Time to Sleep On It.
Jul 24, 2017
We need to talk about sleep and relaxation or down time. I don’t mind what you call it.
Those of you that know me, know I do a lot of work with women. Women of all ages and all walks of life.
Women with partners, husbands, children, caring for older relatives, career women, you name it there is every type of woman in there.
There are a few common themes that come up a lot.
One of them is feeling tired and before anyone says anything, I know I know, I am one of the worst for pushing myself and keeping myself going. That also puts me in a good place to talk about it because I know.
I feel like we have been sold something that is unattainable. You know the “ we can have everything dream”. Now don’t get me wrong, if you want everything you can have everything if it’s that important to you and I am not going to stop you. But it’s not real, let’s be clear, no one can do everything and be everything.
It’s a funny world we live in. Some of us have to work, we may already have children and partners. We may want children as well as our careers and a successful relationship. A lovely home, the holidays and a great social life. It’s a relatively new phenomenon for our generation, previously our mums were wives and mothers. I know not all of them, some worked as well with careers but the majority where stay at homes mums.
I knew I didn’t want to be like that. At my husband’s beck and call, I didn’t even know if I wanted a husband.
So, as we grew up there was choice, more choice, great. Then somewhere along the line we got tired. I am not surprised. Just having children on its own is enough, the stress on our bodies, the lack of sleep and the changes in hormones. Maintaining a relationship takes time, love and work. The women I know in strong long-term relationships have made it a priority, they have put the time and effort in.
For a lot of us our life looks like this. We work, we have careers, we work hard, we have partners, we work at that, we create homes, we maintain homes, we have children, we look after our children, we have full social lives, we care for elderly relatives and the list goes on. It’s a lot, we can’t do it all, and we certainly can’t do it all for long periods of time.
So, I want you to be honest, how tired are you? Ask yourself now, it can make it easier to do it on a scale of 1- 10. 10 being so tired you think you might just fall asleep now and 1 being bouncing off the walls I am never going to sleep again. What number are you? Anything that’s a 6 or more needs to be looked at.
What can you do:
· Strip it back, strip your life back. Make space and time for you. Don’t take the you bits out, otherwise you will have a life that’s 100% about other people. Think of it like this, when you die will it matter that the house was clean? Do your children care if the washing up is done? One of the biggest regrets of people when they are dying is the amount of time they spent at work.
· Get simple, what do you need in your life. Yes, you what do YOU need, so YOUR life is worth living, what brings you joy? Then what do you have to do, I mean really have to do.
· If you are super busy, what can other people do in your life that will help? For instance if you live in a family home with a few people in it, are there jobs others can do? Can you pay someone to do simple things that will free up your time? For instance, I hate food shopping but I love healthy food. I order my food online, simples.
· Sleep. Seriously if you are tired, sleep. Sleep at night, make sure you get good quality sleep. Go to bed earlier, wind down, read, no screens at all, turn your phone off. Yes, its OK the world won’t end. Close the curtains. Hot baths before bed.
· Listen to a guided mediation or relaxation hypnotherapy at any point during the day or night. 90% of the time it works for most people. Learn how to relax. If you really struggle to relax, find someone that’s really good at it and ask them to teach you. Hang out with them for a bit.
· Don’t drink alcohol, there it is. I said it. I got 3 quarters of a way through a blog before I mentioned it. Seriously alcohol really impacts on your sleep. You think its relaxing you, it may be initially, but then your body has to work really hard to process it and stops you from having good quality sleep. If you are going to strip anything back this is the one.
· No stimulants after a certain time. If you can, try and live without caffeine for a while until you recoup. If you must, only 2 cup’s a day, no later than 2pm.
· Make sure you are eating whole foods, fruit, veg, nuts, lean proteins, good carbs, you know the sort of thing. It will help you rejuvenate. Oh and lots of water.
· Are you exercising too much? Could you chill out a bit? Exercise is so good for us, but if you are tried and you do a lot of exercise, strip it back.
If you are tired, please take the time to do some of these things and catch up. Being tired impacts on so many areas of your life, sometimes you don’t realise until you stop. Trust me I see it a lot. When we feel good, we feel strong and ready for the world, no matter what it throws at us and the biggy - we are emotionally stronger.
Stephanie Chivers is a Habit and addiction specialist. Author of There is no Magic Button
If you want to change your relationship with alcohol come and join us in the Women Who Dont Drink closed Facebook group. It’s an amazing, supportive and non-judgemental community helping you to live a happier healthier life.
To find out more about Stephanie check out https://www.ichange21.com/