Stop complaining about how tired you are and go to bed.
Each week I’ve decided to focus on one habit that I need to focus on in an effort to get my momentum back so that I can lose the next 30 pounds. This week my focus is on rest. I spend a lot of time keeping busy in an effort to stay awake. Like most mothers I suffer from chronic sleep deprivation (CSD). And the truth is you just can’t survive for long on not enough sleep. Eventually your memory starts to play tricks on you. You start nodding off at inopportune moments and you can be so cranky even Mary Poppins would recommit herself to corporeal punishment to get even.
But those of course are the social side effects. The emotional side effects include ‘poor me’ syndrome. This condition will have you standing in the middle of Target weeping uncontrollably over which brand of shampoo to purchase. Individuals who have stepped over to this even darker side of sleep deprivation are the dark cloud in everyone’s sunny day. No matter how optimistic your natural disposition is, you without a nap equals doom and gloom. It’s very difficult to see the silver lining when your vision is cloudy.
Getting rest is simply best. And true rest isn’t just about sleeping, cause let’s face a mother with chronic sleep deprivation can nod off on the front row of a monster truck rally. Rest is about quiet. Rest is about calm. Rest when it is authentic is about release.
So starting this week I commit to
- Turn off my cell phone and stop all tweets, posts and emails especially when I find myself doing them in an effort to stay awake versus attempting to engage. I will not use the internet to distract me from the truth of my own body’s weariness.
- Leave the crackers on the counter. I will not snack in an effort to regain some kind of ‘energy’ to keep the candle burning past the reasonable hour. If sleep is what I am craving than doggone sleep is what it will be. I give myself reprieve from the need to fold every towel and scrub every dish. Instead I will do what I can when I can and when my body is past the point of no return I will go to sleep without adding caffeine or sugar (carbs included) into the midst to falsify my energy margins.
- Not make another list or commitment. It never fails that when I am the most wary I put the most pressure on myself. It is when I truly believe I cannot do another thing that I will volunteer to do 4 more things. This week I’m checking myself before I reck myself even further. When I set a queue, folk will just have to wait their turn in the original line, no skipping over others because I will not redo the list. There simply isn’t time.
- Turn off the tv and radio. Between my kiddo’s movies and the evening drama’s I TiVo and the songs that constantly play on the radio I can honestly say I have missed the sound of my own voice – in my head. It’s very difficult to rest when you keep playing over your day as well as scenes from some fiction you watched right before bed. This week the tv is being TiVo’ed and I’m getting sleep. Really it’s better without the commercials anyway. And it’s really better when I’m not falling asleep before the end. No spoilers please.
- Affirm myself. Self-affirmation is something I often prescribe for others. I do so because I believe it’s powerful. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself. The world is constantly spinning and turning and the focus of it changes with the times and the weather. People change too. It’s important that you re-ground yourself in the things in life you find nourishing. This week I started Michael Bernard Beckwith‘s book 40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast. The one page daily reads include affirmations I use to set the tone for my day and night.
- Go to bed. As a child I detested having a bedtime. For a decade I created very inventive work arounds to convince my mother that I did not need to go to sleep at a designated time. This manipulation, which never worked on my mother, seems to be working on me. I need a bedtime. Especially now. Without one I will stay up all night doing absolutely nothing and for no reason simply because I am too tired to get and go to bed. There have been nights when I have fallen completely asleep lopsided and upside down on the couch in mid-fold of a pair of socks or sheets. It’s just ridiculous. So this week when I can’t keep my eyes open any longer I actually go to sleep. There have been nights when I’ve gone to bed at 8:30 and other nights when I’ve made till 10 pm. And I’m alright with that, no more nerd phobia’s or old folk hysteria for setting a bedtime for me. Mama’s need sleep.
I’ve decided I don’t have to live with chronic sleep deprivation. I can see clearly how it’s been working on my health and social interactions. Trying to push myself beyond the point of reason and using all these foolhardy tools to stay awake will take me on the path where I regain every ounce I worked so hard to lose. It definitely doesn’t set me up for the next leg on my weight loss journey. So this week and beyond I commit to rest my body and my mind. In addition to getting a jump-start on this weight loss, I may also start to remember the reason I walked into a room, or picked up the phone to call…
Here’s to authentic rest and the power I will regain.