Do you ever feel run down? Would you like to feel in control of things, but instead you’re just overwhelmed?
I used to find myself in such situations all the time. Not only did (or does) my computer have countless tabs open, but my mind did, too. Keeping them all open and running just drains my energy levels to the minimum.
There came a time when writing things down made matters even worse and accomplishing the smallest daily tasks seemed like a problem to me.
It was just around the time when I was expecting my first baby. So, you might assume it was the hormones kicking in a little (or a lot), too. But once I became a mom, it grounded me in the sense that I started to look at things again from the perspective of a little child.
I re-introduced routines to my life. That was literally the life-changing shift for me.
I always loved the early mornings. So I started to go to bed earlier than usual and consequently waking earlier too, using the first rays of the sun to inspire my productivity. I started meditating again and devoting a couple of minutes each day to either stretching or yoga. I’ve always been an athletic person and having some type of exercise in my life invigorates me.
I set routines for my morning tea, breakfast, meal preparation and pulled out a planner where I schedule all my daily activities. If it sounds too rigid to you, please bear with me. I’m definitely not one who doesn’t like to play things by ear, too. I just like to have a framework around my activities so things like lunch, baby’s afternoon nap and dinner stay at around the same time each day. And it is not just baby’s schedule that matters, my metabolism prefers to know what’s coming, too. It’s not to say these rituals won’t change over time or along with seasons, but the gist of the day remains the same.
Turning electronics off a couple of hours before sleep is vital. You don’t want to keep thinking about the world’s news or what some distant friend’s Facebook post entailed the last thing before you shut your eyes to go to bed at night. Out of sight, out of mind, they say. So, keeping electronics in a different room from where you sleep is a wise idea from the standpoint that you might not get tempted to check social media in the middle of the night or binge-watch the Bachelor on your nightly baby nursing sessions. Technology has us wrapped around its finger. Before you know it, you’re wide awake and caught up in the unfolding drama that has absolutely no relevance to your life. Have you ever watched so much TV that you fell asleep next to it? And then you’ve awoken hours later just to turn it off. Here’s something to think about, during that time you were “napping” your brain never went to sleep, that’s why you might feel restless the next morning. With sleep, as with many other things in life, it is quality over quantity that matters. You might truly function your best on good 7 hours of sleep, as long as it is as sound as you can possibly have it. Your bed is a sacred place and I haven’t seen any TV’s in sanctuaries yet.
Thinking of the zen state, caffeine is not something that belongs there either. A cup or two in the early stages of the day are all fair game, but once the clock strikes 12 noon it is better to keep it off the menu. If you think you need one more cup in the afternoon, I suggest you drink some old-fashioned water, slow down, possibly eat something that is high in healthy fats in combination with natural fruit sugars (fresh or sun-dried fruits) and wait for it to pass because it will. It will boost your system slowly and unlike caffeinated drinks, it won’t keep you up at night.
Also, for establishing more restful nights, I suggest you try and skip the evening sweat sessions. If you can squeeze in a workout before work in the mornings, you might be surprised by the energy levels that keep you going through the day. Late workouts that ‘up’ your pulse namely communicate to your brain that the body should keep going and this could disrupt your sleep pattern. But, everyone is different. I’m just saying what I’ve noticed over the years of not only observing my energy levels but communicating these topics with my clients, too. A calming yoga, pilates or aerial session might be better options to rock you into the dream world soundly.
These are all things to consider. While a healthy dose of indulgence is what I like to practice and preach also. Take my advice as lightly or as diligently as your heart tells you to, but do comment and let me know what are your go-to practices when you feel like you have too many things on your mind. I’ll be happy to hear from you!