Keeping In Touch (Part 1)
First off: No recipe today. I know, it’s a little bit out of character, right? That’s ok, I don’t want you all to think that I’m a full-time recipe designer. I would LOVE to do that full-time! But I have a full-time job, and this blog is my beloved hobby.
What I DO have today is a quick chat, something along the lines of my “Food Commentary” posts, but today it’s about (as you may have guessed from the title) keeping in touch. This could be keeping in touch with your body, your soul and emotional growth, or with your social circles. I will be discussing all three. Interestingly, it turns out that I actually have a lot to say on these subjects, so I’ve split this post in to two separate posts. The first one will be about the soul and the body. I’ll get to the social post tomorrow, appropriately, on Christmas day!
More times than I want to think about it, I’ve seen friends and relatives, both close and distant, go through a “Soul Searching” during this end-of-the-year period. Part of that is normal. We keep track of our lives in years; so it makes sense to spend a bit of time at the end of each one cataloging, recording, and understanding. In my full-time job, I work on big IT projects. At the end of each project is a short period of time where the project leads all spend a bit of time cataloging, recording, and understanding. This portion of the project is so important, it’s codified in the Project Life Cycle as an official part of the “Closing Out” phase of the project. You can’t do one without the other.
So, with that in mind, I definitely spend my fair share of time doing some “Soul Searching” – working on cataloging, recording, and understanding my year. I work on some plans for next year, and compare against my plans for the year almost complete. I do this fairly regularly throughout the year as well, checking to see if I’m on track, or if there are some plans and goals which should be abandoned… There always is at least one! I also update my plans and goals with new things that are bubbling up to the surface.
See, what I’ve learned about life is that it’s more like a soup than a bread. We add things, we check the taste, we add some more. Then we let it cook for a while, check the taste, and add some more. Baking a loaf of bread, by comparison, is 100% straightforward. You start out with a plan and follow it to the T. No changes. No “season to taste” going on. The finished product is based 100% on your initial plan. That’s not to say that it always goes right – not every plan is perfect, after all! But if you follow the plan, you get it right most of the time. Life is more like the soup – we get to change things while the cooking process is going on. We get to taste, modify, and improve the soup, in flight!
What does your body need?
Year-End and January are funny times for body needs. So many people have body-management goals for the year every year. I know I do! I set some pretty challenging goals this year, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be reaching them. One of them was to break the 5-minute mile. Crazy, right? Even more crazy when you hear that my previous mile was a 5:30. A 30-second improvement is a goal that’s way out there! I did improve; I got down to a 5:28 mile; which is still impressive, but not the 5:30 that I was shooting for. Next year perhaps. You can be sure, however, that I won’t be hitting the gym day and night throughout the end of December and much of January and February just to make up for not reaching that goal! Unfortunately, some other people out there will be doing an exercise routine not dissimilar to a “Binge Cycle” where they just go all-out until their bodies just can’t handle the maintenance and force them to quit.
I work hard, year-round, to listen to my body’s needs. Despite that, this season is a time that I slow down a bit and try to really understand the needs of my body. Here is a checklist that I walk through to manage my body’s needs regularly. Perhaps it will be useful for you!
- How’s my rest?
- Am I sleeping enough?
- Am I meditating enough?
- How’s my diet?
- Am I getting enough greens?
- Am I getting enough proteins?
- Am I getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals?
- How’s my stress levels?
- Have I been eating at my desk lately?
- Do I have some decent social opportunities at work?
- Do I have some social opportunities outside of work?
- How’s my workout schedule?
- Am I getting enough exercise throughout the day?
- Do I need more walk-breaks from my desk?
- Am I getting enough hard workouts each week?
- Should I be looking to cut back on anything?
- Should I be looking to expand on anything?
The above list is something I go through almost every week. It’s important to me to maintain my body at a near-peak level of health. The health of my body directly impacts my capacity to perform, socially, professionally, and athletically, at a peak level. If I’m not eating right, I might have energy issues at work – which would impact productivity. If I’m eating right but working out too hard, the same thing could happen. And if I’m eating and exercising right, but I’m not getting any social time in, I could become depressed and that would then impact my work life. See, whether I like it or not (and I do), everything is connected, and the health that I work towards in my body will affect the health of my entire life. The same goes for my mental health, as discussed partially in the Soul Searching section above, and for my social life, which I will get to tomorrow.
- Are you managing your emotional health?
- What do you do to help yourself stay emotionally healthy? Meditate? Social gatherings? What else?
- Are you managing your body’s health?
- What do you do to maintain peak health in your body? Diet? Exercise?
What other things might you like to add to this discussion? Share so that we can all benefit from your thoughts! 🙂