Everyday accommodations I make for my nervous system that have a massive impact: I’ve started taking the longer route.
I’m going to talk literally about driving today, but this applies metaphorically, too.
Illustrative Example: Yesterday I had an errand to run and I had 2 options for the route to take. One option was faster and less distance, but involved an extra highway, a lot more traffic, traffic lights, and consecutive short-distance merging. All of these are things that individually trigger me when I drive, and the accumulation can happen quickly. So I chose the option that added a few miles and minutes, but was much less stressful based on my triggers.
This may seem simplistic, but the drive (no pun intended) for efficiency runs deep in my blood. Do I think part of this is societal conditioning and trauma? Absolutely. But a lot of it is also just the way my brain works; it’s a pattern seeking spiderweb that craves efficiency. And so part of this is reminding myself that even though I may know what’s most efficient in currencies like time and distance, my stress levels are also a valuable currency and have an actual trickle-down effect everywhere.
If taking from one helps me invest in this one, I’m going to opt for that choice when I can. I’m going to opt to invest in my nervous system’s safety and comfort.
Is this always going to be possible?
Of course not.
But this is what trying to prioritize my nervous system looks like in every day situations and so I wanted to share in case anyone else finds this helpful.