Those of you who know me well have heard me talk about my five “S’s.” These are five things I need consistently in my life to maintain my emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
- Sleep. Of course, everyone needs sleep, but God made me to be a high-sleep person. I need at least eight hours per night on a regular basis, ideally nine or more, to function well. I might be able to make it a couple of days on less, but if I don’t make up the difference soon, I will notice it in my decreased mental sharpness and everyone else will notice it in my mood.
- Silence. As an introvert, I have enough noise in my head; I need regular doses of silence. It doesn’t matter if other people are around as long as it’s quiet — for example, if Dave and I are just reading together on the couch.
- Solitude. But sometimes I also need time by myself, even away from my family. During the school year I get plenty of this during the day; during the summers it has been more of a trick, but my boys are at ages where they are happy to disappear into their room with books, Legos or iPods for hours at a time.
- Space. My internal world is greatly impacted by my external environment. Clutter around me — stuff, visual stimuli, noise — makes my mind and emotions feel discombobulated as well. People often remark about my well-kept house. That’s because part of me literally starts to go crazy if it’s messy for too long. If it’s my space, I try to keep it as neat and clutter-free as possible.
- Sweat. Regular exercise clears my body, mind and soul and helps me sleep better. I love a challenging workout.
If any of these is out of whack for more than a few days, the impact on my energy, focus, and attitude is dramatic. My five S’s are the sliders on my equalizer; I need to make sure they are adjusted to the right levels for the best output.
What do you need to operate at peak capacity?