I completely endorse the premise that by the time we enter the workforce, we live one life, and right after that, a new life begins. As a teenager, I could party all night long, have 2 hours of sleep and continue with my school lessons the next morning. As a master’s degree student, I would stay awake and study more than 36 hours and still be focused and concentrated (Yep, my top score is 52 hours which I would not recommend to anyone!). Who cared about food – I had dozens of coffee cups and cigarettes to accompany me.
When I started working, I was not aware of the transformation I was going to experience. Yes, indeed! Even by cutting half an hour from my regular dose of sleep, I would breathe so hard, my eyes would close and my productivity at work would drastically falls down. Regardless of whether it is more or less than the regular calories that I would take, I get nervous and again, lose focus and concentration. As a person sitting in front of the computer most of the day, even one-time-a-month exercise has enormous effects on me.
When I recall my ‘previous life’, I really wonder where those superpowers of mine came from. How was I able to live up to that level of stress with that type of habits? How did I lose those superpowers in this ‘new life’? Now that I don’t have them anymore, I learnt that for me to be able to be effective, efficient, productive, concentrated, focused, but at the same time with sustained level of ambition and enthusiasm, three things from health perspective are of crucial importance. Albeit their effect on us is not that visible, these three health things are the foundations of being in the state of constant self-development, yearn for success and crave for happiness. I labelled these three things I am talking about – sleep, exercise and nutrition – the health trilogy.
Because, albeit them being able to operate separately, they can, at the same time be seen as a single operation as they indeed are extremely connected.
Let’s go through the three pieces of the trilogy to learn their importance and effects:
Sleeping is usually not a ‘priority task’ on our to-do-lists, amid the practically and scientifically grounded suggestions that it should definitely be one. Why? Well, the list is long, but here are the most important points:
- It regulates our mood;
- It enhances our memory functioning;
- It strengthens our concentration;
- It reduces our levels of stress;
- It normalizes our blood pressure;
- It boosts our productivity and performance;
- It regulates our weight; and
- It maintains the regular functioning of our organs [on the long run].
Enough AND regular schedule of sleep are the two sleep-related tips that will keep the fog away.
Greenback boogies who are constantly in a rush with the aim to achieve as much as possible, very often complain about back-pains and being out of condition. When suggested to start exercising however, it seems that they cannot resist but turn to the one and most famous excuse “I wish I could. I am too busy and tired”. I love this phrase right because it tells me a lot about the self-management skills of that person and their openness to changes, even if it is for their own good. In fact, incorporating exercising in our life and prioritizing it on our daily to-do-lists, just as sleeping, does way more good to us than sitting ‘tired’ in front of the computer, scrolling Facebook up and down after a long and ‘busy’ day. Why? For so many reasons:
- It reduces anxieties;
- It reduces worries;
- It helps us manage our waistline;
- Keeps the brain functioning;
- Moves our productivity upwards;
- Helps us stay in shape;
- Reduces stress; and
- Distracts us from nervousness.
Scheduling regular 30-minute exercise five times a week AND doing it in the morning are the two exercise-related tips that will tremendously, though indirectly, aid you in achieving what you have envisioned.
Healthy diet has become so difficult despite the fact that healthy and homemade-alike food can be bought almost at every supermarket nowadays. When I say healthy diet, I don’t mean starving or putting ourselves on a nutrition regime and rigorously avoiding anything that is not on our ‘list’. On the contrary, I think of eating moderate portions of ‘healthy’ calories intake more frequently, and of course, enjoying the pleasurable moments of those delicious cakes, fried edibles and spicy chips. Why? Here are the most crucial reasons:
- It boosts energy;
- It secures healthy immune system;
- It protects from the development of dozens of diseases;
- It helps us stay in shape;
- It regulates our metabolism;
- It improves our sharpness; and
- It fuels positive mood.
Scheduling several small meals in the same timing every day AND drinking plenty of water are two nutrition-related tips will lay down the foundations of a long life, for more happiness.
These three parts of my trilogy should be on your priority list. Incorporate them and you will very quickly feel the difference. The other pieces of the health-and-well-being puzzle are on their way in the next articles.
Sleep smart, Exercise smart, Eat smart – Succeed smart!