Running a Marathon

Mmarathonany of us are strongly motivated by the desire to achieve results, complete tasks and succeed. Often we want to get where we are going quickly. Life is too short. Seize the day.

Dealing with moods can be very frustrating. Change may take place slowly. Sometimes you have to put in a fair amount of energy just to hold on to the gains in quality of life and functioning that you have made.

MoodSurfing is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

There is no “quick cure” nor a “miracle diet” that will solve your problems and let you move on to tackle the next project.

Two young people I saw this week reminded me of this phrase from our own youth,”The trouble is you are trying to run a marathon at a sprint pace.”

One of them ( a young man) had a great deal of success using mindfulness meditation practice to deal with anxiety and depression, and decided that since some meditation was good, more would be better.

The other one ( a young woman) has been actively wrestling with the notion that she has a bipolar disorder of some kind.

The young man discovered that doing mindfulness really can’t be hurried (“rapid meditation” is something of an oxymoron – like the notion of “competitive yoga”). When he doubled the dose (going from 30 minutes a day to an hour a day) he actually got less benefit.

The young woman has been constantly alternating between trying to get everything done right now, and disappearing entirely from view (sprinting, and then dropping out of the race…. which is what you will do if you start a marathon at a sprint pace).

Find a pace for your own self care that you can sustain. One that allows you to enjoy the scenery as you go, and doesn’t leave you breathless, or tired, or discouraged.