This is part 4 of a larger conversation about what happens when I let my life get out of control and all the ways it impacts me. If you are anything like me, chaos creates a feeling of restlessness and a desire to disappear for a while. So this short series is just a way for me to share some of the things I’ve learned that I need in order to stay sane. So far we’ve talked about routine, about creativity, and about relationships. I’ll tell you right up front, I don’t want to write this next one. But here it is – one of the worst things that happens as a result of the chaos is that my health goes down the tube.
Poor health. When the seasons of chaos come, I lose motivation. Which usually means that I lose any kind of discipline. So my health is often one of the first things to go. I don’t eat well, I’m not sleeping enough, and I certainly don’t exercise. So the chaos is literally killing me. I’m too tired to think about exercise and my life is so busy that convenience food becomes my primary option. So I’m sluggish, I’m not thinking clearly, and I’m definitely not doing my best work. It’s a frustrating cycle that’s hard to break. The chaos of doing leads to laziness in my personal life.
What I’m doing about that:
So, like I said yesterday, it seems like every one of these things comes down to an ability to be disciplined, to say no to some things, and to be intentional with the time I do have. For me there are three parts to this:
- Eating – I am admittedly a picky eater. I could live on Mexican food and cereal for probably the rest of my life. So I’m learning to change that. My wife blends up (juices?) all kinds of things that I would never eat. It tastes horrible. But the good news is that I don’t have to eat them. I can drink them. It’s not a magic cure-all, but it’s helping.
- Sleeping – My wife and I were in bed before 10pm the other night for the first time in a long time. But we’re trying to make it happen more. By getting our family on a good schedule, we can be intentional with our evening times to play with them, read with them, put them to bed, spend some time talking together or watching TV, and then getting to bed. And that’s really important because of the next thing.
- Exercising – So we realized that the only way this was going to happen was if we found time to exercise in an already busy schedule. We realized at some point that pretty much the only time we had free was time that we used to be asleep. So we’ve been getting up lately at 5am. I know, it’s crazy. But it’s working. We are able to get a full workout in BEFORE any kids wake up and before we start into our day.
As painful as it is to start doing these things, I can see that these habits have the potential to be life changing. There are obviously tons of studies about the link between eating, sleeping, exercising and our attitudes and overall life enjoyment. Most of us try to avoid this simple truth – I know I do. But if you find yourself in a funk or the chaos is killing you, it may be time to face the painful reality that the health of our physical bodies is directly tied to our emotional well being.