Instead I went full blast on my computer programming - a hobby that I’ve been dying to get my hands on for a time now because I was too busy and tired with work and workouts. I sat in front of the monitor screen and coded my life away, assembling blogs, ecommerce sites, CMS and then taking pictures with my new DSLR, editing and uploading them. Being new in the computer languages, I get so passionate at times that I don’t sleep. Instead of relaxation, I succumbed to exhaustion.
No sleep means, well, right now I am feeling like I am about to have a cold, I think I only slept two hours last night. Tonight I am stopping everything.
Most of us in mid-age and up have this tendency to pursue things we are passionate about. For me it started with computing, then running, then back to computing and then now, I am getting into this sacred crusade of improving the health of people (of course that is a part of my real job) but using… well… a computer! It’s so funny how things merge together. But the trouble is we sometimes get too excited with our ventures we lose sight of right perspective. Suddenly we’re 20 year olds again pushing ourselves to limits and disregarding our bodies that are now more prone to break-down like cars with expired warranties, with spare parts hard to find, hard to fix, and very expensive. It’s important for us to be smart in dealing with our bodies. First of all - the passion has to stop somewhere in our 24 hour day to give way to rest. For me, I should drop everything I do or study by 11 pm. That’s it. No matter how close I am to discovering the most miraculous invention in the world, I must tell myself that everything can wait tomorrow.
As I have been harping about for months now, health includes relaxation and there are a few cheap relaxation techniques that you can do. I told you I am into cheap things:
Number one on the list is SLEEP. Duh, God did not invent yoga and muscle relaxants and sleep hypnotists to rest and relax. He gave a most natural gift to mankind, the ability to sleep. To accomplish sleep fast, I try to be active the whole day until I feel a sense of fatigue by evening. Then I keep my bedroom dark with very minimal stimuli (such as noise) and let my brain drift into some happy thought. My happy thoughts are always revolving around my childhood. I dream of waking up with my mother preparing breakfast while my father is sweeping the backyard - that makes me sleep really fast.
If that doesn’t work, (as in the case of having had a stressful day), I start this mental exercise of numbing my body part by part, piece by piece. I mentally un-feel my legs, like having an ascending paralysis and this slowly creeps up until I feel as if my entire body were paralyzed. I repeat this exercise over and over again. Another method I find useful is visualizing the air I breathe. I imagine the air as smoke and even give it a color (I prefer blue). So this blue air enters my nostrils and fill up my lungs until it’s blue and then the same blue smoke comes out of my lungs and nose as I exhale. I keep this mental imagery until I drift away. Occasionally I draw a mind picture and imagine a religious event in the sky (this is an imagery I kept from a previous dream), and for some reason, the color blue always dominates, like watching a blue sky punctuated by bright red stars and there comes a big blue ship flying down from heaven… I don’t know why this previous dream maintains its vividness in my mind. And of course, a meditation or prayer helps me sleep as well.