Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Doing The Next Best Thing

It’s three o’clock in the afternoon, and you're in need of that cup of coffee or candy bar, whatever you reach for to get you through your afternoon slump. What you really need is a 15- or 20-minute nap. But that’s absurd, right? You can’t nap at the office or when the kids are on their way home from school. Yet that is exactly what your body needs. The very reason it is slowing down is because it’s tired. Your body just needs a little refresher nap to get your batteries recharged, but you can’t fit a nap in. (Older people and babies have the right idea—they take daily naps.)

My advice? Do the next best thing—whatever that looks like for you. Maybe you could close your office door and do a five-minute meditation to clear your thoughts and breathe. Or slip outside and find a private little spot to quiet your mind for five or ten minutes. Breathe in some clean air and let go of the day. Perhaps taking a walk can help you relax and release tension. If the kids are coming home at three every day, be home by 2:30 and take a 15-minute bath or sit and meditate for 15 minutes. If you don’t have 15 minutes, then take five. Whatever the scenario, try to incorporate the next best thing into your day if you can’t do what your body really wants to do, which is to rest and shut down for a while.

The same principle applies with exercise. Can’t get your full workout in? Do the next best thing, which is perhaps only half your workout or one set of the exercises in your program. Maybe you can do a simple form of exercise instead of no exercise. The next best thing is always better than nothing at all.

With diet (your daily intake of food), again do the next best thing if you can’t eat the best-quality food. If you want a snack and can’t find fruit or other healthy foods to munch on, try a smoothie, crackers and cheese (easy to keep at the office), a glass of Emergen-C, or sparkling water with lemon. Anything other than cookies, candies, or other varieties of junk food will work. If you can’t find a way to do the best thing in any given situation, do the next best thing.

Life is short. We all probably have a mental list of all the things we “should do in the course of a day to keep fit, healthy, and hydrated. But life throws us curve balls and I suggest just running with them. Do the next best thing when you can’t do the “right thing, and don’t worry about the choices you’re making. Really! 

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