I’ve been making a point to take better care of myself recently. This includes cutting out caffeine, being consistent with exercise in the morning, and completely unplugging from work stuff in the evenings. It’s definitely helped a lot with my mood, and I think I can handle more stressful situations without it sticking around for too long like an unwelcome gremlin in my head.
One of the changes I made was around caffeine. I love coffee ☕️. I do. However, I found that the caffeine messes up my sleep schedule. Even worse, when I happened to be stressed out, it would amplify whatever anxiety I was feeling. I ended up cutting out coffee and replacing it with a placebo hot water or tea. Coffee was a habit I picked up when I started working. It was a social thing, really. It wasn’t too difficult to quit, the caffeine headache lasted for about a day or so, but I found that I still enjoy the ritual of drinking something hot right at the start of my day.
As a person who works from home and has a zero commute time, there’s basically no excuse for me not to exercise. To cement this point in my head, I also purchased a treadmill, so in the off chance that it does rain or is too cold, I still need to move my butt.
My normal workout of choice is a 3 mile jog. I say jog because I run like a sloth, but even if I’m terrible at it, I find that it helps clear my mind. You might say that it’s almost a meditative experience. For me, it requires a constant re-focusing of being in the now. If I let myself daydream while running, I will trip on something embarrassing like a tiny crack in the pavement.
I can, and have trained for longer races. I tricked myself into jogging a half-marathon twice (on my birthdays no less) but those sort of distances tend to show the grosser side of running. The black toenails, fluids everywhere, and other general carnage that your body tries to tell you about. Three miles though is a nice reasonable distance you can force yourself to do, without getting too disgusting. If you’re someone who never gets runner’s high, it’ll still feel great when you stop.
Provided that there aren’t any real 🔥 🔥 🔥s at work I really do recommend unplugging at the end of the day. Some of my favorite ways to unwind are watching terrible tv shows before my SO comes back, catching up on the video game backlog, or having a nice dinner in the city. While I already had a do-not-disturb mode set on my phone, it really helped to make sure I had some solid hours of not-work time before bed.
Of course, this isn’t to say that I don’t have any vices left. You can’t take away my wine 🍷.