I realized how much time I spend scrolling through weird Buzzfeed posts and finding random movies to stream on Netflix…probably not a good use of my time. It also may be turning my eyes square and I usually end up flopping on my bed tired without accomplishing anything that day. This is a pretty simple post, but I honestly think this is necessary to not only help me (truly), but also help ALL of you. Because one, I know all you college kids do not use your time wisely, despite what you may think, and two, well, we could improve our lives a lot more.
This is a healthier life style. I know…ew, healthy? Healthy takes so much work!
Yeah, but healthy feels SO good. Not right now, because you’re thinking too much about it. In the end, however, you’ll release a bucket load of endorphins. And, like Elle Woods says, “Endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill people.”
1. Stop dwelling on the past. Simply said, but SO hard to do. As the master of regret, I know how difficult this can be. When we do something wrong, we’re told to figure out our mistakes and fix it in the future. But how can we do that when we’re not supposed to keep thinking about our mistakes? Well, maybe the answer is think about what you did, but don’t keep thinking about it. I know that every time my mind flashes back to a moment in life where I fucked up that I immediately begin this long string of somberness and moping. Then, when I tell myself to get my shit together, it’s already been two hours. Gone. Wasted.
2. Read the news. I know…only old people read the news. I don’t even read the news unless I force myself to or I’m obliged to. I’d rather watch a fictional cartoon with dancing dragons and unicorns. Those make me release a lot more endorphins, right?
Sometimes, we don’t need to set aside time to do the things that make our lives more intellectual and educational. Read the news on your phone. If you’ve got a smart phone, there are apps where you can just stream news on your front page. Articles aren’t that long. I’m not asking you to read a novel or an academic literature review. Just know what’s going on around you. Read the news while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning. Or listen to the radio while you’re walking to school.
3. Substitute the junk food. I KNOW YOUR CRAVINGS!! Trust me. I’ve been craving for a simple slice of honey wheat toast since May. I know what a craving is. And those red velvet cupcakes are staring you right in the face as you eat that banana, which makes you even sadder.
Don’t think about that! After a while, the cravings will die down. At first, it’s hard, but after a couple months, your new healthy diet just becomes a part of life. Substitute spaghetti for spaghetti squash. Instead of eating that ice cream sundae, go for the low-carb/low-sugar ice cream at the grocery store. Honestly, it all tastes the same. If anything, low-carb tastes better because too much sweetness can get a little old after a while. It’s also a little bit overpowering.
4. Go outside. As a person who is no longer an athlete, I dedicate a lot of my time inside the room. I’m either studying, watching movies, or just reading a book. None of these activities require me to go outside. Yet, people are right when they say that fresh air is good for you. I have no idea why, but it really makes you feel a lot better. Breathe in, breathe out. The air isn’t as stuffy outside of a house.
This summer, I started this new habit where I go on morning walks. Why? Because nobody is out yet, and life is easier to appreciate when you’re alone to collect your thoughts. Of course this requires me to get up around six a.m., but I honestly don’t mind. Weirdly enough, I actually look forward to getting up early because I know a large cup of coffee will be waiting for me to wake me up with a smile on my face.
5. Stand while working. If you don’t want to take those grudgingly weird morning walks, you need to do SOMETHING to at least get close to exercise. If you are always in the office on your laptop or on the phone, STAND! It doesn’t hurt to do the same things you do sitting down while standing up. If anything, you don’t really realize that you’re tired. You burn more calories standing than sitting. If you want to be just a tad bit healthier without spending time exercising, this may be a start.
6. Slow down and do less. Contradictory, huh? But it’s true. The more we think about what we do, the more we appreciate our time. This involves us slowing down. Chew that bagel slower and people watch next to the coffee shop window. Observe how some people carry themselves and try to read them. Are they in a rush? Are they calm? Are they excited? Maybe guess their story while you’re doing that.
It’s a lot of fun. Plus, you really develop some communication and networking skills while you’re at it.