Medicating with the Mundane

Quote of the Week

“You can not gain peace by avoiding life.”
– Virginia Woolf

Medicating with the Mundane

by Steve Straus

Alcohol. Food. TV. Sex. Drugs. Victimhood. Work. Hobbies.

These, and plenty of other items on the Big List, are ways people avoid unpleasant things. Nobody likes to be in pain, or even to imagine being in pain.

So we medicate. We medicate when we use any substance or behavior to avoid something unpleasant. By medicating we cover up or mask pain.

A surprisingly common, and subtle, way people medicate is to busy themselves with mundane activities. It’s so subtle that most don’t recognize it as a form of medication like that Big List above.

“Ugh. I’ve really got to call that unfriendly client and tell him we’re not going to deliver as promised. But I think I better get my expense reports caught up before I tackle that big call, because no telling how long it’s going to take and Accounting has been at me to get the reports in.”

When you find yourself busy on the mundane, ask “what am I avoiding?” Only through awareness can you discover solutions to your pains.

Copyright 2008 Steve Straus. All rights reserved. Steve Straus can be contacted at

Coaching Call to Action

What triggers can you put in place to catch yourself doing mundane things?