the processing and unpacking process

reading up on unschooling has given me one extremely important lesson: downtime is of the utmost importance.

one of the books i’m reading explained that for every 2 hours of activity or focused attention the brain needs 1 hour of rest and relaxation to process and unpack all the things it has learned. without downtime your brain will not file things away properly.

this explains so much about my inadequate memory.

i’ve lived much of my life running from one activity to the next. i’ve spent years of my life feeling guilty if i’m not constantly busy. i can now see why this way of life has left me missing out on details and memories stored improperly, if at all.

i’ve denied myself of vital downtime over the years. who can blame me? the rest of society and the world is doing the same thing.

what if i just laid down to stare at the ceiling for an hour after work, a meeting or prenatal session with a client? it would be so nice getting the downtime and feeling off-the-hook about it because it is necessary for my brain to unpack that information.


i’ve been trying to put this more in to practice this week. i’ve instilled a 15 minute downtime rule after we come home from being out on errands or an outing. for the first 15 minutes we just sit quietly and be. i don’t jump into any duties or chores or ANYTHING until i’ve just chilled out for 15 minutes. i can’t even begin to tell you how much this has helped my week.

of course i can’t control darla. she still scampers off but i’ve made it clear that the first 15 minutes at home should be a quiet time where my attention is not available until after the timer goes off.
and that’s where the best part comes in. most of the time she’s taken it upon herself to get into a quiet activity that continues after those 15 min. today she actually sat down beside me and rested for a few minutes, being still, just breathing.

wish me luck in keeping this practice going in our house. i feel the evidence thus far shows that good habits and practices are being learned from the experiment.


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