I've been a little more than busy lately. I haven't had the appropriate amount of sleep, quiet time, exercise, or spinach that is required to keep me functioning at optimal levels. The last few years I've found that I'm what you would call a "hard learner". I'm persistent to no end, quite the overachiever and, on top of it all, stubborn.
Last year in my Psychology of Addiction class we had to give something up for eight weeks. It had to be something that made you cringe at the thought of not doing it again, aka, an addiction or hard-to-beat habit. Some people gave up TV, some smoking, some sugar. I, on the other hand, had a list full of things I was going to give up like staying up too late and buying too many magazines and eating carbs and sugar and on and on...until it occurred to me that my addiction actually might be doing too much all the time.
I am a constant "I can do it all and I can do it all today" thinker. Case in point, 2009, the year of my own personal defeat. That was the year I worked at my normal job a bazillion hours, taught yoga, went to night school full time, decided I would read a ton of books just for the heck of it, remodeled/redecorated my new house, decided to be a mystery shopper because it sounded interesting, travelled way, way too much (though I do not consider that a bad thing) and took my healthy approach to new heights by making two new recipes a week and working out even more than normal while fasting, which I will explain one day. During all of this I tried to maintain a normal life and hang out with my friends and family regularly. That whole year I probably slept 10 hours total and I'm pretty sure I'm still recovering from it.
You would think I would have learned my lesson and would do everything in my power to avoid repeating myself.
It's time to walk the walk and not just talk it.
You see, I have this very simple belief system, which I must now remind myself of: To be the best boss/parent/friend/spouse/etc., you have to be the best you, you can be.
There is no possible way you can do it all and not have taken care of yourself first. It's wonderful to want to take care of everyone and everything. To be there for everyone. To make things happen. To get that list checked off. It's just impossible to do it all at the same time. Especially if you haven't gotten the right sleep, nutrition, and overall rest that you need. It is a proven fact that the brain needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep to be able to function correctly. We all know this. I personally attest to being completely insane when I get anything less than 6 hours and 59 minutes of sleep a night. I can't think right to save my life, let alone try and help anyone else. I make the worst decisions ever, I'm cranky, I forget everything and my motivation level is in the negative range. On the other hand when I get over 7 hours of sleep I'm like a happy camping triathlete.
So dear friends of mine, unite with me and put the checklists down. Turn off your blackberry's. Under-schedule yourself for a little while and breathe. Go outside and get warm in the spring sunshine. Take a nap. Play. Lay on the floor and cry like a baby if you need to. Just do whatever it is you need for you and only you. Make "you time" every day, even if it's 5 minutes to start out with. Schedule it in like you would anything else that must absolutely, positively be done, like showering. You time is non-negotiable ladies and gentleman. No one else gets that time. Besides, everything will be there tomorrow. Now is the time to be the best you.
What is one thing you can work on now to make you a better you?
Breaking Free from the Broken Record