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Old 30-03-2017, 11:08 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2008
Occupying yourself on an evening

I'm just wondering what people's favourite ways of distracting themselves/occupying themselves/engaging in 'meaningful activity' on an evening are?

I tend to find my thoughts getting particularly cyclical and troublesome in the evenings/nights and as that's a time when it's harder to get up and go out, either for safety or other reasons, I'm finding it tricky to best engage myself in good stuff. (Also I can't 'sentence' properly today, sorry).

I find activities that are very mentally or physically demanding (in the sense of requiring a lot of concentration or with a strong sensation) the most helpful, but I'm stuck for ideas.

I'm interested in all ideas, though, and what people might find helpful during the day, too.

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Old 30-03-2017, 11:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2010

Hey lovely. I hope this thread is useful for you and people come up with some good ideas. I'm definitely interested in seeing the replies as well, as I struggle most in the evenings as well. I think this might be helpful for a lot of us!

I find it helpful to stick on the TV or a radio show or something and do some crafts at the same time. I find it gives me the right mix of relaxing / having something to focus on. My favourites are cross stitch and jewellery making but it could be anything. I guess if you have free time in the evenings it's a good opportunity to try out things that maybe you've wanted to have a go at but haven't got around to. I've been finding writing quite helpful and I'm doing an art journal - my art is terrible but it is really quite helpful and absorbing. You could try learning a language or picking a topic to research, maybe signing up for an easy online course.

Some gentle exercise afew hours before bedtime (but not closer than that) can be good.

I find crosswords and other puzzles quite good for staying distracted. I like getting a Take A Break because they're not too challenging but still gives me enough to focus on, and I might win something in the competitions (though I never have!) :P

When it gets closer to bedtime, I have found it really helpful to actually do the sleep hygiene stuff although I am not very good at sticking to it, and I've been shocking lately! But I find it does make a difference to turn off screens, and maybe read - depends on concentration level but this can be anything from any kind of book / an easy novel / short stories / a magazine. I don't know if you like baths but maybe a bath or shower using nice shower gel then use a nice body lotion or whatever, can be good as mindfulness. When I go to bed I find it helpful to do a guided relaxation exercise, it is easier for me to focus on and makes it easier to stop my thoughts going off on unhelpful tangents!

I hope you find something that helps xx

"I know you're sad, so I won't tell you to have a good day. Instead, I advise you to simply have a day.
Stay alive, feed yourself well, wear comfortable clothes, and don't give up on yourself just yet.
It'll get better. Until then, have a day."

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Old 31-03-2017, 12:15 AM   #3
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In the past I have done evening classes. I can't recommend it enough. It did so much for me. I chose to learn creative writing, but there are many other things out there. It was terrifying, but it gave me confidence and I have met people I now consider to be my friends. It gave me some structure and something to look forward to as I started to enjoy it. I now attend writing groups with these people. One of them takes place in the evening which I find helpful because I struggle with mornings due to meds, so evening is when I'm more alert.

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Old 01-04-2017, 12:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for starting this thread, I will be interested in reading what people come up with, because evenings suck for me too, and I often find myself in bed and trying to sleep at 7.30pm just to stay safe and not get too overwhelmed by time and space.

Oddly enough, I can spend all day at home on my own and be fine with it. Evenings though, different story, and for some reason, my day time activities and distractions don't work any more.


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Old 02-04-2017, 08:05 PM   #5
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This is gonna sound weird, but I play a mobile rhythm game called Love Live when I need to calm down. There are enough difficulty settings that no matter how good you get at the game it will always require intense focus to play. It's meditative for me. But if you're not into rhythm games or anime it might not be for you. Thought I'd throw it out there though.
Knitting is also good, the repetition is soothing to me.
Drawing is also great for that, it doesn't matter your skill level or if you think you're not good at it. It's all about practice. If you need a way to focus quite intensely that is always a good option. Grab a photo of a celebrity or your dog and try to draw it freehand.
I hope one of those help!

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Old 02-04-2017, 08:10 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2008

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone -these are really, really amazing ideas so thank you for pooling such a great resource! My brain's still not sentencing excellently but when it does I'll come back and reply properly, and try to add some ideas, even though I think you've nailed it.

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Old 03-04-2017, 10:54 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2015

Definitely keep this thread going! Night times are the hardest for calming the brain I find and it's so easy to get stuck in a loop. I find I'm usually out socialising or doing classes at night time (either yoga or circus) but I burn myself out and end up with quiet nights and a noisy brain.

I think my best night filler is having a glass of red wine and making something elaborate and extra healthy for dinner. Calling someone on the phone or organising social activities for later in the week also helps.

Also, exercising right on dusk seems to give me a really good feeling...something gentle like walking with bursts of running, or cruising around on the bike or skateboard. It seems to work better if I respond to whatever my body seems to feel like rather than setting a goal and pushing hard to reach it.

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