Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pleasant Activities

In my program, we have weekly supervision for our practicum at the clinic. This means we meet for 1 hour of individual supervision and 2 hours per week  for group supervision. Group is a time to talk about cases, get feedback from peers about complications, questions, concerns or frustrations we're encountering as student therapists. This is also a time for us to get some didactic training and learn skills to implement in therapy.
So in my group supervision today, we were assigned a task.
"Pleasant Activities" is a tool we sometimes use in cognitive-behavioral therapy for clients.
Our supervisor thought that:
A. Since practicum applications are due in the next few weeks and we all seemed pretty worthless and exhausted it would be a good idea to get us doing things we enjoy
and B. That it's always helpful as therapists if we partake in the activities ourselves so we know what we're asking our clients to do.
So for this week, we are to come up with a list of 10 pleasant activities, and track the activities we partake in during the say, and a mood score at the end of the day. 0 being horrible to 10 being wonderful..(pretty much).
These activities can be anything we take pleasure in. These can be bigger things that take a fair amount of time, or even small things that take only minutes.
Now, since these are things that I theoretically should be able to accomplish over the next week (while I'm tracking) I left off the impossible such as: sex, going on a date, cuddling, etc since having a long distance relationship makes all of those things unattainable for the next 7 (but actually more like 25) days. I also left off things that I know I will not be able to do in the next week, such as: take a vacation, go bowling, etc.
So after much debate (in my own mind, of course) I have developed my 10 pleasant activities and they are as follows (and in no particular order):

1. "Rocking out" (singing loudly) in my car while driving
2. Baking
3. Cooking
4. What I have deemed as the "Running Aftermath" (since I absolutely LOATHE the feeling before/during/after running, and find ZERO enjoyment in that aspect.... but have found that I tend to have more energy and better days overall on the days I run, I am calling this the "Running Aftermath" and that, I do find pleasant).
5. Pooping 
6. Reading for pleasure (so, nothing school related!)
7. Watching my weekly shows on TV, and not catching up online later (so getting to watch Gossip Girl, Glee, New Girl, etc when they actually air)
8. Dancing
9. Organizing: room/clothes/shelves/etc
10. Planning Vacations

What I have come to realize about my list is that none of them (aside from #7) are sedentary, or without purpose. All the activities I've listed are active, in terms of achieving something, producing something or accomplishing something.
I do not have anything on here that would be deemed as "relaxing" ....although reading could be, but aside from that (and even then, depending on what I'm reading, I'm still learning/absorbing). There is no mention on this list of 'sitting in a park', 'meditating', 'taking a bath', or 'relaxation breathing'.
I'm much too high strung for that I think. Which is ironic, maybe?
When I'm stressed out, it is usually involving feeling pressed for time, rushed, on a budget/limit/time constraint of sorts, so the thought of 'taking a break' to do something relaxing, actually just stresses me out more.
I think I have a need to feel like I'm being productive 24 hours of every day.
Maybe that is why my dreams are always so intense and vivid and I remember them in their entirety. Even when I'm sleeping, my brain feels like it has to be processing information on full speed.
If I am stressed out, I want to have the feeling of being able to complete/produce/accomplish in order to feel worth something. Hence the baking/cooking/organizing/planning items on my list.
Although, I'm not sure which category "rocking out" really falls under. Certainly not "relaxing" or "sedentary".
And for those who caught #5... I deem that as highly productive. Staying regular is a part of the body working, producing and accomplishing ;)

*Edit: So, about a half an hour after I wrote this post, I started to think about the activities I'd listed. I came to the realization that none of my activities involve other people, or being outside of my apartment for that matter (aside from "rocking out")
That kind of make me a little bit sad, I think.

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