My New Years resolutions are late not so much New Years resolutions but new term resolutions.
Basically it boils down to being healthier, both physically and mentally. This term is all about reaching a balance. Here are some of the things I want to do to ensure I feel well.
Eat regular meals, as well as snacks when I need them
Cook as often as I have time for
Drink more water
Get on a sleep schedule that allows for adequate sleep, and breakfast in the mornings
Take a stress management class
Use my Tanda for hopefully clearer skin
Read ‘the Now Habit’
Allow myself treats and leisure time without feeling guilt
Exercise in at least the limited capacity of rockclimbing with Adam’s fam, and badminton with Leanne
Meet up with friends while we’re all on campus and I have a decent amount of time (Sora, Katie, Leanne, Sean, Kelvin, Laura etc.)
Take time to do fun things (like a Los Campesionos Concert! and a magic tournament perhaps?)
Read books (Can’t wait for tfios and lola and the boy next door)
Spend some quality time working on my own writing, comics, photography, photoshop, drawings, logo design, blog etc These things bring me joy, and therefore are important
Skype my far away friends (Ada, James, Bethany… okay also my parents)
Didn’t I tell Bethany we could do some pen pallish thing? I should do that
Take ownership of, and power from, the decisions I make
Take things one step at a time, resist the urge to obcess, especially when it comes to doing ALL the things, or organizing ALL the things (you see the meme in your head right.
So hopefully I’ll be able to manage that. Right now it seems like sleep is going to be the biggest challenge.
I just wanted to talk a little more about my comic making process. I’m learning how to use Photoshop, but I’m not super comfortable with it, so I mostly draw things on paper. I do my drawings in pencil first, and then use pen to draw over the lines once I have things roughly how I like them. I use Staedtler triplus fineliners, but sharpie fineliners also work pretty well. The reason I use felt tip pens instead of ballpoint is that I find ballpoint pens catch more often and have problems with any previous grooves in the paper. I scan and take pictures of my work at various stages. The Ordinary Superpower comics I’ve been making required an additional step. I used Photoshop to colour them in. I mostly used the paint bucket and brush tool, although I’m sure someone with more expertise (or me when I have had more practice) could use more tools for more advanced effects.
For years, scientists thought that the function of sleep was merely to rest the body and mind, but recent research suggests that sleep is essential for both learning and creativity. It’s no surprise that people who are well rested learn better and are more creative. What is new is the value of sleeping after learning something or during a break in trying to solve a problem. Studies have looked at the benefits of taking naps as well as sleeping through the night.
During sleep, rat’s brains (and yours) practice what they’re recently learned.
Researchers have discovered that your brain becomes very active when you sleep, and that during certain phases of sleep, your brain becomes even more active if you’ve just learned something new. In an early study that identified this process, rats were hooked up to measure the electrical activity of their brains while they learned a maze. Later, while the rats were sleeping, the researchers observed that their brains were emitting the same pattern of activity they had emitted during maze learning. Apparently, the rats’ brains were “re-running” the maze in their sleep and using this time to consolidate their memories of what they had learned. These rats performed better on the maze the next day than rats that were prevented from re-running the maze during sleep.
This same phenomenon has been observed in human learning. In other words, if you learn something and then sleep on it, what you’ve learned becomes clearer just as a function of sleeping. But what’s even more interesting is that sleeping on a problem helps people find better solutions. In a study titled “Sleep Inspires Insight,” participants were given puzzles that involved finding the final number to complete a series of digits. The way they were trained to solve the puzzle was to compare every two-digit pair in the series. What they were not told was that there was a shortcut that allowed people to identify the solution after only two steps. Participants performed three trials of the puzzle and then were given an eight-hour break before returning for ten more trials. Some of them slept during the break and some did not. The people who slept between the two sessions were twice as likely as the others to discover the easier way to solve the problem. According to the researchers, sleeping on a problem apparently allows for a restructuring of the brain connections, “setting the stage for the emergence of insight.”
Well, then I’d better go sleep now. The milk should be taking its effect any minute now. I hope.
We looked into this a little in both psychology 11 and psychology 12, but this is an especially interesting study.