Why I love maintaining a simple, healthy lifestyle guided by the sun.
First of all, the inspiration for this post came from a short, hilarious, and accurate video that my friend shared with me on Facebook:
I’ve undoubtedly had my fair share of typical teenage nights, where either crazy antics with friends or extreme academic procrastination leads to sleepless nights and lazy mornings.
While this pattern of living definitely had its thrills, I started to change my ways during my sophomore year of college. With a harder course load and two jobs to uphold, I found myself waking up earlier to get more work done and going to bed earlier because I felt exhausted by the end of the day.
At first, this seemed out of place in the college setting. As I happily swan-dived into my bed at 9 PM, people around me were either getting ready for a party or taking Adderall and starting their boatloads of homework due the next day. Despite all the confused comments about my grandmotherly habits, I have maintained this sleep schedule for about a year now and I’ve noticed so many benefits to living in sync with the sun.
As the sun gradually awakens and illuminates the earth in daylight, I like to wake up and start the day. As the sun sets and envelops the world in darkness, I also begin to shut down. This is the way living creatures are meant to function (with the exception of nocturnal animals…which humans are not, despite what some may think). Before electricity, alarm clocks, or any forms of modern technology, humans lived according to nature. They worked hard for as long as the sun allowed, then relaxed and recharged when the earth became void of light.
Living according to the sun’s natural light leads to a more energized and refreshed day. I love waking up feeling well-rested from a full night of sleep. I love taking on the day as soon as possible. I love exercising my body and mind early in the morning in order to feel productive.
Sometimes it’s difficult to physically exercise first thing in the morning because I’m not fully functioning at 7 AM. But on the days that I feel exceptionally motivated, I can roll out of bed and force myself to wake up by exercising. Besides, there’s nothing quite as peaceful as a silent morning run. From the eerie stillness of the world to the faint glow of the rising sun, an early run always infuses a day with beauty.
When I don’t have that level of motivation, I like to start off a day by exercising my thoughts. Whether it be reading a book, scanning the news, or writing kickass blog posts, simply being awake and thinking about something allows you to utilize your mind and awaken your senses. Even watching TV first thing in the morning helps excite your thoughts. My friend introduced me to the Netflix series “Departures”, which has become my favorite show to watch while I eat breakfast. It’s a documentary series about three average guys traveling the world, and it’s hilarious.
After a full day of tackling life, the setting sun acts as an indicator that I can wind down. Obviously the occasional late night of dancing or campfires or parties or movie-nights always makes for unforgettable experiences, but generally speaking I prefer going to bed when I feel tired. I’ve always laughed at this popular saying: “No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep”. Ok, no one looks back on their life and remembers the days they slept until 2 in the afternoon either. You don’t always have to sacrifice sleep to have memorable experiences.
So since I’ve been 20 years old for a whole three weeks now, I’m obviously very experienced in the mature, non-teenage, adult ways of life and I know the best ways to conquer the day and live a healthy lifestyle.
In case that blatant sarcasm didn’t register with some readers, I would like to say that despite my relatively young age, I do feel like I’ve grown up a lot within the past few years. It’s the little, everyday habits I’m developing that really bring me happiness, and living in sync with the sun feels like a good start to a meaningful and healthy life.