Last month was my birthday, which I always find is a time for reflection. I’ve also been traveling a ton–nothing really new there–but I feel like it’s been effecting me more than usual. And not really for the better. And just in general, I’ve been taking stock of my life: my goals, a review of how I’m feeling, things I think I’m doing well, areas where I’m struggling.
In looking at what’s working and what clearly isn’t, I’ve come up with an overall theme with the state of my life as I write this today.
It seems so simple–but it’s really the thing I seem to struggle with the most–How to find balance when there’s always one more thing to do? And in looking for answers I find I’m willing to lay down hard earned cash for products that promise impossible deliverables–a cream to lessen the bags under my eyes, a juice cleanse to feel refreshed, new workout clothes for motivation–but I don’t commit to the one thing that is the true foundation for all the elusive dreams of good health, good moods and good relationships: sleep.
Why is it so hard to just go to bed?! I love sleeping! I’m pretty good at it, aside from the occasional sleep walking episode and 3am mind racing event. But for the most part, I don’t even have problems getting sleep. I don’t have kids, which is absolutely a sleep killer. (i honestly can’t even imagine.) I don’t have insomnia or chronic pain that makes sleeping difficult. My bed is pretty comfy. (although Sasha Fierce has recently taken to sleeping curled up in my legs. luckily, she’s cute.)
Nope. I just have a hard time saying “today is over.”
I think some of the problem is not having a schedule. I need a schedule. Even if the schedule is packed, I do better when I have things planned than when I don’t.
But part of the issue is that the schedule I create for enjoying life doesn’t always jive with a schedule for creating healthy habits.
For example, I love working on shows. When I made the decision to close the dance studio, I was panicked with what I would do to find that same fulfillment in my life. But then the theater world came calling. And it’s great. But exhausting. It’s very difficult for me to get home after 10pm every night and find ways to maintain some semblance of a healthy lifestyle. So I made the decision to only do one show a year. A decision I have yet to keep.
I feel the same about travel. I don’t know how people who REALLY travel for their job do it. I need to sit an Epic employee down sometime and find out how they manage all their travel commitments with keeping up on their personal health. I love to travel. I find such joy in visiting new places or just having a change of scenery. Even if it’s for work, I still find it to be a gift. But lately, I don’t recover as quickly as I once did from all my trips. And yet–I don’t say no when a trip comes up. I make it work in the moment. And pay for it for weeks after.
And sleep is basically the Jenga piece that gets pull out sending my life into a crash.
I don’t love to run, but I find it works best for me as a fitness activity. And I really only like running in the morning. I feel like I’m halfway done before I realize I’ve even started.
But when I’m tired–and legitimately under slept–its hard to decide what’s more important: 20 more minutes of sleeping (which let’s be honest, is basically just laying there too lazy to move) or a 3 mile run? Even writing this, my rational brain knows to just get up and go, and it totally works when I do it. But my tired, unmotivated brain thinks that 20 minutes is the ticket to some kind of future productivity later in the day. It isn’t.
Because that’s the truth. At least for me. If I don’t get sleep, I am not productive. I am unfocused. I eat garbage disguised as energy. I start drinking caffeine that I don’t like and makes me feel terrible but at least I’m artificially stimulated. I’m crabby. I don’t enjoy things that usually make me happy. I lose patience. I don’t recognize my face. My clothes don’t fit right.
I’m low. And it’s just because I’m tired. A self-inflicted condition.
So fix it. When it gets right down to it, the schedule for enjoying life doesn’t have to be at odds with a schedule for a healthy lifestyle. Because when I don’t feel well, I’m not enjoying the things that normally make me happy anyway.
But it requires saying no sometimes. To myself and to others. And I’m not so good at that.
When it gets right down to it–who wants to hang out with crabby Lyn?–no one. Especially myself.
So I should just go to bed already. For my sake, and everyone else’s.
Will I do it? I’ll guess I’ll have to sleep on it.
Do you have tips on getting to bed? Have you made a bedtime commitment you can share for inspiration? Is it just me–is everyone else going to bed like an adult?–or do you feel me? Please share in the comments below.
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