The other night, I made a late night Target run. It's just down the street from my house, and I needed an item that I didn't want to go all the way to the grocery store for.
While I was looking for what I wanted, a kinda cute and super nerdy young man approached me and asked me if I suddenly forgot what I was looking for.
It was a different way to break the ice.
He said he just got off work and came in for something but he couldn't remember what it was either. It made us both laugh.
I wasn't sure if he was trying to get my phone number, or if he was just practicing being social, but in the next few minutes, it was clear that he was trying to impress me with his accomplishments.
They WERE pretty impressive. He graduated from high school at 14. He graduated with three degrees from college at the age of 19. He took 94 extra credits! He currently gets 3 hours a sleep a night at the age of 21.
His excuse was that he hated being bored!
He did confess that he drank a shot of espresso every morning, and if he really needed it, he'd take a shot of Jack Daniels and a sleeping pill if he really needed to get some sleep.
I just had to tell him that he was going to be in bad shape in a few years if he kept on with his crazy schedule. I let him know that the older he gets, the less super-productive he will be, and he may end up with problems with his lower body. "Don't burn the candle at both ends!" I said.
"I'll just burn it in the middle and avoid the ends", he said.
Sigh! I remember when I was that young and over achieving. Later in life, I ended up paying for it! I couldn't walk without a cane at the age of 37.
I guess only time will tell. Had I known then what I know now, maybe I could have avoided the health problems that took me 4 long years to recover from! I'm still working on building and strengthening my body, and restoring my immune system so that I can have a normal life.
The following points are what I needed to know when I was 21 so that I could avoid the damaging effects of burnout I experienced when I was 35:
Sleep is non-negotiable!
If you are only getting 2-3 hours of sleep per night, trust me, you won't be able to do that for very long, no matter how young you are. Your body detoxes and resets when you sleep. The feel good hormones you need, dopamine and serotonin are made only when you sleep. Cortisol, the wake up hormone, keeps pumping if you stay up past your bedtime. The problem is, if cortisol is being made, none of the other hormones that you need are being made either, including those feel good hormones mentioned above. Sleeping pills and alcohol are dangerous!....If you need to get to sleep, you have to get your body to stop the cortisol and send the message to your nervous system that it's time to relax! You can always:
Soak your feet in warm water for 20mins
Turn off all blue light devices including cell phones, computers and TVs
Write down when you need to do in the morning so that you aren't thinking about it in bed!
Do you have problems getting to sleep? We can help!!!
If you have problems with digestion, fix them now!
There are three ways the body gets energy: From air, from food, and from reserves (sort of like a back account) that the kidneys have control over. If you don't breathe well and can't break down your food so that you can absorb nutrients and eliminate wastes, your body will pull energy from your reserves. When your reserves began to get low, you may feel tired ALL THE TIME, have issues with anxiety, and possible increases in inflammation.
Do something that sparks your sense of creativity and wonder everyday!
Feeling resentful that you give all your time and energy to some company, some person or some project that doesn't light you up will tire you out very quickly. Set aside time each day to do something that you absolutely love! Set aside time to make something, even if it's a special dinner. Making things reminds you that you have the power to create your life like you want it! Find sometime to learn something new!
Take an exercise break!!!!
Exercise is one of the greatest stress relievers out there. You need to move your body everyday to increase blood circulation, open up your joints, and boost your energy levels. Do something fun that doesn't take too long and that isn't going to stress you out even more!
Ping Shuai, or "Swing Arms" is the perfect exercise routine when you need a break. Get it here!!!
There is no need for you to try and do it all and feel like you have to do everything by yourself!! It's not you against the world! There are others out there that feel the same stress. Support each other as much as you can!
Bring your new found friends to Qigong class for a great mental break! We'd love to see you!