In today’s fast paced society time is compressed, work is challenging, and life is stressful.
Waking up each day can sometimes make you feel like you’re at the beginning of an endurance race.
Slamming together your day, chewing and swallowing something, perhaps if you are a parent, managing to get a few extra people organized, and then launching into the morning commute can be filled with challenges.
Some people are actually commuting to work in time frames longer than an hour!
If you do the math, two hours of commuting 200 plus days a year is a minimum of ten days of our your life waiting to get to work and get home!
And the air we are breathing on those crammed freeways, subway tunnels, and bus rides is not FRESH!
Ironically the increasing demand of our time from the technical innovations that were supposed to save us time has become exponential.
We are constantly at the beck and call of our bosses, colleagues, friends, and even acquaintances with e-mails, texts, messages of every kind even the dreaded Emoji is an essential part of our daily conversations!
Eating in general has become a real nutrition experiment.
Mastering the challenge of acquiring, scoffing, and digesting food that is prepared for us in every imaginable way has become a daily competition, and one we are surely losing.
Food is fuel, and the fuel we are putting in our bodies today is often not digestible without serious consequences. The food we are eating today is slowly killing us.
Oh ya, and in order to squeeze more into our days, we are shaving time from sleep.
Sleep is becoming an endangered species of sorts (as we are going to become if we don’t watch out!).
The first thing we do when we have a deadline, or something we need to accomplish is compromise our sleep.
On top of that, even though sleep is THE most important element of daily recovery, we pay limited attention to what we sleep in each night, and how we can make sure the quality of our sleeping space is more than adequate.
See that, I just used the word adequate! That is surely not the word we should be using to describe the quality of our sleep space, or our sleep in general.
Sleep should be stellar!
On top of that, we’ve begun to use drugs and other depressants to nudge us into sleep. So many people today are addicted to sleep drugs, it has become a serious epidemic.
Add that to our new found love of prescription pain medication because we are literally running our bodies on empty, and you get a really nice combination of side effects!
Side effects we don’t even understand the consequences of just yet!
So what do we do you say?
Well here are ten things you can start doing today that will at least make a dent in the spiral and perhaps move us all away from our trajectory towards the endangered species list!
1 — Do a Time and Space Audit
Sit down this week, pick three days in a row, and write down in a journal what you do throughout the day with your time.
What time do you get up, what do you do from the time you get up to the time you are on your commute, what do you do on your commute, what do you do with your day, when do you eat, how often are you on your media devices, etc., etc., etc.
Write it all down. Log it!
Now, what ya gonna do about it!
You’re going to sit down with yourself and have a frank conversation about where you are wasting time, and where you are doing things that aren’t contributing to your energy bank, but rather sucking the life out of it!
Useless TV watching
Video game playing
Social media management
Talking to people you don’t like
Doing work that isn’t fulfilling
List it all and start purging it all!
Create your personal schedule, don’t just accept that your life HAS to be the way it is today, you have the power to re-craft it, and make it your own.
2 — Establish a Moratorium on Your Sleep Deprivation
One of the first things out of the gate that you need to do is determine a relatively consistent sleep schedule. Start to establish a time that you WILL go to bed and a time that you WILL wake up. Try to make the time in between consistent as well, and get it as close to 6–8 hours as possible.
You don’t want to be sleep depraved! Yes, I said depraved.
3 — Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Make sure you have a good mattress, pillow, and sheets, and keep them clean!
Go to bed in the dark (shut down all the technology that lights up the room over night.
Keep your room temperature cool.
Un-plug from digital media at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
Just try the above and you will be surprised how much better you sleep.
4 — Drink More Water Than You Think You Should
Basically, most of us are walking around each day either dehydrated, or close to it. Dehydration is one of the big reason’s we get tired during the day and it’s also a reason we feel hungry. So drinking water frequently throughout the day reduces fatigue and limits binge eating. Carry a bottle with you so you keep filling it up and emptying it into your tummy regularly!
5 — Take a Break Every Day for at Least 15 Minutes and Do Nothing
Well, you don’t need to do nothing, but the something you do should be refreshing. You can nap, go for a walk, journal, meditate, sit in silence, or read a good book. But don’t go to your social media, don’t answer e-mails, and don’t spend time watching your favourite TV show. Just take some time for you to be disconnected from the wild world out there, and all the stuff that permeates our existence these days.
6 — Have a Good Conversation
The idea of just sitting face to face with someone and talking about a wonderful topic of interest today is dying. We’re sliding very slowly into the abyss of digital media, and we are losing the art of talking and listening, and learning about all the interesting things on this planet we call mother earth.
Rule of thumb: ask good questions, listen to the answers, and enjoy the time shared with someone else.
7 — Eat More Real Food
Try to eat at least 5–6 meals a week that you actually make from scratch, or someone you know prepares from scratch. Use fresh ingredients, real food, not processed food. We are slowly losing this talent, slowly becoming completely disconnected from what we are putting in our mouths.
And we’re getting really, really fat because of it! Or really sick inside.
8 — Take Time When You Eat
To add to the above, when you eat, eat slowly, taste the food, enjoy the food, and connect with what you are eating. Stop scoffing the food down so you can get to the next thing on the agenda, or eating the food while you do five other things, or eat while you are standing, worse, walking!
Sit down, take your time, and just enjoy the meal! You will be surprised how much more you enjoy it, and how much less you actually eat.
Maybe combine it with #6 and you’ve got an amazing connection point in your day.
9 — Do Some Kind of Exercise
You don’t have to go to the gym. You don’t have to win a competition. You don’t have to beat yourself into the ground. Just start moving, please!
Exercise invigorates you, improves the quality of your daily life, reduces stress, and prevents sickness, so how can we ignore all that and not do something, anything!
Going for a walk is enough (a brisk walk for 20 minutes is good enough). Play a recreational sport. Do a yoga video, or a workout video at home. It doesn’t matter, just get out and do something physical every day.
10 — Count Your Wins
At the end of every day, take the time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished, and no matter how small, celebrate the wins.
Counting your wins re-sets your state of mind, sees you complete your day with positive alignment.
Positive alignment at days end allows you to sleep better, and sees you rise with a greater sense of happiness the next day.
Try to make a change today in your life, maybe pick one of the ideas I talked about above and implement it, but start slowly incrementally shifting your life and you will slowly help the human race back away from the ledge of extinction!
1- Space/Time audit
2- Moratorium on sleep deprivation
3- Practice good sleep hygiene
4- Drink more water
5- Take a break from life each day
6- Have a good conversation
7- Eat more real food
8- Take your time eating
9- Do some kind of exercise
10-Count your wins every night