2 min read

An Escape Room Sorta Life

After a few months of running around non-stop, I ended up hitting a wall.

My life has always been a cycle of endless churning, only to be interrupted by faceplanting on my bed once burn-out pulls the rug off my feet.

A shiny new project catches my eye. I'm extremely motivated. And no, it's not just a flavor-of-the-week thing. I'd build up a solid routine that would last for months, heck, even a year.

I'm always on the hunt for a mentally stimulating activity to feel fulfilled. Racing against the clock, cramming as many tasks that can fit even 30-second breaks, on a wild goose chase to check off as many items on my list. An escape room sort of life, except I only have myself in my team.

But once in a while, a huge life event comes crashing down, wiping out all the efforts I've made, and I'm back to square one. It's like one of those adrenalin-pumped gaming sessions where you're on the 20th wave of enemies, your controller's just survived a flurry of taps, and then – your console freezes up and you realize your last save was over 3 hours ago. Those moments that pull you back into the real world are suddenly, naggingly, quiet.

All the hobbies I've taken up have seen their lifetimes rapidly shorten. They'd wither out on a trimestrial basis. And when they do, they'd have a difficult time surviving the brunt of deadlines and unplanned life events.

Maybe learning to let go is key.

I'm still learning how to truly relax, since all my life, my idea of relaxing has always been a certain form of brainstorming. Catching up with friends, shopping, and watching movies all have that *time hog* ring to it. Yet are valid ways for me to switch off my dopamine-addled brain for a few hours.

So I tried to look for ways to solve this challenge of "just rolling with the punches".

This weekend, I made a list of things I can do to practice mindfulness:

  • Wake up early and do self-care things before the workday starts, such as fixing up a proper breakfast and doing morning stretches.
  • Unload my thoughts through daily journaling, as a form of "cache refresh". Declutter my thoughts, instead of polluting my headspace.
  • Create more and consume less. Not bog down my mental airways with content that does not directly contribute to my current projects.
  • Take a few minutes each day to shut off the external world. No passive activity, such as listening to music in the background, no reading. Just peace and quiet..
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