There is a lot of push and pull associated with life – it’s like a daily tug of war. The push can come from outside sources, such as deadlines at work, or people, like family obligations. These are things that we can’t really control, but we can always control how we react to them and try to plan for them.
Now, the pull – well, that can be tricky. The “pull” come from those things we feel a need for. One of the biggest needs these days is instant communication. How many of you, when you open your eyes in the morning after the alarm has gone off, immediately reach for your smart phone to check your Facebook or Twitter account? How many times during lunch, dinner, or out with friends do you do a quick check of your IM?
Guilty. I do all of that, and more.
It’s this kind of pull that can make you miss the little, and very important, moments in life. Feeling tied to your online lifeline can become a heavy burden, one that’s not easily recognizable but very much felt.
Take one weekend a month (more if you’d like) and power down. By that, I mean keep your smart phone handy, but only take or make calls. Switch your alerts to vibrate or silent and make a conscious effort to spend time “in the now” with friends, family, your pets, nature, or yourself. As you lie in bed on Sunday night after a weekend of limited online chatter, check in with yourself and count how many special moments you had over the weekend. Then calculate your stress level on a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest. If your special moments add up to higher than your stress level, job well done.
Now, the next tip kind of goes together with powering down. You may find that, while disconnected from your digital obligations, you’re feeling more energetic, restless. You may feel like exercising – for the first time in a long time, or more than usual. If this is the case, you may want to warm up first. Studies have shown that a nice warm-up prior to exercising can help to decrease injury.
Now, warming up is different that stretching. While stretching is pushing a muscle beyond its normal range, warming up is getting your entire body in motion, getting the blood circulating and getting your muscles moving.
One GREAT way to get warmed up is to jump rope. If you haven’t done this since you were a kid, no worries – it’s much like riding a bike. Check out our Health Library on how to get started and some helpful hints on how to get the right rope for you.
Let us know if you put these tips into action, and how they work for you!