May 17, 2017
Things I Do To Feel Better
I ALWAYS want to feel better. If I am tired, run-down, or mentally drained, I want some relief in a hurry. If I am crushing it daily, feeling great, and loving life, I want a stronger dose of the same every day. I love the concept of waking up better than the day before: in principal, and in practice. I want to feel better because better=improvement…
I recognize that this is not possible, in my mind, or with my body, every single day. I think I understand that part of training is the (super)compensation that occurs as our bodies accumulate stress, fatigue, soreness, etc. I think I understand that my mind can be as fragile as my body, and that life continues to unfold regardless of how I have planned my training, work, family, etc. I even think I understand that chasing perfection is a waste, a pursuit devoid of fulfillment and that lacks any type of true positive outcome. Chasing perfection will always be fruitless, but pursuing Improvement, hunting it with a hunger that needs to be fed, inspires me each morning to leave my bed for what the day holds…
So while I understand all of these components pertinent to my Mind, Body, and my Soul have limitations, there are no such limitations on my attitude and mind-set…
“What?”, and “How?, are important questions to anyone that is goal-driven. Outcomes always matter, but often, process matters more. Adjusting our individual process, regardless of the endeavor, can be the slight difference between “almost” and “excellence”. Without process, recreating Success can next to impossible. “Random” Success rarely brings you gold more than once, while adjusting a poor plan brings you closer to consistency each time.
What is my process to “Feel Better?” How do I get to the proper state of mind and physical state that enhances my opportunities to succeed? I start with a Plan:
Part 1: Schedule Time each week to Relax, Enjoy, and Socialize.
These can be 3 separate categories, or can be linked together. I like to make sure I have something in each “bin” every week to make sure I am the best version of me I can be.
1.Relax: I don’t Nap regularly, so I prefer quieter, private, slowly-paced activities to Relax. Walking my Dogs, reading a new article from my weekly compilation, watching a movie or cleaning an empty house (vacuuming, laundry, bathrooms) put me in a very relaxed but content state. I have plenty of “Up” Time @IPF, so the “Down” time is equally valuable.
2.Enjoy: These tend to be more Family-oriented activities for me. I enjoy driving to surprise my Dad with a coffee and corn muffin. I enjoy a family walk up and down our street. I love when we head to Dairy Queen to share an ice cream and a giggle (both are served in large quantities at the North Reading DQ). I derive much of my own enjoyment from the happiness of the family around me so my time is scheduled to accommodate and facilitate group activities.
3. Socialize: This is where I struggle a bit more to find balance. I have a job that requires a great deal of social skills. Because of this, my desire to be “On” and interact with other people is greatly reduced when not working. Typically, when offered the chance to get together, with a group of friends, relatives, people, I initially will decline. Sometimes, with great reluctance, I will change my mind (or my Wife will change it for me). I am almost always happy that I did, as the Social Opportunities away from the Gym (for you=Work/Place of Business) are enjoyable, restorative, and valuable. Getting out of one Comfort Zone, for personal benefit or on behalf of Family and Friends, can be very rewarding and allows me to stay more balanced.
The “Activity” itself matters less than what it Brings or how it is Defined, but here are my 10 “Go-To’s” and a few I want to do more…
- I spend Time and Walk with My Dogs. #1 for a Reason, and as fulfilling as anything I do.
The Rest are in no particular order, but are categorized:
- Steam/Sauna– For Physical and Mental Relaxation, there are few things more Rejuvenatory than Heat for me.
- Laying on the Beach– 4hrs of Sun, Solitude and People-Watching is an absolutely wonderful way to decompress and relax.
- Cleaning the House– A very enjoyable activity for me as it brings me closer to “Organized + Efficient”. The feeling of walking into or waking up to a Clean Home minimizes Stress and helps me streamline my routine.
- Lighting a Candle and Setting the Playlist while Folding Laundry (or Cleaning the House)– The Scent and Sound of the Moment are very Important to me. I have specific tastes dependent on Task, Time of Day and Mood. I use whatever I can to gain the Advantage: some days for Energy, other Days to wind-down, to Learn, Remember or Sleep.
- Cleaning my Car– This is always something that I Enjoy and it Relaxes me. With 4 Dogs, this is always a game-changer. A Life Free of Clutter is a Life Full of Opportunity (one of my Favorite sayings).
- Take a Shower– The Heat, the Water, being Clean. It is like hitting a “Reset” button for my Mind and Body.
- Reading to Mac– A new addition, and something I enjoy very much. It is rewarding, calming, and often involves more of the Family than just Mac and I.
- Listening to a Podcast– Man, this is just awesome. In the car far too often when heading to Harvard, this helps turning frustration into excitement. Whether Health related or not, the hours lost in commute are being “found” again.
- Sunday Mornings @IPF– Calm, Quiet and Productive. Website Review, Notes from the Week Review, and Fetch with liken, Abraham and the rest of the Pack. This Time each week is my most Productive so it is also some of my most enjoyable. I arrive early, with the idea of “Getting Ahead” instead of “Catching Up”…
For me, and many others, The Difference in Outlook is usually the Difference in Success…