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Tips for Staying Awake During General Conference

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School has started and fall is in the air, which means General Conference is just around the corner. God wants to talk to us about the time that we live in and the challenges that we face. Despite the importance of General Conference and the desire to hear the counsel the Lord wishes to give us, many of us have trouble falling asleep, which can prevent us from gaining personal revelation.

I love General Conference and the spirit that it brings. I feel connected to my brothers and sisters around the world, and more importantly, I feel connected to heaven. But, without fail, I always seem to fall asleep and miss a lot of what is being said and taught. When that happens, it leaves me with a feeling of guilt for missing out on wonderful talks that were given. Can you imagine someone falling asleep listening to King Benjamin, Joseph Smith, or even Christ? No, neither can I. In order to be more attentive to the Spirit and have better chances of receiving personal revelation, here is a list of five ways to help you stay awake during General Conference.

1. Keep your hands busy. Sometimes when you stare at a screen too long, your eyes can become tired and want to rest. Instead of watching General Conference for the whole weekend, give your eyes a break and just listen while you do something else like taking notes, knitting a sweater, or coloring (my favorite). Keep your brain active by doing something menial with your hands, and it will allow you to tune into the words that are being spoken.

2. Let there be light. To help your eyes and make sure that your body knows the sun is shining, make sure there is plenty of light where you are sitting. Open the blinds and let the sun in. If it is too dark, your body will think it is bedtime and start relaxing or even taking a nap. Wake it up with light.

3. Stay hydrated. Drinking water, especially ice-cold water, shocks the brain and keeps the little mice in your head turning the wheel. Sip on it while you watch or listen to General Conference, and you will be better able to pay attention and retain the lessons being taught. While you drink water, you could also munch on some snacks to keep your energy up. (Just don’t overdo it!)

4. Massage it out. Stimulating your nerves will wake up your senses and your body. The best place to really wake up your senses is the place where they are all collected together: your face. Massaging your cheeks, pulling your ears, or pinching your nose will activate the nerves and help you stay awake.

5. Walk it out. Sometimes in my college classes that run for an hour or two, the teacher gives us a 10-minute to 15-minute break to get up and stretch. One writing conference the teacher actually had us stand up and dance for a few minutes. Even during General Conference, there is an intermediate hymn to have everyone stand up and sing.

Getting up and moving wakes up the whole body and helps the information that we just learned stay in our brain. Before General Conference starts and in between sessions, get up and go on a quick 10-minute walk in the beautiful autumn air. When you come back and sit down, you will notice that you will be more awake and attentive during the talks.

Try these tips and let me know how they work for you!

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