Ask yourself the following question: remember me, [insert your name here]? What kind of answer did you get? Yes, talking to yourself can seem strange, but it doesn't have to be an out loud conversation. Asking yourself a question can come in the form of an inner dialogue or simple reflection. It all comes down to identifying your current state of "inner affairs."
This week, I noticed I was enjoying longer showers. After all, I was riding my bike in the rain and let's face it, the days are getting shorter and the nights a lot cooler! But I digress. I later stumbled upon an article in the Globe & Mail reporting on just that fact: a scientific study of the psychological meaning behind long showers. This version of the article, on the NBC site talks about the same study: http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/07/05/6992690-wash-the-loneliness-away-with-a-long-hot-bath?lite
Summary: "...physical warmth...temporarily soothes emotional distress."
This got me thinking about my own behaviour. I am working around the clock for a Master's program and have found myself feeling a little run-down and have even been taking my stress out on those around me.
Now, the long showers were absolutely soothing, but did not deal with the underlying dilemma I have created for myself over the last few weeks: how to stay hard-working while maintaining an acceptable level of sanity and remaining agreeable and lighthearted with those around me.
I decided to go for a swim at the University pool to clear my mind. After my swim, I walked past a warm and inviting sauna in the locker room. I got in. I spent about 20 minutes thinking about how I could get "back to me" and, in the words of this shower-study, "soothe my emotional distress."
The solution was right there in front of me: add one part warmth, one part relaxation and mix it all together with a bit of self-reflection and voila! A bunch of the weight on my shoulders melted away. I think I just might try doing this every week. That way, I won't even have to ask myself "remember me?" because I will already be back to the person I know I am and should be!
If you haven't spent some quality time alone, or at least recharging your own personal battery, fall is a perfect time to do so! You can wrap yourself up in a warm scarf, sip some hot tea, put on some cozy pyjamas and read a book... and what a great time to attend some hot yoga classes!
These scientists seem to be on to something... just add a little heat, and life gets a little more soothing - for you and yours!