It’s been a busy few days. Ok, weeks. Reason? I got a job. And college plans have shifted significantly. Even now, I don’t have a lot of time to post a nice, juicy post, but let me share a few ideas that have been on my mind.
During busy times (which for many of us is always), try to keep these 5 (6) simple things in mind:
1) Always make sure you have access to the healthiest food you can afford (financially and time-wise), even when you’re busy busying yourself. (: As I work at a more up-scale fast food restaurant, I’ve found this to be crucial: I can’t take long breaks, because I’m not paid when on break, and so I usually need something that can be eaten quickly; and because when my blood sugar drops just a wee bit, I’m dizzy and because I need to be able to focus clearly to fill accurate orders, I need something high in saturated fat to help maintain a level blood glucose; because I work six to eight hour shifts, I need protein so I can make it through the shift. Reason enough? Well this was challenging, but I’ve found that I do best with my own variation of Kimi Harris’ nut bars (topped with my own version of her fudge) and Lindsay Edmond’s soaked whole wheat bagels. The bagels pick up my low blood sugar quickly, and Kimi’s nut bars keep it up and keep me going. And both can be eaten fast. (What’s even great is that a lot of variety can be mixed into these options– the bagels can, of course, come in a multiplicity of varieties, and the nut bars can be messed around with too: honey or pure maple syrup? no seeds? all seeds? almonds or cashews? both? walnuts or peanuts? all of the above? cinnamon? all spice? Yes. I shall never be bored with this simple meal.) Goal achieved!
(Why bother trying to eat healthily even in times of stress? I’ll be writing more extensively on this later, but just looking at it from an economic point of view, you earn more time by being healthy. I don’t just mean more time on earth alive; I mean you earn more time being well and less time being sick. Just imagine how much work we could get done and how many fun things we could do if we didn’t spend as much time being sick!)
2) Sleep. And sleep well. And long. Try to be in bed by 10:30 at the latest, as your endocrine (hormone) system cleanses itself between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am. I know it sounds weird that your system has a time that it cleanses, but I can only tell you from my own experience that there’s nothing nearly as refreshing as seven to eight hours of sleep that began before 11 pm.
3) Remember to pray and read the Bible–make a deliberate effort to do so! Our physical health is extremely important, as God is the one who gave our bodies to us, and we should do what we can to take care of them, but even more important than our physical health is our spiritual health. Heck, even our physical health is indicative of what’s going on with us spiritually.
4) Relax. You had a stressful day. Or you have stressful days ahead. Or both. Do what you can to relax after work. Set aside half an hour before bed (oh hey, might that be around 10 o’clock? 🙂 ) and do something that relaxes you: that may be reading, sipping a cup of tea, listening to music, crocheting/knitting/sewing, whatever. But just chill. This effects way more things than we realize, and I hope to get a post up here about it. (N.B.: Do try to avoid illuminated screens at least an hour before bed; it’s been linked to insomnia, and I’ve found by my own experience that this is quite true.)
5.) Try to establish routines. If you’re like me, the word “routine” might as well be in a foreign language. I never, ever stuck to one for more than a week or two. Ever. Until recently. Now I’m easing into them, and I’ll (hopefully) write a little blurb about them in the near future. But for now, know that they really do reduce the stress of trying to get the little, daily things out of the way while trying to take on the stuff that’s not the usual. (Say a doctor’s appointment, a sickness, an unexpected extra two shifts at work…) Whatever it is, having a routine to fall into makes doing tasks faster, less-stressful, and less of a big deal. It’s also honoring to God to have some sort of an order to your life, as God is a God of order– but more on that later.
6) Don’t be discouraged. All of the above won’t happen overnight–take it slowly, and try building on one thing at a time.
(So much for not writing a long post. Oh well. I hope you find this encouraging!)