In the era of self-esteem, you somehow feel like hell most of the time but all you hear is the mantra of the day: ‘you’re doing great, hun’. The reality is that you probably aren’t, you feel some combination of bored, anxious or tired, you probably don’t know why, and deep down you know being told ‘you’re doing fine’ isn’t the solution to feeling any better.
So brace yourself for some ‘Make Your Bed’ harsh truths everyone just loves (read: hates) on where you’re probably falling short. Because hopefully it can steer you in the direction of some quick wins, actually make you feel better, as well as get into the upper echelons of human performance with relatively (read: shockingly) minimal effort.
You’re probably not drinking enough water.
‘Yes, I know’, you think as you roll your eyes. ‘Every self-help or health blog ever written starts with this’. Agreed, it’s cliche as hell – so why the hell aren’t you doing it already? Around 89% of the population isn’t drinking enough water, so it’s pretty clear the message hasn’t been filtering through.
You don’t need an app. You don’t need a fancy water bottle. Simple fix – start your day by drinking two pints of water in quick succession, followed by one later that day – you’ve immediately put yourself in the top 11% of the hydration rankings. Well done, now you really are starting to do great, sweetie.
You’re probably using your phone too much.
The average is four hours on mobile devices. That’s a sixth of your day and that’s adds up to a full two months of your year spent looking at your phone. I’m betting as a kid that’s not how you wanted your life to look. It doesn’t take much insight to know this isn’t good for you.
By switching on the basic in-built limiters literally every phone has you could easily get well below the average. Try some simple rules, like not looking at your phone first thing in the morning, leaving it in another room for most of the day, or turning it off until midday. Honestly – no one will miss you that much if you do those things. You’re not that popular. No one is.
What’s more – by using your phone less you actually get more out of it. You’re getting your biggest dopamine hit out of the first 13 minutes of screen time. After that it slumps way off. Maximise your dopamine per minute ratio by setting a screen limit for 10 minutes max, boom.
You’re probably not reading enough.
Reading is essential for your health, yet the average person reads 16 minutes a day – if you’re under 50 it’s more like 10 minutes. 26% of adults don’t read a single book in a year. Reading tweets doesn’t count. Even those insane 50 tweet threads that have started appearing (just write a blog guys, please).
Read just one book a month and you’ll be in around the top 30% of readers worldwide – by reading for just 30 minutes or so before bed, you can easily do that, as well as probably sleeping better.
Start to read what you like, then soon enough you’ll just like to read.
You’re probably deficient in Vitamin D.
Bit of a curveball, but it’s probably why you feel crappy a lot of the time.60% of the population have insufficient levels of vitamin D, with 20% having a full blown deficiency.
That’s really not good for you, like 80% of those hospitalised by Covid had Vitamin D deficiency not good. 49% of us don’t even know the government recommends taking Vitamin D supplements during the autumn and winter.
Buy a basic over the counter multivitamin with Vitamin D, take one every day and you’ll enter the top 40% of humanity with one pill. Suck it, Bradley Cooper.
You’re not exercising enough.
I get it. Exercise is hard / boring / time-consuming. I exercise every day, and I know it’s boring (humble brag klaxon). To paraphrase Hicks ‘Go to the gym? I don’t even like to count’.
You know what, don’t know if you’ve realised, but brushing your teeth is really boring. Yet you still manage to do it (I hope – maybe I need another bullet point on that one) because you know it’s basic healthcare. So is exercise.
You really don’t need to do a lot in order to feel the benefits. Steps don’t count, that’s a nothing metric and it isn’t exercise by itself. Here’s a starter: go buy a cheap heart tracker, get your heart rate above 100 bpm for just 30 minutes every day with some brisk walking.
Treat exercise in the same way as brushing your teeth, ‘I have to do this thing, it’s weird if I don’t’. And again, you’ll find yourself in the top 7% with the barest effort.
So drink a couple glasses of water, go for a walk, take a multivitamin, read a book for 20 minutes in the morning, leave your phone alone, and, hey presto, you’re better than most of humanity before 9:00 am. The bar is really low. I don’t know how I feel about that, to be honest researching these facts has depressed me somewhat. But do yourself a favour and hop on over.
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