Many of the Happy hangup families come to me feeling sleep deprived. They are tired and find it hard to function and relax (oh the irony!). So Miriam Miles from Resonate has some tips here to help you slow down and switch off.
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My week hasn't gone to plan. In fact, most of my weeks don't go to plan with the most frustrating thing being the lack of sleep that I experience.
Now, don't misunderstand me here: I get hours. I don't have trouble getting to sleep or even staying asleep yet I often find myself walking around like a zombie some days! What's with that, I ask you?
When I was thinking about writing this piece, I realised that I don't have the normal kind of problems with sleep that many parents talk about.
My kids are 19 and 16 so you'd think that this issue would be long gone.
Sorry folks. Nope. My issue isn't so much the lack of sleep but the activity in my brainbox. It just never seems to switch off. If you're as old as I am, you might remember the ABC test pattern on the television. When we were kids, you'd turn on the telly on Saturday morning, desperate to watch some cartoons and sit there, watching the test pattern until it finally clicked over to the show.
I wish that my mind would sometimes be like that test pattern. No activity today, or at least until a reasonable hour of the day.
So how do I deal with the incessant flow of ideas, tasks to do and worries that march themselves night after night through my mind? It might seem simplistic, but I do have a system. Are you ready for it?
1. I don't sweat it. Really.
This has been my sleep cycle for so long that I am pretty sure it was like this before the kids as well. I'm just like this and trying to change it just causes me frustration, exacerbating the sleep problems further.
2. I nap.
One of the best decisions I have made is to work for myself. I've tried the 9-5 and I just can't sustain the physical demand on my body. So, I stop when I need to, and I do not chastise myself for not being able to sustain a 40-hour week, every week.
3. I plan ahead A LOT.
I have work pencilled in over the next two years. Seriously. Not everything is set in stone yet, but when clients approve the work to be done, I get stuck into scheduling. Sometimes I will even take a whole day on this. I think backwards from the client's drop dead date, and I work out all the steps I need to manage between today and then.
So, these may seem like rather obvious things to do, but when you're sleep deprived - whether it be from kids with Tigger- level energy, a work-life balance that is a little out of whack or challenges of the mental/ physical health kind, we can all use these steps to keep the boat moving forward without too much effort.
Sweet dreams... but if you don't, I'll meet you on Facebook :D
Miriam Miles is a 40-something creative who is usually working on a dozen ideas at a time and loves the thrill of worldwide conversation, social engagement with real humans and writes about everything from personal experience, mental health, identity and relationships and life. In her spare time, she works with clients building their social media presence and holds the hands of a few authors to help them move their beloved manuscripts into a print ready space.
You can connect with Miriam at Resonate or on social media.
Miriam's emerging poetry - yes, poetry :D