Jonathan Sieg

Boy Scouts Eagle Scout

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What is the best way to stimulate a tired mind and body?

Between school, work, and social life, a typical day in modern society can be exhausting; sometimes from lack of sleep or just plain stress. I want to know what is the safest, most economical, most reliable, and effective method to feel energized and focused when sleep is not an option. Is it drugs (i.e. caffeine), focus games online (i.e., certain diet, types social interaction, or something else?

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    Apr 6 2013: Hi Johathan,
    You are a young person, and you have a tired mind and body already??? Yikes!

    What do you mean "sleep is not an option"? Sleep is necessary for the human body/mind to heal, regenerate, and recharge. MAKE it a priority!

    What are you "stressed" about? There are situations in the life adventure, and "stuff" happens all the time. We can feel "stressed", and spend time and energy with that feeling of "stressed", or we can learn to manage and prioritize those things in our lives that are important to us.

    In my humble perception and experience in observing others, drugs and online games simply add more stress, because they do not enable you to take care of some of the priorities which you may be stressed about, and which might be more important.

    Sleep is important, good exercise is important....even if it's only a short walk every day.....walk or bike to where you need to go rather than ride in a car....take stairs rather than elevator when it's an creative!

    Good healthy diet is important. We cannot expect to feel stimulated with a healthy mind/body if we are fueling it with junk food. Learn about what foods fuel and stimulate the body/mind, rather than deplete the energy.

    Spend time with people who are energized and share that energy with you, rather than with people who deplete their own energy AND yours (people who complain, moan and groan a lot, rather than making good choices for themselves).

    You have many choices in every moment of the life experience. Be clear with what you really want and make a sincere effort to follow through with your own plan. A "typical day in modern society" DOES NOT have to be exhausting, and if you make good choices for yourself, a "typical day" can actually create more energy......then you sleep well at night:>) Ask yourself how important the health of your body/mind is to YOURSELF, because every single choice you make impacts the body/mind:>)
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      Apr 6 2013: Thanks for your comment! Very well put!

      I guess most of my energy is consumed trying to keep up with school and extracurricular activities. I tend to overload myself, than end up regretting it later. I see what you mean about priorities, though. I might have to take some time to realign my own life. Thanks Colleen! :)
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        Apr 6 2013: You are welcome Jonathan....and thanks to you as well:>)

        Listen to your own words my friend...."I tend to overload myself, than end up regretting it later".

        Both "overloading" AND "regret" use up time and energy that can be used differently. Sounds like your solution is already in the works!!! It doesn't have to take a lot of time to "realign" your life....take small steps....make small changes, and your whole life experience changes:>)
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    Apr 6 2013: Manage your energy. What time of the day are you the most productive? Get rid of the trivial and focus on what is important. Do what is important during the time when you are the most productive.

    This book was useful to me:
  • Apr 6 2013: Many great suggestions here for ya.
    When I can't sleep, due to stress etc., I either go dig around in my garden or sit on my front porch swing with some nice music playing & a cup of something hot. Even looking at clouds does wonders. I just let my mind drift & find its own level.
    But the best advice in the world won't help if ya never try it.
    Sometimes the simple things work best.
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      Apr 6 2013: I love walking through the woods also to help me relax and refocus! i agree, just generally relaxing for a little bit would probably help some. Thanks for the comment!
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      Apr 6 2013: Gail and Jonathan,
      I agree Gail, that sometimes, the simple things work best. I often hear that people cannot sleep because of mind chatter....thinking about what they "could" do....."should" do.....etc. There were times, when I spent time thinking about what I "should" do, rather than "being" fully in the moment. All that mind chatter uses up a LOT of time and energy that can be "spent" more productively. Relaxing helps calm the mind chatter. It also sometimes helps to remind us to "BE" in the moment.
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      Apr 9 2013: Those are all great suggestions...very interesting. I will definetely try a few of them out! Thanks for the comment
  • Apr 6 2013: I lived most of my life sleep deprived. It was not worth it.

    Others have said this already, and it is worth repeating.

    If you think there is something more important that getting enough sleep, you are thinking wrong.

    Organize your life around getting enough sleep and staying healthy. If you don't, all those other things that seem more important will suffer because you don't get enough sleep. It is not a trade-off. Sleep and good health are what make you productive so that you can do the important stuff effectively.
  • Apr 6 2013: I think you must already know this answer.

    To keep myself physically strong, . . .

    Take care of your body so that it will serve you well for an entire lifetime. That means eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly to build strength and endurance. it also means avoiding harmful drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and anything else that can harm your health.

    . . . mentally awake, . . .

    Develop your mind both in the classroom and outside of school. Be curious about everything around you, and work hard to make the most of your abilities. With an inquiring attitude and the willingness to ask questions, you can learn much about the exciting world around you and your role in it.

    Sleep is not only an option, it is a requirement. Using chemicals provides marginal short-term benefit at the expense of long-term problems and risks your health. You are at a time in your life when the competition with others can influence opportunities. Be as prepared as you can be, take it seriously and stay as focused as you can, but remain in harmony with nature and yourself. Outside these bounds the stress is self-induced and will reduce your ability to compete.

    In many competitions, you do the best you can do, learn form your mistakes if you can, then be satisfied with your effort. You can make corrections to study habits, learn new material and try new things as time and energy permits. However, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the apparent stress and finality of short-term dramas. Success in academics and life is a long-term proposition.

    Your physical and mental health is your foundation. Stay focused on your end goals, work to achieve them. Just like Scouts!

    RG ES 78'
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      Apr 9 2013: Thanks for the comment! I probably do need to reaarange some things in my life, but I feel as I need to just finish this schoool year out strong (anyway I can, within reason, of course), and try to approach college differently. A fresh start I suppose. Great advice. thanks :)

      JS ES 2012
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    Apr 6 2013: Sleep, exercise, time outdoors, and avoiding junk food. Interacting with positive people rather than people who bring you down or who are high anxiety. Time with the family pet.
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    Apr 6 2013: Jonathan, First congratulations on achieving Eagle Scout. In reference to your question different things work for different people. I had a small area I was responsible for and I encouraged a eleven to one break for lunch and gym time. I considered a lot of studies that said companies get about two hours of work from a employee in the morning and about two in the afternoon ... observation told me this was about true. I took the two in the morning but by adding gym time extened the work effort in the afternoon to about four. I found that exercise on a regular basis release chemicals into the body that revitalize you. That and the shower after gets me going.

    There is a lot to be said for a proper diet, proper rest, and stress relievers. I cannot say what is best for you but try the inclusion of one or more of these and if they do not work then nothing was lost and ... unfortunately .... nothing gained.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Apr 6 2013: Thanks for the comment! And thanks for the congrats!

      Your own experience with this is really interesting. If i had more autonomy with my schedule, i would definitely take a break for fitness in the middle of my day. Unfortunately, I'm a senior in high school, taking several college-level classes. All the same, great anecdote and advice! Thanks :)

  • Apr 6 2013: a pills not allways the answer . all its doin is activating something you already have inside.
  • Apr 6 2013: alleviate stress through meditation
  • Apr 6 2013: i use to have the same problem. about 3 hrs be for bed go for a walk and every once in a while during the walk slow jog to keep heart rate up. good for the body and mind. i have ran and finished 4 marathons but pushed to hard and stopped the marathons still go for the walks though
  • Apr 6 2013: stimulants.
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    Apr 6 2013: .
    The only best way is sleep.
    It is determined by our instincts,
    which are our ancestors' successful experiences.
    That is why humankind spends 50% of their life to sleep.

    (For details, see the 1st article, point 12(3), at
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    Apr 6 2013: Well, it might be helpful to split this into two questions, as they seem quite different. One is how to deal with lack of sleep, and the other is how to deal with stress.

    With lack of sleep, I don't know, as I've almost always gotten enough sleep. My thought would be to prioritize and cut out some activities so that one can get enough sleep. There is a saying "Business before pleasure." This saying would suggest one should do the business of one's life, in your case school and work, before the pleasure, socializing. Actually, we wonder where school and work fit in your life-balance? What sort of schooling are you doing? What are you working towards? Must you go to school? Perhaps your life goals can be met by leaving school and entering the work force? Or how about your work? If you are going to school, why are you working? Can you find a way to go to school only and work less, or not at all? It's a bit hard to help you prioritize without knowing more about your life. I might add that one should not cut socializing, or recreation, 100%. There is also a saying, "All work and no play makes Jonathan a dull boy."

    As far as stress goes, well, reprioritizing if it comes to that ought to help. Also, you could see a psychotherapist. Some people would recommend religion, although being an atheist I find it hard to recommend that. Again, it would help to know what exactly is stressing you. Are you in some highly competitive, or difficult, school program, such as a pre-med program? What is your motivation for being in that program? If whatever you are studying is stressing you, could that indicate it's a bad fit for you, and you shouldn't be following that line of study, after all, we should enjoy our study, and our work.

    I would say to help you the best we would need to know more.
  • Apr 6 2013: Congratulations on your achievements, but get enough sleep. You do want a long productive life don't you?