My Week at Uni – Space

This week has been all about space for me and I’m not talking about outer space or the universe beyond Earth. I’m talking physical space, the space in my mind between thoughts, space in my daily structure and routine. Making room so that my life doesn’t feel quite so cluttered.

Last week was the last week of a chaotic workload and another 7 day working week. This week onwards my schedule suddenly opened up and there was a heck of a lot of space. I didn’t want to just fill that time with stuff and wanted to be intentional about my week. In doing so and starting to plan my time and uni work down to the last second, I realised this wasn’t working for me anymore. I realised that I need to give myself and my schedule a bit more freedom so I just wrote down my tasks to be done for the week and each day I would pick and choose the task to do depending on what I was actually inspired to do. It felt so much better not to be trapped by a schedule which is odd for me. I usually like the comfort and familiarity of structure and routine; it helps me know I’ll get everything done on time. At the moment, it’s not working for me, it feels restrictive and unhelpful. With less of a workload I don’t have to be so regimented and I’m really grateful for that this week.

In terms of uni sessions, this week we had our usual Nutrition and Performance lecture, this week was all about fluids, specifically water and hydration. It was a good lecture, interesting but short. There’s only so much to be said: hydration good, dehydration bad (obviously I’m simplifying but take home…dehydration has a negative impact on performance.) For our research project we had a session about meta-analyses which are a type of study. As my project is not a meta-analysis it wasn’t as relevant but was useful to understand what a meta-analysis is and how the data is drawn and used.

The majority of my time this week was spent on the assessments which are ongoing across this whole academic year and I truly thought that by not scheduling my time I wouldn’t get as much done. But it turned out that I actually achieved more on my current projects than if I had planned in specific hours to do them. Putting less pressure on myself gave me the space I needed to choose to do the work rather than have to do it. This is clearly what I’m needing at the moment to get the work done so I’m allowing myself more space and freedom in my time.

Personal learning this week: Ease off on yourself, give yourself permission and space for rest and you may find you’re more productive!

Interesting things I’ve learnt this week:

  • Oats are fricking awesome – I love oats, I really do. I’ve waffled on before about how awesome they are but I was doing some research this week and was reminded of just how awesome they are so I’m reminding you too. Low in saturated fat, low in sugars, high in fibre, high in protein, a decent amount of b vitamins and high in a lot of other minerals too. Oats really are awesome.
  • ‘Cutting water weight’ is still a recommended thing for body building – and for other physique-based competitions. While we know that dehydrating your body can be not just dangerous but actually fatal with there being multiple reported deaths in bodybuilding due to this, it still is recommended. On Myprotein’s website they actually provide a guide on how to do this. The article states: “This is not a fool proof process – even the guys at the top sometimes mess up – it’s important to be careful and precise as there are implications of which you may look flat and potentially bloated.” The concern given by the author is that you need to be careful or you’ll look flat, not you need to be careful or your might die. What the actual f**k. One of the major dangers of putting aesthetics before health. Stay safe, drink water kids.
  • If you think someone’s dehydrated do not just give them water – they may actually have hyponatremia (abnormally low blood sodium levels). You can get this from drinking too much water, it dilutes the electrolytes in the blood, such as sodium. You can get the same symptoms as dehydration: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache/confusion, weakness, muscle cramps. If you think someone’s dehydrated but are not sure always give water with salt – the sodium will really help, when we lose that balance in the body plain water will just cause a greater imbalance.

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