Hey there, welcome to this week’s Further!
I’ve been trying to distract myself from, well, *gestures broadly at everything.* So instead of doomscrolling constantly on Twitter, I’ve been digging for resources for smarter living to share with you.
Without further ado, here are the top ten for the last week of October. Hopefully one or more of these provides you with your first steps to a better 2021.
We know that retirement at age 65 is a fabricated cut-off point from days gone by, when most workers did physical labor. And since the mid-1980s, the average retirement age has been rising. Plus, nearly 9 in 10 Gen Xers are falling short of their retirement goals (and that was pre-pandemic). So, the question becomes …
Can I Actually Retire at 65? | Mint
Let’s say you do retire at 65. Due to advances in longevity and healthspan, the “retirement” years are getting longer and longer. Plus, studies show that many retirees feel bored and irrelevant … for decades.
Rethinking Retirement | New York Times
Immune System Redux
At the beginning of the pandemic, we explored the realities of improving your immune system. Seven months later, COVID-19 is spreading as fast as ever, and we’re facing double trouble with the impending flu season.
How to Boost Your Immune System This Flu Season | Next Avenue
Eat, Pray, Sleep
Recent research, such as a 2016 study supported by Columbia University and New York Obesity Research Center, reveals which foods can optimize sleep. Here’s a list to help you choose sleep-enhancing nourishment.
How to Eat if You Want Better Sleep | Wall Street Journal
This Ted Talk Puts You to Sleep
This technique by Jim Donovan M.Ed., a professional musician and Assistant Professor at Saint Francis University, is interesting. I tried it out, and it does get your brain to “power down” through rhythm, breathing, and perhaps most importantly, a focused distraction that shuts down racing thoughts.
You Didn’t Have to Shake It But You Did …
… and I thank you. In research studies, psychologists found that the best way to express gratitude is to elaborate on how responsive your loved one was to your needs, and highlight the extent of a partner’s sacrifice.
The concept of friluftsliv, or open-air living, encourages outdoor adventures for all ages in all weather. This Norwegian practice encourages you to get outside to make the pandemic’s colder months more bearable.
What is Friluftsliv? How an Idea of Outdoor Living Could Help Us this Winter | National Geographic
Americans have a higher standard of living and more comfort than ever, and yet happiness has consistently fallen since 1988. Perhaps the remedy is to not buy that thing, forget putting your faith in politicians, and never trade love for anything.
Are We Trading Our Happiness for Modern Comforts? | The Atlantic
Anticipating future fun events is a powerful mood booster, and a lack of things to look forward to is likely contributing to our national state of melancholy. Looking forward to good things in the future is a key element of well-being, so start thinking about what you’ll do when this shit show passes. It will, right?
Your Brain Needs a Party | Elemental @ Medium
Your 10th resource comes from Trudi down below, who has tips for dealing with emotional fatigue (gee, how timely). And in the Flashback, the story behind those who came from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.
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By Trudi Roth
Life today can feel like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. That’s how Churchill described Russia’s intentions in 1939, and it feels like history is repeating itself.
Of course, foreign meddling in our elections isn’t the only burden we’re carrying — that’s so 2016. Plowing forward in a pandemic amidst the avalanche of doom-and-gloom reports, misinformation, and other relentless stressors is exhausting.
So while one of the signature traits of COVID-19 is fatigue, you don’t have to be infected with the virus to feel perpetually tired.
The good news is that once you’ve eliminated medical reasons for your weariness, you can take a few easy steps to give your fatigue a rest.
The Rundown on Emotional Exhaustion
There are many flavors of fatigue, from the physical kind that comes from vigorous exercise to mental fatigue from a concerted effort, like doing taxes. Neither of those forms of fatigue necessarily saps your ability to sleep or leads to prolonged exhaustion.
If you’re feeling tired all the time and wondering why, since your work and social life seems a lot more low-key these days, then what you’re dealing with is emotional exhaustion.
And it’s not just you — that feeling of being physically tired or numb is affecting people worldwide. Scientists from Harvard and Ohio State have dubbed this particular strain of emotional exhaustion crisis fatigue:
… a phenomenon that occurs as the body attempts to adapt after feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Having used up the surge capacity that got us through the initial phase of the pandemic, the perpetual loop of stress chemistry released from being in fight-flight-freeze mode takes its toll. And if you’re stressed during the day, chances are your sleep is shot, too.
That’s the Catch-22 of crisis fatigue. Break the cycle by taking action to improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
Fight Your Fatigue
Pre-COVID-19, we had routines and regularly left the house for work and errands. This provided both reliable stimulation and daily exposure to sunlight — both of which researchers say stabilize circadian rhythms. Reinstating a daily routine that includes time outside can make a profound difference.
Additionally, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and limiting sleep-busters like naps and alcohol also set the stage for better rest.
And then there’s sleep itself: make it sacred with a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Blue light is like sunrise, so no screens an hour before hitting the hay. Instead, make relaxation part of your pre-sleep regime by trying deep-breathing exercises, meditation, reading by lamplight, or taking a hot bath.
Running on fumes has run its course. Take back your night and catch some Zs to put the zip back in your step.
- Crisis Fatigue and the COVID-19 Pandemic | Psychology Today
- Feeling tired during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s how you can improve your energy and motivation levels | ABC Radio – AUS
Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song (Live)
Led Zeppelin III, 1970
Immigrant Song is about the Viking invasions of England from AD 793 until the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when Anglo-Saxon and Viking rule ended. Robert Plant was inspired to write the tune after an invitation from the Icelandic Government to play a concert in Reykjavik. In case you’re wondering about the song’s mythological references, the Norse created the first permanent settlement at Reykjavík around AD 870. | YouTube
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