Real Life Hacks!

Don’t worry! This article won’t cover ‘Life Hacks’. I never learned anything about life with ‘Life Hacks’, but I do know three great ways to slice a bell pepper. If you’ve read my last post, you know that I’m having a bit of a rough patch at the moment. If you want to read about it, you find my previous posting by clicking here. In a short summary, my birthday this year wasn’t great. I had a fight with my boyfriend and ended up spending my day alone. Pity Party for one, your table’s ready.

Now I do know some simple tricks to make dark times in life appear a little brighter. So, I thought I’d share them with you. But before doing that, I must tell a crazy and fateful story. If you’re only interested in the ‘Life Hacks’, skip the section ‘A fateful day’.

yoga by hamza butt.JPG
Photo by Hamza Butt

A fateful day
Today I met a good friend of mine. I asked her if she wanted to go to the gym but we decided to rather have lunch together (so much for #fitnessgoals). We spoke about our latest life events and while she already knew that my birthday wasn’t great (I cancelled a party), she didn’t know what exactly happened. So, we talked about that as well. After lunch, I decided to accompany her to her Yoga study and then walk home. As I already considered starting with Yoga again, I wanted to go in and get a flyer or something.

When we walked in, we were welcomed by the tutor, a lovely and heartfelt woman. She asked me to stay and join and even gifted me the Yoga class. I was feeling lazy and since I haven’t done Yoga for a very long time, I was skeptical. But being half-German, I can’t say No to a good deal. And a free Yoga class is a great deal I’d say.

The class itself was very relaxing but also exhausting. After a couple of repetitions, I felt in the flow. Halfway through the class, we sat down on the floor and the tutor told the back story of the exercise routine. She said that she learned the routine while being broken up from her now-husband. While they were on a break, both apparently ‘went through their personal hells’. She said that this routine made everything seem so clear and enabled her to open up emotionally and spiritually again. At that point, I had tears in my eyes. She continued by saying that we need dark times to learn and to grow stronger. During this routine, our minds should be able to focus on what’s important and even help us make decision we’re unsure about. As I sat there, I realized that I don’t have to do anything right now. I realized that I am still hurt and that there is no need to rush back in/to something. It was a spiritual experience stronger than any I’ve ever had. I felt in peace with myself, my mind, my body, everything.

Unsurprisingly, my first tip is trying some form of physical activity. I’d suggest trying Yoga and/or meditation. It always helps me clear my mind and helps me with sleep problems.

Important disclaimer
I can’t guarantee that these tips do anything for anybody other than myself. If you’re feeling sad and weak for a long time, you should consider talking about this with a doctor or psychotherapist. He/She can help you feel better.

Life Hack number 2: Keeping the digestive system happy. Ever heard that a human is happy as long as his digestive system is healthy? Why is that? The answer to that is very complex but besides the obvious comfort of a healthy body, the digestive system is important for psychological comfort and balance. Most of the neurotransmitters are created in the digestive system. So keeping the digestive system ‘happy’ helps.

sleep by oliver
Photo by Oliver

Life Hack number 3: Not sleeping? Depriving yourself from sleep may sound counterproductive but is a practice that’s used in some cases of depression. Not going to bed for one day, staying up all night until the next day and going to bed at a reasonable hour then (5 to 8 PM I guess). How does it work? That’s a complex topic and ‘real’ Wake Therapy should be performed in a hospital with a doctor at hand. But it is my understanding that depression and negative feelings towards life change with the daily rhythm. If you deprive yourself of sleep for a night or so, the bio rhythm is affected which may help against depressive feelings. Don’t quote me on that – and ask your doctor if you’re dealing with depressive symptoms over an extended time.

Life Hack number 4: Staying in the sun. We all know that sunlight helps us feeling happier. That’s the reason why depressive symptoms are more prevalent during winters and in countries with only few hours of sunlight a day. If you want more sunlight you could ask a doctor if he/she performs light therapy. (This is not the same as going to a solarium)

Life Hack number 5: Getting out of bed. In bed it’s best to stick to sleeping and having sex. Staying up late in bed, using social media, eating pizza, reading, will make us unlearn that a bed is meant for sleeping. This will make it harder for us to fall asleep.

Life Hack number 6: Shower! If I’m feeling particularly low and weak, I may take a shower. I always feel an instant boost in energy and I’ll feel fresh too.

Life Hack number 7: Cutting down on social media. If you’re interested in consequences of constant social media activity, I have written two posts about this topic. I will link part 1 down below.

happiness

These were my ‘Life Hacks’ for getting through tough times. Have you ever tried something similar? What helps you cope with stressful situations?

Suggested further reading:
The Dark Side of Social Media – Part 1
Mental Health and Creativity
Life Hacks to avoid a Quarter Life Crisis
Depression – say it out loud

Title photo by Flashfood

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