Me and less than desirable sleep just don’t get along. My poor family! I wish I was evolved enough to say I’m not a crabass jerk when I’m sleep deprived, but that would just be a total and complete lie. I just deteriorate into a negative, bitchy mess. And while I’m no picnic for my family, I myself am the recipient of the worst of it. When I don’t get sleep my whole mental game goes down the tubes. Every nasty, negative thing that has been lurking comes right to the surface.
I’ve been having trouble sleeping this week…Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in particular, being the worst. To say my mood has been less than wonderful would be a gross understatement. Anyway, as I’ve mentioned in my posts recently I am working overtime to make 2016 the year I get past my own mental bullshit…or at least develop enough skills in this area to be in a much more confident place by 2017. So that is why in the midst of me telling myself I had to wear my tightest jeans as a punishment for eating and that I had no business creating a business to help anyone else a tiny, tiny NEW voice in the darkest, most deepest recesses of my brain spoke up and reminded me I was crazy tired. This NEW tiny voice also reminded me I wanted something different for myself and that ripping myself to shreds has never worked…and lord knows I have beat that poor dead horse into oblivion! The NEW tiny voice also whispered “Eyes on your own paper!”
Finally, after this (very weird, two person) convo in my head concluded, I took myself out for a walk. A very looong walk. In fact, it took me nearly 40 minutes of my 75 minute walk and of being outside and breathing deeply before that angst and nastiness cleared from my head.
After I got home and had some time to reflect on the morning I connected the dots to some things.
1. I want to change the way I think about myself and my self-talk. Remember I said I was gonna give this a shot to get past some shit. Somehow that “Eyes on your own paper!” mantra kicked in while I was busy beating myself up and was enough of a hook to get me off the negative hamster wheel and taking action. Just today I posted on FB about how I am HUNGRY to change how I think…it has to happen! I’m sick and tired of being stuck! That’s why the mantra–I’m trying something I’m uncertain and skeptical about because that tradeoff is worth the potential benefit. Guess what? It worked!!
THE TAKEAWAY: you need to try something you haven’t before and just see if it might work. Give up the skepticism for a bit and TRY something!
2. Walking is becoming my way of centering. I began walking more this fall simply because I wanted to make an effort to be outside more. Why walking? I am no fan of running and my bike had a flat tire that didn’t ever seem to fix itself. 🙂 Anyhoo…what began as a means for one thing has turned into my stress relief. I’ve been taking hour+ walks since probably September 2015 and I feel better than I have in a long while–probably a year or more. It’s no coincidence! Walking helps me breathe, it helps me center, and because I go for a long time it is enough time for my temper to dissipate and allow rational thinking again.
THE TAKEAWAY: build stress relief into your routine. Find something “low and slow” that lets you release that crap energy that likes to linger. I’m not talking about pounding out the angst at the gym. This is something different…something that doesn’t press your physical body…something that is a TOTAL moment of relaxation for mind, body, AND spirit.
3. While in that really awful mental space I wasn’t speaking to myself in a healthy manner. At. All! But guess what I realized? I wasn’t stress eating through my frustration and anger. I’m FINALLY past that as a response to being upset. My knee-jerk reaction to my being tired and upset didn’t end up with my head in the cupboard searching for a lone chocolate chip that may have fallen out of a bag a year ago!
THE TAKEAWAY: working systematically OVER TIME on your behaviors works! Digging into your own psyche and trying to understand why you do what do you and when (your own patterns, if you will) has a HUGE payoff. Things will feel impossible, like you’ll never get there. Just do a little bit each day, then reflect after a month or so. Look back at where you’ve been. I promise, promise, promise you will see your forward progress!
I’ve got lots of work to do. I don’t have my shit together…at least not entirely. But I have gained some skills in some areas and I’m ready to tackle the next thing. When you are ready and when you are willing to try something new and different your world can (and WILL) change! I’m proof!