No time? Listen to it instead
While I usually talk about principles, ideas or mistakes on the blog, I realised I’ve barely talked about what went well. So, for this week, I decided to share a few things that helped me get calmer over the past couple of months and helped me through a slightly stressful phase of my life. Here are the things and habits I began that positively affected my state of mind.
A few months ago, I calculated my average caffeine usage, and it was… off the charts. I’m not proud of it. I was over a thousand milligrams per day. For scale, the average healthy intake is around 400mg for an adult. I cut it off. No system. No bullshitting myself this time. I strictly put it to four cups of coffee a day at most. It worked. It’s been a couple of months now, and I have felt lighter, less anxious and calmer overall.
Ever since I started a gazillion projects simultaneously, I realised my todo list and my obsession to reach todo list zero every day kept me up till about 3 AM at least. Now, I did get my 6 to 8 hours every day, so I wasn’t cutting on sleep. Just that, my time to sleep was way later in the night. Sorry, night owls, if it works for you, I don’t want to sound like that guy, but for me, I much prefer tucking myself in by 11:30 in the night.
So, here’s my rule of thumb now: Let things be overdue. Fuck it; I’ll do them tomorrow. I don’t want to race myself anymore.
In my experience, what you consume eventually consumes you. I realised I needed some fresh music, so I decided to go back to an experiment I did a couple of years ago. At the time, I was using IDAGIO, which is an app specifically made for classical music. In any case, I found a fantastic classical violin playlist by Sony on Spotify, and I’ve been walking to it in the evenings. I often play it while doing the dishes or when I’m dozing off to sleep (with a sleep timer, of course), and it has been a change of pace. I’m listening to it as I write this article.
Actually, yeah. For this week, that’s it. I’ve been in a much happier place with these slight changes to my very irrelevant life, to be honest. I think I’m realising yet again that I don’t have to do it all in a day. I’m also learning that it’s okay to be happy. I tend to get caught up in the hustle now and then only to sit in a cab on a random day, listening to I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi, catching myself off-guard and coming to my senses.
I’m sure I’ll be revisiting these in a few months. I’m sure the schedule will force me to stay up on a random day soon as well. I can see it coming already. What is adult life without deadlines, right? However, if there is any calm, it is in the tiny changes.
Often, the easiest way to getting to a slightly calmer space of mind is right in front of us. It’s in the comments from our friends about our increasing caffeine consumption. It’s in spilling that cup of coffee staring at you at 10 PM. It’s in your mother telling you that you look tired and finally getting that sleep that night. It’s in listening to the same music over and over again until you realise, “wait, this song sucks.” Sometimes, the closest levity is nearby. All we need to do is look. Often, that’s the only thing we need to do.
If you liked this post, you’ll like the newsletter which also reminds you of the previous week’s post. Also, if you’re absolutely inclined, consider buying me a coffee to help support this website. Most important of all, please take care of yourself and those around you. These are trying times and I wish you all the health in the world.