Updated: Nov 6
I am always running against the clock.
I get up later than I should, because I feel tired and am overwhelmed by the sensation that I need more rest.
This means that I then have much less time to get ready before leaving my apartment for work.
I have a quick and stressful shower, I improvise a less-than-decent breakfast and I put on what clothes I find, in a somewhat ridiculous attempt to match them together.
I then get into my car, and have that mad sort of drive to work—where I feel a mixture of anger towards traffic lights and other people, but also towards myself at the same time—instead of cruising slowly and pleasantly, accompanied by music, regenerating my spirits at the start of the working day ahead.
In the evening, of course, I find myself going to sleep after midnight—partly because of the many things I do, and partly because of laziness, I suppose.
Thus, the next day, the cycle is repeated.
Very few are the times when I manage to do what I think is healthy for me. Those few times, feel great.
It feels great to wake up rested, watch oneself in the mirror and find a skin that is at least ten years younger than your own age; to have all the time in the world to enjoy a relaxing shower; to be able to sit down and eat a properly cooked breakfast; to even exercise!
Resting is arguably the most important thing in the world. Instead of feeling miserable all day, you find yourself feeling a very positive energy, both mental and physical, when you are rested.
Then, if you leave the house on time, you can get to work early and leave just when you should leave.
It feels great, when that happens.
Yet, if I realize all this, why do I keep making the same mistakes?
Why do I keep running against time when I know exactly how to avoid it?
Well, as I said, laziness surely plays a big part.
It takes mental focus to go to bed at the right time, for example. I normally postpone that effort by picking up the iPad and watching YouTube videos in bed, or maybe reading or texting too late into the night.
Of course I am learning and feeding my brain, but I am not taking care of my health.
The other big reason is that, as of lately, I have been busying myself with several activities.
I work all day five days a week. Of the five evenings that I have available after work, I spend two of them doing sports, two teaching English, and the other one, together with some weekends, I dedicate to my volunteering activity at the local Red Cross.
When you are so busy, most of the time you get home late, you eat late, and you go to bed late. What’s more, going to sleep without having properly digested is surely going to disturb your sleep.
As a consequence, I have often wondered whether this—the fact that I do many things—is good or not for my health.
On the one hand, I feel pleasure from doing several things that I like, and just keeping myself busy.
On the other hand, I think to myself that if I conducted a simpler and much more relaxed way of life—which I have, at times—then my overall health would benefit from it.
The conclusion I have come to, is that there is no definitive answer. There is no right or wrong—apart from the single fact that you should not over-stress yourself.
I have come to realise that, as individuals, we need different things at different times in our lives.
Right now, I need to feel and to keep busy.
I get pleasure from it, I feel fulfilled and satisfied.
At other times I have needed to feel completely free—I even left my job in the past, when I realised it was damaging my health—to have all the time to think and feel as one should, in order to regain control over myself and figure out what I wanted and was good for me.
I guess nowadays is almost impossible not to feel stress at all. Also, probably not all stress is bad for you. For me, the stress that comes from feeling busy is adrenaline-like, and fills me with energy rather than damages me.
It is the other kind of stress, the one I get from not having rested enough at night, and hurrying out of the house every morning, that disturbs me.
I need to feel busy right now, I need to feel that energy running through my body and my mind, rushing from one place to another, both physically and mentally. So if I can fix that stress—the one I have identified as negative for me—if I can find the determination to just correct my way of sleeping, of going to bed and getting up, then everything else will surely be fine.
After all, I eat healthily, exercise, do everything I can to keep functioning brilliantly. One cannot be perfect all the time—else we wouldn’t be human—and in this regard I should grant myself the fact that I am doing a pretty good job!
Only one correction is needed.
As I once heard—long ago—in an episode of Scrubs, "you should learn how to make time your friend, not your enemy."