by Tony Gjokaj July 04, 2020 5 min read
2020 has been one chaotic year for many of us. A lot of emotions, change, and uncertainty. It's mentally tough for every one of us out there: to keep a strong focus on our purpose in life. What will make us stronger is the ability to persist through adversities and the challenges we encounter this year.
In this post, I wanted to dive into the things that have helped me stay the course (and even improve my mindset) in 2020. Let's dive in!
In this section, we are going to explain each way, along with providing scientific and personal evidence for each.
While we typically recommend being around people who will elevate your life (socialization), we can't do that with the Coronavirus being around.
The following ways we recommend revolve around being independent.
According to various studies, exercise has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety. The study we cited showed that a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise had a great impact on improving energy and mood.
Personally, I have found 45-60 minutes of exercise about five days a week has had a positive impact on my mood and personality. It has become ritualistic in that I need exercise, and I go to exercise whenever I am stressed or a little down. Exercise is euphoric to me.
Even if it's as simple as an outside walk, walks have been shown to help physically, mentally... and in others, spiritually. There's something calming about being "in nature" that helps us with a stillness aspect of life.
There are various benefits as you journal such as creativity, organization, goal setting, and more. According to the APA, expressive writing allows you to cope with your challenges and manage your emotions more effectively.
Personally, writing my thoughts, actions, and activities on both a personal journal and planner has significantly improved my productivity. Writing simply helps you discover more about yourself.
In the past, I used to isolate myself from others due to the feeling that I was more of a burden than anything else. Reading books was my escape. Fiction books helped me enhance my creativity, while non-fiction books helped me improve myself mentally.
If you're an individual who has read some incredible books, I say to always look back at books you've previously read. You can find more about yourself or acquire new insights by reading them again.
This is one of the more unconventional things that may make you hesitate. Here's the thing: since we can't necessarily socialize in person, documenting your journey will invite you to the online community.
Think about it: being able to share some of your progress invites discussion. While you may receive some negativity, it will be small compared to the people who actually love what you stand for.
When I personally started creating content that revolved around my journey towards growth, here's what happened:
These only scratch the surface.
The hate is NOTHING compared to the love and support you will receive.
Sleeping well is of utmost importance today. The majority of the United States is sleep-deprived, and sleep deprivation has a large impact on mood.
Personally, my encounters with depression were a result of anxiety and poor sleep. In these times, I would sleep around 4 hours per day. Friends that I know who have encountered depression have had the same issues.
Now that we have discussed our recommendations, here are a few guidelines to improve your mindset in 2020.
We recommend exercising for about 45-60 minutes a day, five times per week. In those days, we recommend the following:
While exercise does suck at the beginning, remember how you feel every time you finish it. That's what you should constantly strive towards achieving.
Meals are also always better after intense exercise.
When it comes to journaling, we would recommend doing so at least 1-2 times per day. Either first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening would work best.
In journaling, it's best to write about what your first thoughts are. Talk about an important event that happened in the day, and even reflect on it. This will help you learn more about yourself, build self-awareness, and more.
With reading, we recommend reading at least 10 pages of personal development books per day. Being able to learn more, or even escape briefly is very therapeutic.
I personally also like to read a fiction book in the evening to unwind. It also allows me to come up with very creative ideas in the evening that I jot down before bed!
In documenting your journey, it may first seem pretty intimidating. Fear of judgment and failure holds you back.
Start small, by posting one piece of content per day: A personal journal, some fitness progress, in your Instagram stories, and more. Talk about your progress frequently. The constant vlogging or social media posts will help you build accountability in working towards bettering you.
I personally regret not documenting my journey until recently. The reason being is that I would've had a social media friends who would hold me accountable, and even help me better myself.
You can't do this alone, and documenting allows you to invite others on your journey.
When it comes to sleep, it is imperative you should get around 6-8 hours of quality sleep per day. In the evenings, you should avoid television, computer or phones as much as you can. If you cannot, be sure to wear blue light glasses, or even use an app like night shift or f.lux on your phone and laptop, respectively. Alternatives to technology can be reading, journaling, and meditation before bed.
Be sure to have a consistent sleep routine or schedule. Whatever it is, consistency builds habits and makes it easier to manage.
According to recent studies, scientists have hypothesized a concept known as Sleep Pressure. Sleep Pressure is defined as the brain's need for sleep - which is developed as a result of how long you've been awake and how much energy you've used.
Sleep Pressure can be acquired through the activities we do throughout the day (including physical and mental activity). This is where personal development, reading, and exercise will help encourage sleep: you are expending more energy that way.
You can read more about Sleep Pressure, Melatonin, and Serotonin here.
Just by adding one of these strategies and doing them consistently can impact you in a more positive way.
If you are implementing most of them already, add another one like journaling or documenting your journey. They have made a huge difference in my personal growth.
Each of us has an opportunity to grow and reach a greater potential. You don't have to do this alone. Feel free to follow us on social media @thereforged. We are a legion of like-minded warriors looking to reach a greater potential.
Thank you for reading Reforged Legion! If you liked this post, feel free to stick around as we have plenty more to come!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj October 10, 2021 2 min read
When I first started working out, it was because I was depressed and overweight.
I wanted more out of my life, so I started with the intention to lose weight.
At first, it was very difficult for me to get into the gym because I would always think about the pain it would be, and hated that I didn't see immediate results.
I did, however, feel the results.
My mood got better, I was able to sleep better, and I made better eating choices.
I didn't follow a diet, I just focused on eating more fruits, vegetables, and leaner proteins like chicken.
It took me a few months, but the results became more visible.
Then I was hooked.
by Tony Gjokaj October 04, 2021 1 min read
Today I wanted to introduce you to the Reforge Yourself 30 Day Mental Health Habit Challenge (A mouthful)!
In this challenge, you will complete 5 small tasks per day which essentially help you build some habits that will improve your health.
Rise to a greater potential.
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