Go to bed already!

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.

I’m tired.

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.

9 thoughts on “Go to bed already!

  1. I read through your post and thought to myself…same! same! same! Except the crabby piece, I’m never crabby. Ha! I just got a phone call from a very funny friend that woke me up. I also think a solid workout everyday helps and I have a timer on my living room light to remind me to start thinking about sleep. Besides these, just understanding that maybe a little bit of tiredness is worth staying up too late. What an amazing problem to have – too many fun things to do to get enough sleep.

    • Truly–a lot of it is a non-problem–I get that. Fun things–poor me! Some of it is just ridiculously not going to bed or saying yes to too many fun things that makes them not so fun anymore. I definitely need to work on that–just need to get a plan on how to go about it. I like the timer idea. I used to have a Jawbone bracelet that you could set a timer on that would tell you to go to bed. I seem to remember that kinda helped a little, but then it broke, and I abandoned that practice. Definitely worth revisiting.

  2. OMG this is so my life. I never get enough sleep. Or I do, but then I’m stressed because I’m not at work in the morning making money and as a freelancer I can do that, but there is a price to pay for it, i.e. worrying that I should be working instead of sleeping. It’s a cycle. I do have nightly rituals to help me fall asleep and I am pretty strict at maintaining those because I am wont to lie there for hours not sleeping otherwise. The reality is, I would much rather live a life that went from 10am until about 2am, but instead I have to live in the real world where my kids have to be at school at 7:25am. I keep thinking that some day I’ll be an adult about this too, but the reality is: I don’t want to be…

    • Ding, ding, ding. I don’t really want to be an adult either. At least in some areas. I’d be curious to learn your nightly rituals. Perhaps implementing something like that would help me start the “go to bed” process a little earlier?

  3. “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.”

    My sources tell me that you don’t need to do this because, overall, they do not manage particularly well, thus the high turnover. I have heard of (not-so?) secret booze cabinets on certain Implementation teams. Same sources say that Epic is an in-joke among mental health care providers in town.

    • Ugh. So maybe there is no magic answer to this issue. Maybe we are all just running ourselves ragged and no one is doing it “right” or successfully. Thanks for sharing this insight–it reminds me to be kinder to myself, too.

  4. Saying no is really hard! I promised myself to say no a lot more this year. It’s been really tough to turn down opportunities for theater or weekends away with friends, and at first I was always playing the what-if game. Sometimes I feel regretful and sad that I missed out on something fun. It’s been an eye-opening self care experiment. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m happier saying no.

    • I need to get in on that experiment. I’m definitely not as happy or healthy as I could be saying yes, so I feeling trying to say no is really my only option. I’d love to hear how it works out for you in the long run–and I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s trying to balance this out.

  5. Pingback: Get Up Already!! (A Challenge…. I’m Scared) | Everything and Nothings

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