We spend hours and hours blankly staring at our computer screens for eight months straight (or more) only to discover a new layer of fat build up either in a form of a double chin, pot belly, or underarm flab! Legend has it that after your first year of post secondary education your average drops by 10% while your weight increases by 10lbs. Please don’t make the lose 10, gain 10 tale a reality! We’re better than that. In order to transform our physical health, we first need to cleanse our mental health. It’s mind over body now!
It’s not easy to wean yourself away from the computer; this is why it is important to not only make goals, but write them down. When you write things down, you are more likely to remember them and act upon them. A written statement is much stronger than a verbal statement.
Abide by the following and you will be well on your way to mental detoxification!
Limit your screen viewing 1-2 hours less than your normal. You can use 3 hours a day as a starting point. Think of anytime spent away from sitting and watching “screens” as time well spent. Screens are not limited to just your laptop, or monitor, they include television, mobile, and any other gaming console that requires you to sit (excluding interactive ones such as Wii). Instead of playing video games about sports, why not play the sport itself with friends? This means time not spent straining our eyes, sitting on our bottoms (discover how sitting is killing) and developing bad posture (and then we wonder why our back and neck hurt all the time)!
Ever thought of cleaning your closest? This is a great time-consuming and therapeutic activity you can keep yourself busy with over the summer. Make a box titled “donation” and another titled “to keep.” Refrain from keeping clothes just for their sentimental value. Simply think of all the children in the world that desperately want and need to be clothed. My rule of thumb is, if I haven’t worn it in a year (then I won’t for another year) and to the donation box it goes.
Improve your salaat. Praying fajr salaat especially becomes a challenge when sunrise is so early and you have only from 3am to 5am to complete your prayer. Make fajr salaat an utmost priority. This morning prayer will give you that jump start you need and positively transform your day! If possible, designate one area, free from any distractions, for your salaat. If you’re feeling creative, decorate the area with a board saying “prayer room” in Arabic or English. It is not enough to simply pray salaat, but to have that concentration, energy and motivation to pray. Use these ideas to help your soul reach that optimal state of awareness in salaat. Spending an extra 10-15 on salaat will benefit you more than the hours spent staring at the screens.
Establish a daily exercise routine and add some variation to your routine. Think of exercise as something non-negotiable like salaat. Have you addressed your laziness, lack of motivation and lack energy to do anything? Simply start by doing 25-50 jumping jacks a day, coupled with sets of sit-ups and stretches. This will fulfill the minimum requirement of 20 minutes we need every day. Exercise doesn’t mean having to buy a gym membership, or joining an expensive Pilates class. It also involves using up the stored energy you got from eating, and preventing it from being stored as fat! Buy a pedometer if you need to and set a goal for at least 10 000 steps a day. It sounds like a lot, but it can be achieved purely by walking.