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The Covid-19 pandemic spun us into a world of anxiety and uncertainty. Due to health risks all over the world, we have simplified our lives and identified what is essential. However, the majority of the world’s population is forced to continue living within their homes. Each individual is trying to deal with the present circumstances in the best way possible. While we are driven to be productive and creative, boredom leaves us clamouring for things to do. We have found that an easy way to fill the gap is to spend time on our phones and other devices.
Over the past couple of months, internet usage surged with articles, vlogs, and visuals of personal stories on newly acquired skills and overdue creative projects. We try our best to find good content and reliable information about what is going on in the world. Yet, excessive screen time can also be self-destructive. To counter that urge, I focus on the three most important things to balance me out throughout the entire day. I start off with personal time with God. This helps me define my purpose and take on a positive attitude towards tasks, whether mundane or specialised. In case you missed it, you can find my previous article on spiritual tips to get through the day here.
I then crank up my brain with a few minutes of exercise, preferably done outdoors. We are constantly reminded that physical activity is a proven way to optimise the performance of our minds and bodies. The Dana Foundation wrote an article about what happens in the body and brain during exercise. Findings from their research show that when the heart rate increases during exercise, blood flow to the brain increases. The brain is then exposed to more oxygen and nutrients that nourish brain cells with proteins released in the body when exercising. Exercise promotes the growth of these brain cells called neurons that are the building blocks of the brain. It also induces the release of beneficial proteins in the brain, therefore, important to overall brain health.
In the late 1800s, Ellen White wrote in her book, Mind Character, and Personality, that mental effort is restricted when physical exercise is neglected. Some of give up on training at first sight of discomfort. A research article published in 2019 by the US National Library of Medicine sheds a positive light on muscle soreness resulting from physical activity. The findings suggest that lactate, which is commonly blamed for muscle soreness usually after an intense workout, is released by the muscles and travels through the bloodstream to the brain. It then alters the brain’s neurochemistry in a way that can reduce anxiety and protect against depression. In other words, this positive effect in our bodies helps us face hard conditions in life.
Isn’t it amazing how God in His wisdom has given us tools which can help us cope with the pressure we get from life? Furthermore, God understands our personal struggles. In 2nd Corinthians 12:9, He has promised that His grace is sufficient for those who seek Him. He will never leave us alone (Deuteronomy 31:6). In our pursuit for balance, may we humbly seek for God’s power in our lives. By His grace, the quality that we put into the hours of the day will significantly affect how we cope with the world around us.
By Romhelyn Deles