I disconnect for one hour every day.
I am no longer part of the intimately woven web of social media. I am no longer staring at my phone until my eyes become blurry. For one hour every day, I am merely another person at the gym. I’m not thinking about my schedule for the rest of the day or what I need to do, and I’m certainly not planning my post-graduation future.
For one hour every day, I am utterly in the moment. I’m only aware of the sweat dripping off my body. I’m only conscious of my feet repeatedly landing on the moving piece of rubber beneath them. I’m concentrating solely on the activity at hand.
When I got to college, I started to use the gym as a tool to lead a healthier life and, perhaps more importantly, a way to improve my entire life. I need that hour or so to stay mentally sane. The time devoted to exercising is a sanctuary from the constant pressure of my own mind. I’m not actively trying to present myself a certain way, nor am I worried about how others may view me. The gym is a haven from my own thoughts and stresses.
When the workout is done, I am given a whole new perspective on the day—every day. A day when I haven’t sweat, I’m unbalanced, not at mental peace. Exercising is my way to physically remove myself from the stresses of everyday life and the constant pull of social media.
(How fitting that I would find some of the most relevant articles on Facebook.)
I was scrolling through my feed the other morning when I came upon an article titled “11 Things that I Need to Hear Right Now, and I’m Sure You Do Too.” The adeptly titled piece was right. Those 11 sentences of seemingly simple concepts were exactly what I needed to understand. More importantly, I needed to be reminded that whatever I think is so stressful or so important in my life will eventually be figured out or won’t matter in a few days, weeks, years. It reminded me of how important everything in high school seemed to be, yet as soon as I walked across the stage to graduate, all of those trivial things ceased to be worthy of my worry. Life started once I began college.
After I read that article, I went on to read a few of her other pieces: “Happiness is a Mindset,” “11 Reasons You Should Never Go Looking for Love,” and “11 Emotions You’ve Experienced but Never Heard of.”
I’ve been struggling with trying to put my emotions into words about the experience of simply reading this articles, but I haven’t been successful. I guess I merely wanted to share my thoughts and the rest of these pieces with you so that they may be as impactful as reminders in your own lives as they were in mine.
To the author of these pieces: Thank you for putting into words what I couldn’t.