Timing the Breaks


[Another] Restored Post from March 19, 2011

So, yes, it might take me some time to get used to this medium, and the whole “Real-Me-Going-Public” thing. I’ll get there. It’s like when I started shooting my documentary film about overcoming the trials and tribulations of mental illness. I had to get used to the camera in my face and get used to opening up more and more, with honesty and the whole raw deal. As I said, I’ll get there…

The psychologist’s appointment was actually something I wasn’t looking forward to, mainly because I feared it would take me away from my work, and that I had been doing so well, that even an hour of my time doing artistic projects so that I could better myself and my surroundings—you know how, sometimes, it’s like, “Enough is enough with all this ‘health stuff’.” But the meeting was fantastic!

With so many smaller “issues” going on, whether it was sleep disturbances, occasional irritability, or just general frustrations—especially with all my projects and computer programming and electronic glitches ever-present… Well, pretty much straight away, with the help of my psychologist, I came to realize that I simply wasn’t taking free time, vacations, or just plain breaks!

I had been working my ass off, full-time, and never just taking it slow, and letting go when I needed to.

So, in the matter of minutes, we came up with an experiment of sorts, which might or might not help me focus on what I need to and let go of what I need to, and just use the Power of Slow, in order to take the time that I need, not want… need!

Immediately following the doctor’s appointment, I picked up an old-fashioned wind-up timer, and since last night, when I was on full on break, wallowing in the whole excitement of this new idea, I started this morning, to wind the timer up to 60 minutes and so to work during that time. Then when she chimed, without hesitation, I left my office and back home, and took my break, listened to music and had a smoke… relaxed and breathed.

I had gotten frustrated with some computer issues, so it was perfect timing I could and did take my first scheduled break.

Now, I have timed out this blog post writing session for a simple 20 minutes, and it looks like I am going to beat the clock! Then I will do a minimum break of 10 minutes, and in doing so, to think of it as an “investment,” for when I do get back to work.

I absolutely love this idea… this experiment… this true gift.

Soon, I hope, this will turn into pure routine, and I am now looking forward to next week’s meeting with this particular doctor to explain the results of the week-gone-by.

As long as I don’t take breaks so much (I mean, a full day, even a full week of ‘my time’ is actually “better,” but…) as long as I don’t fall into a depression—where I stop bathing, and things—I think that’s unlikely to happen, but I’ll look out for it. Might be harder to fix if this were to become the case, than to fix the issue of taking the scheduled breaks. Studies show that, I believe, a 10-minute break out of every hour is most beneficial. At half-time during a basketball game, the players are required to take a break, to rest, even though the coaches need to discuss strategy, etc. …I just love this idea! Excited about actually doing it. And I am doing it!

When the apathy or normal depression comes—since I do still, of course have the bi-polar element to the schizoaffective going on… it’s kind of inevitable—I’ll deal with it when it comes, just “letting it happen…” I can and should just let it go! And it’s so new for me to know it’s not just OK to do so, but that it is actually better and healthier…As the doc, basically said, “Optimal!”

I started posting my new audio blog. Not totally happy with the first session, but I’ll, again, have to just get used to the new medium.

I’ll check in with you all later on… I have my favorite playlist blasting on the iPod, and one of my caregivers comes in a few hours, so I am looking forward to that…

I’ve got to get in the shower now, and dress, etc. Making it good, again, and again…

Jonathan Harnisch

About Jonathan Harnisch

Author | Mental Health Advocate | Schizophrenia | Artist | Blogger | Podcast Host | Patent Holder | Hedge Fund Manager | Film & TV Producer | Musician
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