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MamaBearTeacher

What to think about?

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The way my life is right now I have periods of time where I can't do any,thing ie. turn on lights to read (and sometimes my eyes are too tired anyway), or use devices or walk around and do things, or do crafts etc.  These are times when I am basically alone with my own thoughts, often in the dark.  

 

I am finding that sometimes I am having negative thoughts where I dwell on negative things I cannot change.  I sometimes visualize things I have to do the next day and this is positive but I can only do this so much.  I have tried to go through multiplication tables, especially the higher numbers that I don't know well but I find this boring and give up.

 

Any other ideas?  What can I do to occupy my mind?  Anyone else try to occupy your mind like this?  What do you do?

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I have an ongoing fantasy story I like to escape to if I find myself ruminating. I believe its first iteration began a good twenty years ago. I change things up every now and then and take it a different direction.

 

Other options might be:

 

Imagine designing a garden, or a house, or anything that strikes your fancy.

 

Pull up positive memories from the past.

 

Make up poems.

 

Count your blessings. Get silly with this if it helps.

 

:grouphug:

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When I can't sleep, but don't want to get up and walk on the creaky boards of the floor that are guaranteed to wake the entire household, I play a word game. Something like “I went to my grandmother's attic and found...†where you list items alphabetically, one by one, and try to recall the whole list. Or take the name of a country or state and see how many words can be made from just those letters. Sounds silly, but it works for me!

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I know you don’t always feel like reading or are too tired, but I read my kindle in the dark when dh is sleeping and I don’t want to wake him up.

 

This has helped me immensely when I can’t sleep.

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I have an ongoing fantasy story I like to escape to if I find myself ruminating. I believe its first iteration began a good twenty years ago. I change things up every now and then and take it a different direction.

 

Other options might be:

 

Imagine designing a garden, or a house, or anything that strikes your fancy.

 

Pull up positive memories from the past.

 

Make up poems.

 

Count your blessings. Get silly with this if it helps.

 

:grouphug:

 

This is similar to what I do.  I write stories in my head.  

 

Maybe one day I'll write them down.  Or, maybe not.

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I don't know if you are a Christian, but I recite scripture I've memorized. Forcing myself to say the words over in my mind has gotten me through many a trying time. I also sing songs in my head to drown out other thoughts.

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I watch movies in my head....old favorites. Marx Brothers, Star Wars - anything I have memorized. Or I take a mental trip somewhere (beach, Disneyland, Yosemite) and visualize details. Or jump into a decades-old sci-fi/fantasy I am writing in my head (imagine if Rowling had kept H. Potter as her own private fantasy instead of writing it out and sharing it)...

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How about getting yourself a pair of good headphones and some audio books or some classical music? There are 24 hour classical music stations which stream their programming for free online. I have the same predicament as you. I listen to those online classical music stations most of the time that I cannot sleep.

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I am trying to think about a story because that will get me hooked the longest. I am struggling. The only stories I seem to think about have starting points in reality and are not taking me away from my life. I used to have a big imagination as a child. I remember trying to make puppet shows for my kids when they were babies and they weren't very good and then watching them play with their Little People but not being very good at it myself. I have made up a lot of cute and funny stories for them over the years but I never feel confident that the story is going anywhere until it is over and these are short, silly children's stories and they do not capture my imagination.

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Can you use headphones and listen to music or audiobooks?

There are times that I could but there are many times that I can't and it's those times that I am having the problems.

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When I can't sleep, but don't want to get up and walk on the creaky boards of the floor that are guaranteed to wake the entire household, I play a word game. Something like “I went to my grandmother's attic and found...†where you list items alphabetically, one by one, and try to recall the whole list. Or take the name of a country or state and see how many words can be made from just those letters. Sounds silly, but it works for me!

 

I play this game too.

 

Or I count backwards starting with a very large number.  That's not easy, but also boring enough to make me fall asleep.  LOL

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I focus on an unsolvable (in my limited knowledge) problem and potential fixes.  Currently it's how to create better prosthetics/replacement limbs blending what we know about how the body works, stem cells, 3D printing, nerve replacement, and a 'cast' to cover the outside.  I don't have the medical knowledge to make it happen, but by being able to focus on a big problem with several minute details, I can let my mind wander positively.  New limbs for people/animals doesn't directly affect my life.  It isn't a burden that I live with daily, so I don't have an emotional response tied in.  I can simply let my mind go towards fixes.

 

It sounds weird but it works.  And as my mind traces over the same familiar steps and cells, I find peace in it.

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If you can not imagine your own unique stories, then try Forrest Gumping yourself into historical events or movies.

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I imagine we won the lottery and think of all the things I could do with the money. It's total fantasy (we very rarely even buy lottery tickets), but also sort of realistic because it is plans for a potential real life. Using the same scenario every time makes it boring enough to lull me to sleep. If I needed to occupy my mind but stay awake I would use the time to plan the writing of a book.

 

I'm opening a community center first when I "win the lottery." It is going to be incredible, because I've spent hours thinking about every aspect. 😀

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I think about my writing. I'm currently working on a children's book and I think about the characters, what they will do, what they'll say, what the pictures might look like, etc. Some of those moments away from the computer and stuck in my head have been when the best sentences have come out. Then I just keep saying the same sentence over and over until I get it on pen a paper, so I don't forget it. I also say prayers in my head for hours.

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I've tried all of the above and at different times, others, which would not work at my mature age.  (Like imagining a gorgeous guy in a movie is going to fall for me, LOL.) 

 

Not sure this one was mentioned, but one thing that seems to make me feel better is thinking of a real-life problem that I can solve.  Like a math equation or accounting or engineering or even housekeeping issue.  Or getting through an obstacle course.  Or a philosophical issue sometimes.  While it might seem like this would be more stressful, I find that it calms me as I untangle complex things.

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I also play the lotto in my mind. How would I spend/gift/divide a million/10 million/1 billion dollars. Different amounts lend to different plans.

 

I redecorate my house. Or mentally add-on rooms.

 

I plan out what I'd do if: zombie apocalypse, natural disaster, home invasion, spouse dies, etc. (Those sound very morbid, sorry.)

 

Design homes, playgrounds, coffee shops, the perfect library.

 

Play the rhyming game. Pick any word and list as many rhyming words as you can. Go alphabetically, then start adding in multisyllabic words. (DH and I used to play this on long car rides.)

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I mentally rewrite stories and give them the 'correct' ending. Books, movies, tv shows. This is a good one for when you're too tired to be imaginative because you're only altering scenarios that were created by someone else. 

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I mentally rewrite stories and give them the 'correct' ending. Books, movies, tv shows. This is a good one for when you're too tired to be imaginative because you're only altering scenarios that were created by someone else.

Good idea! Or, you could continue them. How many kids did Elizbeth and Darcy have, anyway?

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This is similar to what I do. I write stories in my head.

 

Maybe one day I'll write them down. Or, maybe not.

Me three! I’m a daydreamer and always have been. I play with favorite plots in my head like little paper dolls and it relaxes me, allows me to explore behavior and dialogue, and keeps me entertained.

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Good idea! Or, you could continue them. How many kids did Elizbeth and Darcy have, anyway?

And were they obnoxiously proud, horribly shy or cute teasing and mischievious?

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