Basics aren’t exactly the coolest thing. How often do you hear people brag about eating their vegetables, sleeping for eight hours, and going for a nice walk? At least not as often as you see people post about lifting their maximum weight on Instagram or “crushing it” if I would make a guess.
On a few occasions, I’ve been close to hitting that famous wall. The one you crash into when you pushed yourself with unrealistic expectations, too hard, for too long. The first time I was at the end of my studies. It had been an intense winter, I had taken on more than I could handle, and I had yet to find a job after graduation. We where hosting an exhibition to show our final exam project, something I had helped put together. The moment I stepped into the building, I found myself bawling my eyes out. I couldn't stop.
For someone who takes pride in self-control, this was a clear sign something was wrong. Whatever I was doing, that could not go on. So, I made some changes, which has since then turned into a little template I use whenever I feel overwhelmed. It's nothing fancy. It's all about the basics.
- Cancel everything I can possibly cancel in my schedule.
- Go analogue-ish. Disconnect and limit time on phone and computer. Limit information input.
- Change my environment for a few days if I can. Habits set roots in our surroundings.
- Unconditional movement. If I feel like doing something intense, like weights or dancing, I would do that. Otherwise, I would just walk.
- Sleep. Go to bed obnoxiously early, no alarms.
- Focus on eating proper food, as in actually cooking, making sure I get the nutrients I need.
- Connect with good friends. Have long conversations, talk about the real stuff.
In this scenario, it meant I went straight home and took a nap. I turned down a copywriting assignment I was really excited about, turned off my phone, and went to visit a friend in another city for a few days, where our schedule was basically sleeping, walking and talking. Oh, and eating all the food.
Sometimes you need radical solutions. But for me, I noticed that going back to basics will solve almost any problem I have.