Life is like a series of roller coasters with its fair share of ups and downs. For some, this can be an exciting game of chance, for others like me, it can leave you sick and dizzy. There are times when I reach a low and only by my actions and self-talk am I able to pull myself out of whatever hold life has on my attitude and thoughts. If I’m in a lethargic state of mind, there are three things I make sure I do to refocus and find the energy to be the great guy everyone knows I am.
- Stretch / Yoga
Whether it is a full 30 min routine or just a couple of 3-minute stretches, I incorporate this because it makes my body and mind feel loose. According to a medically reviewed article entitled, Stretching: “9 Benefits, Plus Safety Tips and How to Start”, stretching can lead to stress relief, a clearer mind, and reduced backaches and pain. I can understand this because after playing football and skateboarding for almost all my life, my body and more specifically my spine has taken a lot of damage, but after I stretch my body feels awake and my pains are gone. I do not try to push myself too, it is important to try and reach what you feel to be your body‘s limit and then breathe your way past it. The pain that is inevitable when stretching can be seen as an exercise for your mental toughness to breathe and withstand, and just like that of any stress training, you must embrace the “burn” when you stretch.
2. Get creative
This may be the most important thing that helps me change my mental state of well-being because expressing myself through anything allows me to put whatever I am feeling into the creation and release it from myself. Hobbies like drawing, cooking, or skateboarding give me free space to be creative in my actions and the best part is that it gets me away from my phone. It is good to offset the constant barrage of other people’s thoughts of social media that can sometimes get overwhelming. In a book called “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert that explores the ideas of creative living, it defines creative living as, “Living a life with the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you”. I agree with her in the idea that everyone has creativity stored inside of them and that it serves a purpose in individual fulfillment. To remind myself of this daily is important towards my motivation and constant drive.
3. Get some Sleep!
Whether it is a nap in the middle of the day or just going to bed early, integrating sleep can be very beneficial to how you process thoughts and the energy you have through the day. Not only does sleep help in mood and a sharper brain, but it also ensures that your immune system stays strong. Everyone has to sleep to have energy, it is a fact of the human body, but when this sleep occurs and how long plays a big factor in how I set up the rest of my days. If I get the opportunity to go to bed early like at 9 pm then I know that I will be ready and well-rested by the time 7 am comes around and I have to go to class, workout and do homework through the day.
Lack of sleep changes the way your immune cells work and may cause your cells to not attack as quickly, making you more prone to getting sick. I have been around my nieces long enough to know that telling someone sleep is good for them is easier said than done. I remember for the longest time, I would try to go to bed early but would end up just tossing and turning for hours until I was tired. The one change I made to help me– make sure 30 minutes before I plan on sleeping, I stop all interaction with my digital devices–made sleep a lot easier.
According to a host of medical journals and academic papers found by raconteur.net, blue wavelengths given off by cellphones and computers can be beneficial during the day as they boost alertness, but at night they alter the internal body clock. Blue light suppresses the release of melatonin, a natural substance the brain secretes to control the wake-sleep cycle, disrupting the Circadian Rhythm — a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Everyone is different, and that is why I encourage you to find more things tailored to you individually that will help you refocus. For me, I have found that these things give me energy and motivation to keep living a life I am proud of, even though I can be difficult sometimes.