When a Mental Vacation Becomes Avoidance

Spring brings with it not only beautiful flowers and budding trees, it often times brings with it an air of tiredness, of not wanting to play and avoidance. Instead of holding on to the energy that early spring brings us, we can get caught in the drama of the impending summer, and many, many people get stopped; they go on a bit of a “mental vacation!”

How do you know if you’ve gone on a mental vacation?

  • There is a sense of lethargy about you – no matter how great life is, life is “hard!”
  • You don’t want to play.
  • Somehow you have bought into the notion that you can’t have what you want.
  • You’ve convinced yourself that you can be happy living in a cave and you stay there.
  • You don’t want to communicate, and you want to stay right where you are in life, in relationships, in your job (or at least you think it would be easier to stay right where you are!)

The only problem with this way of being is that taking a mental vacation isn’t really who you are. A mental vacation as described above is nothing more than a way of hiding from the world and an avoidance of the circumstances around you; it’s a fancy way of saying, “I’m stopped!”

When do you get stopped?

You can get stopped at any time for any reason, but there are two times of year when people are stopped more than any other:

  • Prior to and during the holidays
  • Right now, just about the time when schools are getting ready for the end of the school year and the summer months are just over a month away.

I don’t know for sure why, but if I had to guess, I would say it has to do with this sense of completion, of finishing something and starting new, and even though we are adults, instead of the children we once were, this cyclical sense of completion still has the power to consume us!

How do you get unstopped?

  • Acknowledge how you are feeling – clear it – communicate that you are stopped!
  • Have a plan for doing the things you feel you are missing out on.
  • When the “I’d much rather be outside than at work” feeling over takes you, go for a 15 minute walk… soak up the sun, breathe the fresh air, and then get back to it!
  • Ask for help!
  • Get a sense of humor – Learn to laugh at yourself.
  • Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and wishing you had more time to play with your children, really be with them when you are playing with them!
  • Get out of your head – go back and read your plan… get present to what it is you say you want to achieve!

The point here is that in order to get unstuck you’ve got to get into action. You can’t move forward if you barricade yourself in your mental cave or choose to feel sorry for yourself. You can’t move forward if you choose not to. It is that simple!

Being stopped is not a good/bad, right or wrong conversation. This is simply a conversation that is intended to wake you up to the power you have to be stopped or not. It really is a choice YOU make! Remember: Only you have a say in how your life turns out. So… What do you say?

Clay Nelson
Clay Nelson
Founder/President at Clay Nelson Life Balance
Clay Nelson's background includes science, systems analyst, and business management. After 30 years of corporate leadership, Clay knows the key elements that make a business successful, and for more than two decades, Clay has been providing business executives and their teams, from all industries, executive business and professional coaching, mediation, facilitation, planning, system analyses and seminar leadership. Read More »

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