The thin line between consistency and addiction

Photo by Rohann Agalawatte from Burst

First of all lets define the terms.

Consistency – harmony of conduct or practice with profession (Merriam Webster dictionary)

Addiction – a strong inclination to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly (Merriam Webster dictionary)

I write this while recovering from fatigue and acute Gastric Intestinal (GI) issues that have persisted for the last two weeks. I write having slowed down from my routine and diet while medicating and sleeping for longer hours. I am glad to say that I am getting better.

Before the ordeal, I maintained a tight daily routine. I was on a fixed diet every day of the week. Notably, I did not miss having two sachets of sugarless coffee every morning. In the evening, I religiously turned up for my home workouts which most of the time are usually extreme. I exercise six out of seven days a week.

My mornings usually start early as 4:30 AM with a devotional followed by writing then breakfast. I have a gut feeling that constant use of coffee may have contributed to acidity combined with less sleep.

I kept my routine faithfully for several months since the start of lock-down. Whilst it was excellent initially, my body and mind began feeling the toll in November.

It started with acid reflux which was as a result of a bad diet. My sleep pattern was greatly affected due to discomfort. I went from sleeping at 11 PM to sleeping between Midnight and 1 AM in the morning.

The experience got me thinking, what is a healthy routine? I share with you five things you can do to keep a healthy work-life balance.

Sleep enough

Adequate sleep is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. My late night and early morning routine afforded me between 4-5 hours of sleep. I was sleep-deprived for months. The effect of this was mental and physical fatigue which in turn led to a suppressed immune making me easily susceptible to infections. Today, I try to sleep for at least six hours. I notice an improvement in my health.

Break your routine

Learn to surprise yourself once in a while. Someone once said, “Change is like rest”. Since lock-down, I noticed I had maintained a rigorous tight routine and working from home did not help either. In the end, my body was shouting for the much-needed break.

Eat healthily

Eating healthy is eating a balanced diet. Your diet should incorporate a healthy portion of carbs, protein and vegetables.

The problem with my diet was too many spices. I do not know where I picked this from as I have not stayed with an Indian yet. I guess its a habit which proved to be costly as it accelerated my GI issue. My meals were also far between. And when I eat, I eat food in large quantities often at dinner. It was disastrous as it was close to sleeping time and contributed to my GI issue.

I recommend eating in smaller quantities and properly spacing meals. Further, ensure you sleep at least after an hour of eating. Finally, make sure you hydrate properly.

Go outdoors

I understand that we are in the middle of a pandemic where Social distancing, self-isolation and working from home is the new normal. Our lives have become more sedentary than before. I checked my step counter app in my phone and I noticed over 80% drop in the steps I take in a given day since lock-down. I believe this is the case for many people as well.

Staying indoors for long is not healthy. I recommend outdoor activities like evening walks, getting outside for sunbathing, go for a swim and so on. You are guaranteed to get a refreshing feeling after.

Meditate / Build mental strength

Gratitude, accommodating imperfections, being kind to yourself, reading and spending quiet time strengthens your resolve and grit. By exercising your mind you can overcome challenges that come your way.

I regularly have my quiet time in the morning for at least 30 mins. I also practice gratitude frequently during the day. I learn something new in the evening – currently I am re-learning how to code with JavaScript.

In conclusion, someone intimated that “Your health is your wealth” and I agree 100 per cent. Without good health, you cannot show up and build your vision. Finally, do not forget to live in harmony with yourself and others.

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