Another year has come, and another year has gone. It is now 2018, and considering how quickly the years have been passing recently, there is no guarantee that 2020 won’t just creep up on all of us without us even noticing. It is soon the turn of a new decade, and we certainly aren’t getting any younger any time soon, meaning we have to actually start looking after ourselves one of these days. The chances of you hearing that before are pretty high, and everyone is planning on taking better care of their mental and physical state, but the truth is, everyone is planning on doing it “someday”. If you’ve been on this planet for more than a few weeks, you already know that “sometimes” or “tomorrow” never comes, and it just gets added on to the to-do list, much like most other things.
A good starting point
If you actually plan on getting something started and getting yourself on the path to better wellbeing, you have to begin at the very start. You have to start at the point which has been preventing you from getting around to it sooner in the first place. That of course, is procrastination. There are very few people who can successfully overcome procrastination at a moment’s notice, but it is most certainly noticeable when they do. Think of all those times where you were putting off work, procrastinating, waiting for some miracle to occur before you finally started working, or cleaning the kitchen, or going to buy that spare part for the sink. All that time adds up, and some people think it’s actually a much bigger hit to one’s productivity than you would ever expect. Some think of procrastination as “saving time” and having some fun in the meantime, but facts could not be further from the truth.
Whenever you procrastinate you happen to be in this terrible mindset of “I know I need to do something, so I won’t go ahead and indulge in anything fun, but I won’t do any work either”. This ends up in literally nothing getting done, and you sitting on the sofa or in your bed for a few hours, scrolling through Facebook or Twitter rather than doing absolutely anything. You’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not taking part in any of your hobbies, having fun with friends, or watching movies, you are quite literally just sitting through time. Since there is no magical cure-all for procrastination, other than maybe very strict deadlines with big repercussions if you miss them, the change has to come from within. Of course, just trying to convince someone to stop procrastinating is a fool’s errand, but the best thing to do is to realise just how useless it really is, and to slowly adjust your mindset. If you can’t motivate yourself in a way which promises your work getting done faster, and getting done well, then motivate yourself the other way. Think of it from this angle, the faster you get your work done, the sooner you will be able to do anything else you want. No more nagging task at the back of your head making you feel bad about yourself, just some actual free time which you don’t feel guilty about enjoying.
Now that you’ve decided to throw procrastination to the curb and you’re feeling more motivated than ever, let’s actually get started. Physical health and mental health are much more closely linked than most people think, but there are still rather different ways of taking care of each one, just keep in mind that one might very much be a result of the other.
Start a workout or exercise routine
Of course, merely starting an exercise routine is easy, people do it all the time. The hard part comes in when you actually need to stick to it. Nowadays it is easy to get discouraged from keeping to a set schedule of any kind just because we all have so many responsibilities piled on top of us already, work, school, social events, taking care of the house, but despite how hard it is to believe sometimes, it is absolutely possible. Sure you may have to resort to some clever planning and potentially cutting some corners, but that is most definitely better than nothing.
It’s the little things
If your daily routine involves a morning run or jog, rather than only doing it on weekends when you wake up, try waking up a bit earlier before work and maybe try to run to work instead of running around the park. Of course, that is not always feasible, but you can always either run a part of the way there, or entirely substitute it with something similar. For example, bike to work rather than jogging there. There are a few little things here and there which you can most definitely streamline a bit to make your schedule a bit more feasible.
As mentioned previously, mental health is much more connected to your physical health than some may believe, with stress being a silent, but deadly addition to everyday life. Some say that stress is actually the cause of 99% of diseases which people go through in life, and if that doesn’t sound scary, then it’s hard to think of something which does. Very often, it’s about the little things, the little insecurities and the voices nagging you at the back of your head. Whether it’s something as trivial as getting your money’s worth on the best water and gel based moisturizers or something as serious as wondering if you will have enough money to put food on the table after you’ve paid the rent, it all comes back to stress. While meditating would most certainly help, no amount of meditating will allow you to run away from your problems, so sometimes the best way to handle the whole situation and be able to finally rest easy is to take care of the things which have been on your mind for a long while. Start slowly knocking things off that to-do list, and start feeling better about yourself each time you do. Nothing helps as much as some peace of mind and a proper sleep schedule, which if you have not already established, you should look into it as soon as possible. A good sleep can work wonders for your organism, and even sleeping a bit less but at reasonable hours has proven to be rather refreshing for many people.
**This is a collaborative post. For more information please head over to my disclosure page.