Rebooting Your Personal Operating System: Getting a Fresh Start

14679872_sDon’t you just love those mornings when you wake up feeling refreshed and energized? You’re ready to face your day and feel that nothing can stop you. Then you have those days where you feel the complete opposite, but can’t figure out why. It’s likely the result of an ineffective reboot of your personal operating system. Our systems are a lot like a computer in that, if it doesn’t get enough down time, it starts to malfunction. The following are three ways to make sure you’re getting a proper reboot.

1. Are you getting enough sleep at night? I’ve heard it said that a person should be able to function normally with five hours of sleep. I’ve also heard that you need at least eight. I’ve heard some say that they feel sluggish if they sleep for more than seven hours. I believe this is due to the differences in our chemistry. One may have a positive response to five hours of sleep while another may not. The key here is to know you. Instead of letting others tell you how much sleep you need. Listen to your body. It knows what it needs and it will communicate with you. We just have to learn to listen to it.

2. How’s your diet? Often times, not getting a proper reboot can be directly related to the foods we eat or don’t eat. Are you eating foods that will cause an upset stomach, which can prevent a good night of sleep? Are you drinking too much before bed, which can cause you have to hold it or get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Both of these can interrupt a proper reboot. Try to eat only foods that flow with your body’s chemistry. Again, your body will speak to you. If it’s having bad responses to certain foods, you should stop eating those foods and replace them with something the body actually needs. Practice eating more for nutrition than taste. That’s usually a safe bet.

3. Are you stressing? Stop it! Some might disagree with me on this, but I believe stress is the number one killer of adults. Yes! I know you’re thinking, it’s heart disease and cancer, but think about this. Stress weakens the immune system. A weak immune system allows for more disease to pass through. As one of my mentors would say, “Forget the fruit, get to the root.” That is the problem that no one sees. Don’t let stress prevent you from a proper reboot. Do the best that you can with what you have to work with, and then let it go! When I was young, my mom would say, “An ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure.”

Because we don’t properly reboot, we turn to quick fixes and patches such as coffee, energy drinks or pills to help us stay awake and active. While these may work for short term, they cannot become our lifestyle. You’ll eventually need to give your body what it really needs and that’s a proper reboot; otherwise, just like a worn down computer, it will crash. A friend of mine said to me years ago, “The best cure for sleep is sleep. Take care of your physical body and it will take care of you. Reboot!

Eric L. Lipsey