I would be lying if I told you that I am going through the most productive time of my life. It would be dishonest of me to make you believe that I am currently in a giddy, motivated, and optimistic state of mind. Do not get me wrong though, as I’ve experienced all of these mental states many times throughout my life. However, these days have been pressing for less.

Post-graduation, unemployment, and isolation have taken a toll on me. Reconnecting with the highly productive side of myself has been a constant struggle. I don’t workout nearly as often as I used to, I barely read any books, and -of course- I have stop researching with the devotion that characterized me. What have I been doing instead, you ask? Instagram, News App, and virtual toxic debates.

Laying out my current dynamic makes quite obvious the reasons why I lack motivation and optimism. Few of the things you experience on social media are genuine, toxic debates are draining and pointless, and news are just… Well, news. It’s okay to tamper with these outlets, but they can quickly backfire if there is a lack of caution. Although my brain craves discipline and rich stimulants, I still embrace all of the distractions.

Getting a brain back on track is as much of a challenge as putting a pair of old sweat pants back on; you know you should, but you kind of don’t want to. Steps have been taken to break bad habits, yet steps have been skipped in the process. Most of my nights are spent scrolling through a social media feed, reading THAT news report, or texting/ranting to my political science cousin -whom opinion I respect the most. Therefore, I am not shy to confess that I have withdrawals, and I give in too quickly.

There was once a time of my life where trail-running was my source of energy and discipline. I was very strong willed and running was a representation of that. Today, scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon a quote by german philosopher, Frederick Nietzsche, that read: “He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.” After processing the quote, I recalled those running years. Looking back at the mountain where we had trained always made our 7-hour-long training sessions rewarding. “We are invincible,” I said. “We do not give up easily,” she said.

I guess I should start running again.

Gaia Co-writer theDIHEDRAL

15 Replies to “Hypnotic”

  1. I can fully understand you, and I can tell you that I also had my downs during the forced lockdown period.

    Having said that, I forced myself to go out and train (and trail running is 3-4 times a week) and also climb (whenever there is an available partner).

    Don’t give up! Go out for a good trail run and/or any other activity that provides you pleasure and fulfilment and I can almost guarantee you that will feel very productive soon again.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Running is good. Pretty soon (in my experience) everything else is far far away. The Tang Dynasty poet, Tu Fu, said something like Nietzsche did — “From the summit, all the mountains seem small.” Those words have gotten me through a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The news cycle and all of those things you mention do something to the brain – and not good. There’s a negative addictive quality to it and it sucks out focus and drive – not to mention makes me feel way more depressed. I’ve been suffering from this very thing you describe too and the only remedy I’ve found is to shut it down – to take breaks – such as allowing one day a week to read the news and post on social media (well, I have to post more, but only for my businesses, personal I stay off). Since I’ve started doing this “news diet” I feel way better and productivity has increased. Plus when I get out climbing or hiking, I’m thinking less about the stuff I’ve seen and read, making that time far more healing.

    I used to tell myself it was my social responsibility to do those things you talk about in your post. Cutting back on news doesn’t shirk that responsibility – I’m still aware of what’s going on. The real responsibility is taking action to make the changes I want to see.

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  4. I can relate, it is difficult to get things done without a routine and motivation. I’m not an expert but…if you liked trail-running before, you’ll probably find it helpful also now – being outdoors and exercising will (probably) make you feel better and will give you a good reason to put your phone down.

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  5. Toxic debates online. That’s when you know you’ve hit a mental low point. I had a breakdown in the second year of university and that’s when the arguing and negative attention seeking on Facebook began. I managed to graduate and I’m in a much better place now. Funny how your habits betray something about your mental state. At the time I thought nothing of it, but on reflection, the signs were there…

    Liked by 2 people

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