When you’re busy, it’s easy to forget to look after yourself. You feel like you don’t have time to go to the gym, to go for a run, for yoga, for meditation, for sleep, to eat properly … If you’re lucky, your kids or someone else who loves you will remind you that you always have time. That it makes you a better person.
Physical activity actually helps you think better.
It is tempting to think that you would get more done and be more successful if you just sat at your desk for more hours in the day.
Research shows that we evolved walking around. Our brains just work better if we are moving. Getting regular exercise actually helps. Unfortunately, our school system values sitting still at a desk and focusing on one activity. You were successful in that system because you learned how to work that way, even if it was difficult.
But now you are an academic. You have a lot of control over your own time. If you process ideas better while riding your bike, or jumping on a trampoline, then that time is definitely work time. Dictating your article while you walk around and typing it up later might work better than forcing yourself to sit down and type that first draft.
You think big thoughts for a living!
Anything that helps you think better should become part of your regular routine.
That might be yoga, meditation, or other practice that relaxes you and helps you deal with stress.
It might be regular physical activity and good, nourishing food.
It might be engaging in an artistic practice.
It might be regular activity that takes you away from your work so that you return to it refreshed.
It might be making sure you get enough sleep so that your brain can process ideas while you are sleeping.
It might be putting a mini-tramp in your office so you can bounce on it while you think.
What activities nourish you?
Share how you nourish yourself in the comments.
This post was originally published in August 2009. Edited May 31, 2016.