It took me way longer than I’d like to admit to find a routine of connecting with friends, sleeping, eating, and exercising that worked with my lifestyle. I went through a lot of days trying to stay awake, often turning to something sugary to help me keep my eyes open. Then when I got home from work I usually felt too tired or out of sorts to workout or make plans with friends.
Jerry Seinfeld has a bit about ‘Night Guy’ and ‘Morning Guy’. Night Guy loves to stay up late, watching tv and goofing off. Morning Guy has to deal with all the consequences. Morning Guy hates Night Guy. I can totally relate.
The routine that works for me involves going to bed by 10 pm, jogging or going to the gym in the evenings, and doing food preparation for the week on Sunday or Monday. I schedule time to chat or get together with friends fairly regularly. The difference these habits make in how I feel during my day is huge.
Here are some research findings about each of these areas:
1) Social Supports- Keeping in touch with close friends has been shown to have numerous health benefits such as boosting immune systems and speeding recovery from illness.
2) Sleep- Benefits of a good night sleep include feeling more alert and energetic, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing inflammation. Missing out on some sleep here and there isn’t a big problem, but if there is something that you can do to change your schedule and allow yourself more sleep definitely go for it.
3) Food- Eating a healthy, balanced diet has been shown to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
4) Exercise- Moving your body in a way that you enjoy can improve your mood, boost your energy, and help you get a good night’s sleep.
This week pick one of these four categories to focus on. Try implementing a small, doable change like getting in bed 15 minutes earlier or emailing a pal. See if it doesn’t make your week a little bit better.