We might wake up one day and wonder how we ended up where we are. We might think about where we could have been. Sometimes we got busy. Other times we got complacent. And sometimes there isn’t a perfect medium. But we always have to do what we love, what we deserve and what’s best for us. That sometimes requires hard work. That sometimes means taking it easy. Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes we have regrets. But no path is necessarily better than another. So instead of wondering about how we ended up where we are or thinking about where we could have ended up being, let’s focus on what we do have: the life ahead, to live as we please.
Nowadays, we’re in an entirely different game. Instead of looking to have more and have the best, we are under pressure to actually be better, work harder, strive further, and improve faster. And although this is a positive shift, it can be just as exhausting. We need to realise that it is ok to relax, slow down, laze around, and be still. It is ok to take time to re-cooperate, re-energise, and revitalise. It is ok to breakdown, to mess up, and to feel off-beat. We are not machines. We cannot keep going forever. And that’s ok. All we need balance, because no extreme is sustainable. Only balance will give us the optimal results. Balance is the way we win the game. So relax.
Everyone has limits. We cannot be superhuman robots all the time. We cannot always cram minutes into hours that do not exist. It’s important to take time to breathe, to recharge, and to reflect. And taking that time isn’t a sign of weakness or incapability. It is a sign of strength. It can be as simple as unplugging for an hour, taking a real lunch break, writing in a journal, phoning a friend, or learning when to call it a day. Or go bigger. Only with these times can we see the flaws and the answers. Only with these times can we refocus and tackle. Only with these times can we come out stronger and in fighting form again. Only then will we achieve our best.
We cannot always be prepared for everything in life; we can only be as prepared as we can be. We cannot always be perfect, in our own eyes or another’s eyes; we can only do our best. We need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and trust our talent. The calmer we are and the more we enjoy ourselves, the more confident we will be in the moment and in our abilities. Let’s believe that we can do it. Even if what we imagine and what we expect doesn’t match up with reality at that time, we will still reap the rewards later. Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.
We’ve all had those exhausting days, where we’ve been dreaming about our beds the entire time we sit at our desks, only to come home and stay up until an uncivilised hour; it’s like the minute we have some time to ourselves, we try to grasp every ounce of freedom before having to face the monotony of everyday life. Then, when we finally convince ourselves to sleep, we lie there, mentally watching the time set on our alarm clock tick closer and closer. Repeat the next day. But getting enough sleep is so important, not only for our bodies but also our mentality, for increasing our positivity, productivity and passion. And let’s face it, sleep feels good when we can actually do it. So here are some rules for sleeping better:
- Establish a sleep schedule and honour it – it can be difficult to stop procrastinating on sleep when we finally have some time to do something enjoyable and effortless, but going to bed at the same time every night will help our bodies relax and prepare itself for sleep at a certain time, and therefore you’ll get to sleep much quicker.
- Give yourself enough time to sleep. Don’t cheat by starting your sleep schedule super late at night – we all need different amounts of sleep, but try to aim for around 7-8 hours a night. That way, you won’t be stressing about how little time you have to sleep, because all that will do is generate the adrenaline that keeps you awake.
- Watch your consumption – maybe you’ve downed a couple energy drinks to finish that paper but now you’re wide-eyed. Maybe you’ve just had too much food, and now you have a stomach ache. Try to avoid the caffeinated drinks and large meals no matter how desperate you are before going to bed; herbal teas, such as peppermint tea, which have calming properties, are good for your pre-sleep routine.
- Avoid work before bed – try to avoid doing your homework or extra work right before sleeping, because otherwise your brain will be in a stressed and wired state that it needs time to recover from. Try to also avoid technology at least half an hour before bed, because your brain will still be hyped by all the information it has been consuming and wanting more and more. Try to do something more relaxing like reading a book or magazine or writing something.
- Finally, don’t worry about tomorrow – you cannot do anything about the loose ends and unsolved problems of today. You will never tie or solve them without resting and looking at them afresh. Tomorrow is the time to deal with them. Focus on calming yourself, having positive thoughts and getting a good night’s sleep.
Got any of your own tips? Leave them in the comments!