– a thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else:
– an activity that diverts the mind from tedious or serious concerns; a recreation or pastime:
Saturday evening, one minute we were talking about the prospect of not being able to see each other before Christmas, the next we were talking about socks…
‘…Yeah, cos after football I got mud on them.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Which part of your sock, the top bit that holds up your shin pads, or the bottom bit?’
‘Okay, and because I want to picture it.’
‘You want to picture my socks?’
Yes I wanted to picture his socks. I wanted to picture his muddy socks and I wanted as much detail about them as he could give me, and then I wanted to talk about the thing people usually talk about with strangers, or when trying to be polite- the weather. I was more than happy to discuss just about anything other than Corona Virus and all that it’s brought with it, all the disruption, delay and devastation. I did not want to continue speaking about that.
It’s something that we sometimes welcome, and many times we see it as the enemy of progress. I have often dealt with it as the enemy, but when thinking about how to address you all in the run up to Christmas and the end of the year, I started to think about distraction in a different way, a positive way.
10 years ago on Christmas Day, I volunteered for a well known children’s organisation, to raise money for the Miscarriage Association after suffering a late miscarriage 5 months into my pregnancy. My counsellor and a few blogs I was reading at the time recommended ‘distraction’ as an aid.
Okay, so here’s the disclaimer… I believe there is an art to it. My counsellor at the time wasn’t talking about distraction in order to block, deny, or refuse the emotional pain of my loss, but it was advised in order to help me shift my focus for the day/ a short period of time, knowing that I was already partaking in something over a longer period of time to help me cope with the loss. I also read that many bereaved Mothers found taking part in an activity which gives back extremely helpful. They say (someone says or it could be bible) that it’s better to give than it is to receive.
So this is my offering to you this Christmas 2020. Think of it as one of those presents that when you first unwrap it you’re a little clueless about why you have been given such a gift, but then after some time it becomes the thing that never leaves your hand bag/man bag.
I do believe that the best way to deal with a problem, or an issue is to face up to it, break it down, bit by bit whichever is most manageable, but I also believe that there are many times in life where distraction is appropriate, and that there are many benefits to taking our mind off our problems for a while. 2020 has been an unprecedented year, and I know that for many… for many it’s been a lot. It’s been a lot to handle.
Psychologist Katherine King says that in moments like these taking a break from emotional pain can be extremely helpful.
In her article ‘The Lost Art of Distraction’ she states: Distracting ourselves from emotional struggle gives our minds and bodies a break. It allows the nervous system to relax and get out of fight-or-flight mode. Once this happens, we will start to be able to think through our problems more clearly and come to better solutions. In fact, sometimes we have our greatest insights at times when we have stepped away from our difficulties. Seemingly out of nowhere, while we are doing something else, we will have the thought that unlocks our struggle and brings peace and resolution.
Katherine goes on to suggest immersive activities as a healthy form of distraction. Immersive activities whilst in Lockdown, or Tier 4? This could be some sort of game, watching a film with a plot that requires you to pay close attention, or something that might require problem solving.
I think I’ll be putting on one of my fav Christmas films over the next few days, that is if ITV2 don’t screen it like they usually do every year lol. It’s the film Love Actually that I’m talking about. I just love the love and it takes me somewhere nice, somewhere much nicer than Tier 4.
I don’t know exactly how the old ‘Rabbit out the hat trick’ works, it’s just magic isn’t it? We allow ourselves to go to the place we are led, and it’s magic. My prayer is that we all find moments of happiness and peace at this time, that we allow ourselves to go there and be there without judgement, after which we can rise again. The link to Katherine’s article is below.
Much love TAORA Productions x
Photo credit: Depositphotos, Kira auf der Heide