June 30, 2015

Good Medicine

Internet addiction. Children neglected while mom or dad plays games. The television generation. Effects of comic books on the morals of our youth. Movies promoting low moral standards. Novels corrupting the morals of many promising youth.

Our culture has a real problem with recreation. Not as a business, we are happy to make lots of money selling relaxation and leisure. And if you can figure out a way to make a buck while DOING a leisure activity then even better! Golf as networking, professional sports, e-gaming, monetizing your blog. Goldselling.

Our good Puritan forefathers viewed anything that resembled recreation with deep suspicion. Leisure - after ALL the chores are done should be used productively as well. No dessert until you eat your vegetables.

So trying to relax and watch television, see a movie, play games, interact on the internet all are accompanied by this vague sense of unease and guilt. Because the chores are NEVER all done. There are always things we "should" be doing rather than just sitting and wasting time.

Here's the thing - all those awful leisure activities have another really great and *gasp* useful purpose. Distraction.
But isn't distraction a bad thing? If you are driving or doing brain surgery, certainly. But distraction is also good medicine.
Working with folks who have chronic symptoms like pain and nausea that are not completely controlled with drugs benefit greatly from simple distraction to decrease symptoms. Finding something to engage the mind, whether actively or passively can help immensely. Reading a novel, watching television, playing a video game.

I personally have found video games and movies VERY helpful in distracting from the constant feeling of illness and chronic nausea, and if I can get over feeling vaguely guilty about it all the time it will be even better!
Give it a try the next time you are feeling really awful. Distract yourself and feel better.
Call it your medicine.