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Post Column: Avoid meditation mistakes: Take a nap first

I had it in my head that I was going to write this column on meditation to relieve stress.

I won’t lie; I only gave it a half-hearted attempt. I paused South Park. I looked up a how-to video on YouTube that somehow involved watching planets spin out of an extremely pixelated bald man’s head. I sat in that really stereotypical position with my legs crossed and my index finger and thumb touching.

Immediately, I felt like I should have been wearing a late ’90s-era Gwen Stefani-style bindi and have a tapestry of the seven chakras hanging up. So essentially like the whitest girl you can possibly conceive.

I honestly couldn’t do it. It was exactly like that scene in Eat, Pray, Love when Julia Roberts spends the entire time she’s supposed to be meditating thinking about what color she would paint her meditation room. (I’m probably the only person on this campus who watches that movie on a semi-regular basis, but whatever, no shame.)

Originally, I sat down to write about this little venture, thinking I could squeeze out a few clever words, make fun of myself and talk about the power of patience and concentration or something.

Haha, no. Next thing I know it’s 45 minutes later and I’m waking up to my laptop propped on its side (optimal for minimal arm movement while typing) and the distinct smell of melting chocolate.

It took a few minutes for my groggy and sleep-deprived mind to grasp at what had happened, but when I figured it out, I actually said aloud, “No. No I didn’t.”

But I did. I fell asleep on a piece of chocolate. It melted all over my sheets and my hair and my arm and my clothes and my face. I don’t even remember why it was in my bed.

If you’ve never felt that special mixture of being completely and utterly appalled at and disgusted with yourself before, it’s just really something that you need to experience in order to understand.

This incident has led me to re-evaluate several aspects of my life. Aside from being lazy and gross, I think I’ve found the root of most of my problems: I need more sleep, and badly.

Wait, I’m in college and I’m sleep-deprived? What a novel concept!

Seriously though, remember at the beginning of the semester when you actually had a semi-normal sleep schedule and felt in control of your life? What happened?

Staying up until 5:30 to read 400 pages of a book and write a six-page paper on it that’s been assigned for three weeks is what happened. Going to bed at 6:00 in the morning and waking up at 3:00 in the afternoon on the weekends is what happened.

It’s so hard to claw your way out of an endless cycle of procrastination, but think about it. Just start your work, like, maybe a few days before it’s due.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here. This is the age-old adage we’ve been hearing since middle school, but why do we all continue to ignore it? STOP. Think about sleep —beautiful, beautiful sleep.

Can you tell I’m writing this at 4:00 in the morning?

Go write your paper. Go do your calculus homework. Go study for your exam on Monday. Just get it done, man.

Because getting your work done = more sleep = well-rested = less stressed = happiness.

Oh, and if getting enough sleep really doesn’t do it for you, just remember that Kendrick Lamar will be here in April.


Cortni Dietz is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Send her your meditation tips at

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