If you are in the Western World you know the hum drum cadence of the day: sleep, wake, work and repeat. We live on the weekends and we dread Monday. That’s the autonomous attitude of life. You’ll have a minority percentage (so it seems) of people who are “living their best life on their terms”. This percentage is dancing to the beat of their own drum and living in abundance. There is a very simple and overlooked step to living in financial, physical and mental freedom and that is respecting sleep and rest. Intentional and purposeful people know how to practice and honor this. Why? Because without both, I can’t think my best thoughts, be my best self and catch the fireflies of life as they zip past my face! Y'all (yes I’m southern), I fought tooth and nail to make myself learn this.
First, going to bed late was hereditary (my grandmother did it until she left this earth and she was almost 90). Secondly, as an entrepreneur, you know no time restraints. You work, plan and execute all day long! It wasn’t until I really tuned in and even meditated on the significance of sleep and rest to my well-being that I was able to shake myself and say “Ok you have to stop. You have to rest your mind. You have to sleep”. For many of us, our health and even diagnosis may depend on it. And ultimately, because I wanted to heal from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) naturally, I had to start living my own message to the masses. It has made all the difference in my life.
It is a must that we learn to embrace rest and sleep as important factors in life. It will look different for each of us because our life demands and levels are different, so I want you to dare to be creative as to how to achieve better rest and sleep this year.
The Effects of Not Getting Both
- - Your hormones are negatively affected
- - Your serotonin levels will be affected (if you are prone to anxiety and depression you can’t ignore rest and sleep).
- - Your body will respond to a lack of the two. Responses may include weight gain/extreme loss, muscle loss, bloating, stomach irritability, off-centered pH levels and more.
- - You are irritable mental fogginess sets in.
- - Your physical rhythm is off; you move slow and/or feel sluggish.
To Rest means to allow your entire being to stop and be still especially in the mind.
To Sleep means to allow the body to go int a safe unconscious state of rest to re-calibrate you and repair you.
How I Changed My Lack of Sleep and Rest
- - I made both a priority in my mind first, then in action: sleep requires time and rest requires behavior
- - I enjoy a hot shower at the end of the day with my lavender or essential oil of choice in my diffuser while I shower. The aroma is also in my bedroom.
- - I start winding down in spurts — 2 hours before bedtime I start dimming lights, changing my pace, switching music from upbeat to slow & calm, change my TV shows to something simple (if it’s on) and most of all I set a cut off time for working.
- - My cell phone and laptop are no longer allowed in my bed (plus, I’m married now so I need to shift my attention)
- - I end the day with an affirmation and confirmation
- - I re-load my brain — dump the responsibilities and upload gratitude talk. This shifts the energy of my brain’s focus (I am one who can think on and on and on…)
Now I did this in phases. I started with 2 days a week. I let myself accomplish small tasks first, and then moved to the next.
Truth, when there’s an event or a booking coming it is harder for me to turn off, so I give myself a little allowance and make sure I hit at least half of this list.
Are you ready to try? Where do you need to begin first? Start with Rest.
Examples of Rest
- - Quick quiet breaks at work (get still and close your eyes and/or practice a few deep breaths. Set a 5-min alarm or whatever your time allows)
- - Quick quiet breaks in the car, restroom or even a corner
- - No noise, preferably
- - If it’s hard to be still, start with the aid of an app. I suggest Calm and Headspace
- - A nap can be “rest” if you choose for it to be
Here's to your Woosah! Check out my podcast episode on Breathing Techniques for Relaxation.
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