ˜€
      Yes, Dr Caroline Leaf’s work is so inspiring & very informative! I really appreciate her research & professional experience in her field πŸ˜€
      Have a lovely weekend & stay safe sweet friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I am afraid I have been chasing squirrels. The past two weeks have been emotionally draining with what is going on in our country in addition to the virus. I have wept so many times, may God give peace and heal our broken hearts. Thank you Jennifer, you are always an encouragement. β™₯️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, those squirrels! They run around my mind, sometimes at 2:00 a.m., and I can’t get them to stop. The pandemic has only made them feel more welcome to start scurrying at the drop of a hat. Thank you for the strategies you listed to make them go away. I will put them to good use.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My daughter, who works with adult ADHD clients, says that multi-tasking is a myth. No one can do it even though we expect it of ourselves. You are wise to catch yourself at it and intervene with silence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point Elizabeth, your right there are various findings on both sides of the debate as to whether we can or can’t multitask.
      Recent research on multitasking at Stanford University showed a decrease in brain power & potential damage to the brain while performing multiple tasks! Ahhh!
      So, in conclusion doing one thing at a time is a good thing!
      Although as women, especially as Mama’s, we try to juggle far too many tasks at once! Don’t we! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve tried to make a conscious decision to NOT also check Twitter while talking to my husband. πŸ™‚ I can’t give both equal attention, and well, one is definitely more important than the other. I used to believe in multi-tasking but now I see that unless it’s a very humdrum thing, I can only do one thing best at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, those little squirrels can be so very enticing Lisa… Can’t they!
      But our relationships are so very precious & really deserve our undivided attention, as you mentioned. Lovely having you drop by today πŸ˜€

      Like

  6. Jennifer, hi! And thank you for this encouragement to name our emotions, define what’s impacting us, and then make healthy choices to deal with what is most true.

    We find the healing and peace we’re longing for in Jesus. He’s the One who keeps us from all those little things that pull us away and distract.

    Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a lovely post, Jennifer! I felt like I was sitting there with you sipping my own cup of tea. I do some of the same things you do like prayer, journaling, walking outside….. I also love to sit on my porch and relax or paint or draw, etc. It really does help to talk to God and give Him our worries and cares. They may not all go away, but He sure gives peace and strength to carry us through. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #TellHisStory.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sad to say, I have had a few squirrels myself. This is a wonderful post and the strategies are probably need by more of us than we realize. Thank you for reminding me to cast all my cares on Him for He truly cares for me. Lovely post! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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