I love junk food. I love chips and twinkies and movie theatre popcorn. I love Oreo McFlurries from McDonalds. As much as you all cringe at this list, you can’t deny the fact that you also began to salivate. I believe that I have developed a mild love for Mountain Dew. But, not just any Mountain Dew. I like the mixed sodas from Great Scott’s, a gas station down the street from my apartment. Now, we all have our little addictions. I’m not proud of my love for Mountain Dew. But I think that the past few weeks it has really helped me out a lot. Everyone has that little thing that brings them joy in this troubled world. While Mountain Dew helps me to stay awake at night when I need that little extra push to do homework, there are a few other things I’ve figured out since being home. Through smiling, exercise, and spending time with those who lift me up, I’ve been able to find a joy that lasts a little longer than the kick that lovely green soda brings me.
I have a hard time smiling. My face, when I’m deep in thought, is not a smile. I look really irritated at the world. People always ask me if I’m mad at them, or if something happened. This usually pulls me out of my daze, and respond with a, “What? Did you say something?” According to pickthebrain.com, psychologists have found that smiling really does improve your mood. I have found that smiling at people as I’m out and about usually brings a smile in return, which automatically lifts my spirits. Fake it till you make is a motto that really helps me out.
For the past month I have been very diligent about working out. 3 days a week I have to get up at 6:45 to get to the gym, while the other days I just go after class. Not only have I lost a few pounds, but I have seen a noticeable difference in how I feel and how I view the world around me. I’ve been able to handle stress better, and I feel now that I really can accomplish those goals that always felt out of reach. I’m almost at a point where I look forward to going to bed at night so that I can wake up and go work out. (Currently the only thing standing between me and bed is this blog post.) I am someone who thrives on sleep. I don’t do well when I am in bed by 2am. The Mayo Clinic, a world renowned hospital in Minnesota, states that regular exercise improves mood and increases energy. I love how I feel after I do some squat sets. Nothing compares. My next plan of action is to start eating healthier. I think I’ll feel even better when I give up Mountain Dew..
Some of the best and worst experiences I’ve had since being home have involved my friends. I love them. But they also give me a huge amount of anxiety. So, I have thought long and hard about exactly who I want to spend my time with, and about how I will spend my time. You really do become like those who you are around the most.But, on that note, I also feel that you can be a force for good to those that you are with. We can help those around us as well, and I think that I’ve also been able to help my friends to become more spiritually focused. As we turn outwards, and focus away from our own problems, we can really begin to feel like we did as missionaries. If we are willing, Heavenly Father will always give us opportunities to lift and inspire.
For everyone, its different. What helps me get through each day will be different for you. But, whether its going on a run, or eating chocolate cake, find what makes you happy, and DO IT.