So, this week I am more concerned with sharing the importance of taking care of yourself (this means physically and mentally). More so, as I transitioned to this new culture I found myself living at MSRA, staying up late and not excercising. What this meant for me was that my overall well being was declining. To be more blatent, I just felt plain tired even though I was eating like a king. Solution - excercise, eating healthy, drinking lots of water (I would say lots of tea but the caffeine will keep you up all night) and good sleep.
Excercise - Rather than hopping the train, I walk to and from work every day. This is a half hour each way which makes for an hour of low end excercise. It is nice though because I turn on my audio Chinese lessons and get to work on learning this language. I can only guess what the locals think as I am verbally practicing my pronuncaitions of things like excuse me and where is the bathroom. :) For some more serious excercise, I have found a climbing wall that I visit and plan to visit at least twice a week. It is located in Ritan park and I have already met a bunch of great locals and internationals there.
Eat Healthy - A pantry filled with snack food, a cafeteria with great food, restaurants all around with some serious cousine, hot chocolate dispensers (my favorite) all mean that it is way to easy to move away from those fruits and vegetables that are so much better for us. As a point, I stop by a local shop on my way to work and pick up some fruit to use as snack food rather than those oh so scrumptious wafer bars. Overall, be sure to take stock in what you are putting in your body as too much of anything is probably not good.
Hydrate - I have touched on this before but the Beijing area is a very dry and dusty (it is common to hack up dust balls throughout the day) area. While tea is abundantly available (it is China ya know), the caffeine will tear your body to shreds. Just do a cup here or there and then go for the water. Same thing with the social drinks. Yes, they might be cheaper than water but they dehydrate your body.
Sleep - yes, it does take a bit of time for your body to adjust and yes the tea will help keep you going throughout the day but it is a vicious cycle. Set a time to be home and in bed and try to stick to said time. When I first arrived here I was running on four or five hours of sleep but that can last only so long. If you try and keep it going, your body will shut down and you will be sick for a few days. Not fun.
So, there are my suggestions for taking care of your body while you are in China. Yes, they are common sense but sometimes we get so excited in a new environment that we forget to take care of ourselves.