Over the last little while, I've been figuring out what kinds of things I need to do to feel good physically, emotionally and spiritually. I guess that "last little while" could really be my whole life, but anyway, I thought I'd share some of the things that help me feel happy and healthy. There's nothing new or revolutionary here; I'm just listing some things that have become important to me.
Getting enough sleep is a must. I can tell when I'm short on sleep because my head hurts and everything is suddenly irritating, even things I normally wouldn't be bothered by. If I let myself get really sleep deprived, I end up with a really bad headache and a stomachache. It helps if I go to bed early-ish and get up early-ish because sleeping till noon really isn't as restful for me. I get better sleep when it's dark outside. That makes working 9 pm to 1 am kind of tough, but I really love my job. As long as I get to sleep when I get home, I usually do pretty well.
Not eating enough has a similar effect on me to not sleeping enough. Eating right, for me, means not getting so busy that I can't sit down for at least two good meals a day. Lately, I sometimes only get two meals a day cause of my weird sleeping schedule and I've had to start adding a snack before work so I can make it through my shift. I just feel better when I eat right.
Being able to work really does bring me happiness. It helps me feel like I have a purpose in life, that I'm contributing. I could probably get by without the paycheck since I'm living at home and don't have a ton of expenses, but having a job keeps me sane. I am so grateful for the jobs I've had. I feel like each one has given me a chance to learn and grow. I've worked as a TA twice and as a custodian twice and I've liked every job I've had so far. It's sometimes hard to have to go to work, but having that commitment helps me feel like a grown-up.
While vacuuming most of the Provo Temple is a work-out, it can't replace taking time for real exercise. My body likes me better when I take time to exercise every day. My back hurts less, my headaches are less painful and I just feel better all around.
Relaxation is absolutely necessary for all of us. One thing I've noticed is that I sometimes eat up what should be my relaxation time by spending it on the internet. I hardly ever feel truly relaxed after hours of facebook or reading comics. So I need to make sure I take time to read a book or go on a walk or do something social.
Finally, I can't neglect spiritual things and expect to feel good. Reading the scriptures each day is essential to my well-being, as is daily prayer. I am grateful that my family also takes time to read the scriptures together. That helps keep me balanced. Still, I can't rely on family scripture study alone to supply my personal spiritual needs. If I don't read the scriptures, I find myself feeling more irritable and less patient with those around me. Doing something spiritual each day is as essential for me as exercise and nutrition.