Guest Post By: Cole Mayer
In high school, I was one of the fastest people in my gym class save for those on the track teams – and many asked why I wasn’t part of one of the teams. In college, I walked all over campus, all day; the car was only used on weekends. But I graduated college almost five years ago. I’ve sat behind a desk for jobs since graduation. I don’t get out much. Exercise hasn’t been a priority when I get home. My life stagnated. I’m quickly approaching 30, and my health is the worst it has been in ages. And now it’s time to change that. I first looked into living holistically as a way to just start doing little things that would add up to a healthier mind and body. Here’s some of my simple tips as I have started my journey easing into a holistic lifestyle.
The first thing I did was slow down. I was always rushing everywhere and in every thing I did. Now, I take a few minutes out of my day to meditate. It doesn’t take long – just five or 10 minutes. I sit down, and contemplate how far I’ve come since graduation. I’m happily married and I’ve just moved to a new state in a house we will eventually own. There’s many things I can remind myself to be thankful for. Plus, I can meditate while doing a simple task, like washing dishes.
I’m still working on this, but I’m making progress. After moving from my home state about a year, I floundered, jobless. I sent out application after application, each one crushing me down as I was rejected – and especially when I simply never received a reply. Now, I’m making my own job by writing. And while it’s a slow trickle, it’s something I love to do. But, when I wasn’t doing anything to earn money, I was stressed by my lack of any income. That stress affected my sleep; I was tossing and turning. With that stress slowly easing, I don’t stare at the ceiling for hours before I drift off. And to add to that, I’m starting to use an extra pillow to align my spine, getting a deeper, better sleep. I sleep on my side, so I am now putting a pillow between my knees. I feel more refreshed in the morning – at least on nights the cat doesn’t wake me up at 3 a.m., but that’s a different story.
Speaking of stress, the sound of a small waterfall or flowing water can ease your mind. Why do you think the beach is such a popular place to live? I live in Idaho, far from any coast. But coming from California and going to college for two years where I was five minutes from the beach, I can attest to the power of flowing water washing away stress. Having a water feature at your desk is an easy way to soothe the mind. I had one in my room through high school, and now there’s a small waterfall near my office.
I hate breakfast. From the start of college until I moved from California, I ate breakfast only a couple times a month. As I said earlier, I was always in too much of a rush. Now, I try to start my day with something healthy. Most days, it’s an apple or a banana. It isn’t much, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. It gives me energy to start my day.
Stones and gems
I tend to err on the side of science, but sometimes ideas not entirely backed by science just plain work. My grandparents, especially after they retired, were big on art. While both painted, my grandfather used to make jewelry, primarily with turquoise. He made his own bolo tie with a turquoise centerpiece. As it turns out, turquoise is said to promote happiness, health and good luck. My grandparents have always been happy people, and despite some recent health problems, are still alive at 92 years old. I’d say that still falls under health and good luck.
This one should be a no-brainer. The Mayo Clinic calls exercise “meditation in motion.” Especially with a fast-paced sport, you focus more on your body and the game than anything else. Exercise also releases endorphins, the chemical in your brain that causes you to be happy. Endorphins make your anxiety float away. After years of sitting behind a desk, only to go home and sit on a coach, it’s a wonderful feeling, getting out of the house and walking around the neighborhood. It certainly helps that the sunsets in Idaho are blazing reds and pinks, a sight to behold. Just the walking itself, a few times a week, sets the mood and tone for the upcoming days.