I recently listened to a radio program that addressed the value of being “in thought.” In this day and age of smart phones, tablets, and DVR’s, taking time to think has become difficult to do. In many ways such technologies have enhanced the way we live; however, one of the consequences is that Americans are distracted by the plethora of information available to them any time, day, or night. Many of us rely on television and the internet to decompress from a busy or stressful day, allowing for time to unwind and “switch off the brain”. Although we all benefit from indulging in personal time, it is best balanced with quiet time that allows us to think, reflect, and plan. Such critical thinking is important to making good decisions on topics both big and small, which ultimately leads to an improved quality of life.
This thought provoking program got me thinking of the many caregivers we work with at Seabury Resources for Aging. Many of them are spouses, partners, or adult children who lead busy lives with multiple competing demands. Oftentimes, they relax by watching TV or surfing the internet, sometimes lost for hours at a time, relishing their time of doing “nothing”. This often leads to reduced sleep time and lack of exercise, and allows for little time to effectively consider important matters in their lives and respond in a thoughtful manner.
I’ve heard caregivers say, “I just wish I had time to think.” Scheduling time for thought is possible and important. Consider the time wasted on distractions and place the priority on using that time to think. Remember that time spent in thought is time well spent. The alternative to doing so results in reacting to situations with little time for critical thinking on the matter, thus leading to inefficiencies, unhappiness and stress. Critical thinking is one way of taking care of yourself and those you care for. Once you have finished reading this, turn off your computer, tablet or smart phone and enjoy some time alone in thought.
Christine Bitzer is the Assistant Director of Seabury Resources for Aging’s Care Management program. Care managers work with older adults on an individual basis to advise them on a variety of issues and services; such as home care, transportation, medical/legal assistance and housing. Families are put at ease having a knowledgeable guide to provide recommendations and resources to meet their unique needs. This expertise can save families money and reduce stress and time away from work. Christine can be reached at (202) 364-9663 or via email her at email@example.com
Featured Image: Flickr @Spyros P.