levjoy

Idling high

We had a wonderful, relaxing trip last weekend with friends and kids and dogs. I'd hoped it would be restorative, and it was. I ran a few times on meandering paths and backwoods roads. The unseasonably warm but misty weather made it feel like I was somewhere on the English countryside. But, as happens to me from time to time, I could feel my system idle high for reasons I still don't understand, while still feeling relaxed. By the time I got home, I had really settled.

Who knows why the idling high thing happens. I think it's some combination of my physical reaction to being overstimulated for too long, which was the last month for me (trip to Austin, Outro mixing, prepping for an Outro show, prepping for a weekend-long All Feels recording session, work, family, all of it). My brain starts searching for more stuff to fix, more stuff to learn, more things to be involved in. Before I know it I'm not sleeping enough, my heart rate is 10 bpms too high, I feel jittery. I know this cycle well, and yet it still creeps up on me.

In any case, the system is calming down again. Maybe this is because I've been doing mind-focusing things like getting absorbed in a book (I'm revisiting the Three Body Problem and it remains a lifechanging series), taking my foot off the music gas a bit, doing things like crosswords instead of starting random new projects, and making myself get this stuff down in words, all of which helps.

Also, I'm reminded of a prescription for a calm system (for me) that I came up with a few years ago. It is still mostly correct. Here it is, annotated with updates:

1. Caffeine: 1 cup coffee equivalent per day 

2. Meditation: Every day 

3. Sleep: 7.5 hours a day 

4. Alcohol: 1-2 drinks a week [this is now next to no alcohol]

5. Weed: None 

6. Exercise: Meet daily goals every day [this is now running 4-5 miles 4 times a week) 

7. Food: Protein, veggies, fewer carbs and sugar [I am big time failing on this] 

8. Reading: Every night 

9. Screens: Less [lol]

10. Kids: As much as possible

11. Dog: All the time 

12. Music: As much as possible [this happened and now it's time for a re-balance]

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