When I use the word surreal I really mean “Profound and Paralysing Fear” At that point you are still living in the world you know and have known for 35 years. Everything is still normal. Family are still there, your clients are still booked in for their appointments and you can pop into Londis,, Lidel, Aldi or Centra without a mask, gloves, and queuing at the entrance like a 5 year old in junior school. Your reality doesn’t have the capacity to even comprehend what’s ahead. There was an undercurrent of excited anxiousness in people when you would meet them. Their world was changing too but it was as if they too were riding the wave of unbelievable denial sprinkled with a suspicious hint of fear.
But my subconscious was ahead of the game because it had gone to a place that my conscious brain hadn’t yet reached. And this i discovered was why I couldn’t Sleep.
I just couldn’t understand it. I was tired, exhausted most nights but when I went to bed it was like the middle of the day. I tried everything. Deep breathing, meditation, long walks in the park. Nothing worked. I would lie awake waiting for morning. Then the headaches came..piercing sharp pain in my temples..
And then the penny dropped!!..I was spending 90% more of my time on devices. I was using the computer for business more that I ever had done. I was calling my family, clients, and friends and using face timing also. I was sending emails, checking emails, working on the Body Connection website, doing face book live videos, writing blogs, and four days a week I was doing a virtual strength and conditioning class. Don’t even get me started about Zoom…!! Zooming Family, Zooming friends, Zooming Staff.
My “World” had turned “Virtual” in a matter of a few weeks. The blue light emitted from the devices i was using, my lap top, computer and mobile phone inhibits the release of melatonin a hormone that helps our bodies to go to sleep and stay asleep.
By the time my day was winding down my brain was wired to the moon. I just could not get it to be still.
This was a new reality for me. I decided to try a few strategies to see if they would make a difference and they did.
Firstly when I sat down to assess this new way of living that had been forced upon me I became aware of some key new behaviours that had become obsessive for me.
- I was checking my phone all of the time for emails, messages, basically anything that kept me connected to the outside world.
- Zoom became my saviour, confessor and my prisoner.
- I goggled until I got bored with my own questions..
- I joined many business Face book groups to keep updated
- I discovered Tic Tok and could not stop scrolling..!
- Instragram and Face Book dragged me down a rabbit hole that I just couldn’t stop myself from going..!
- WhatsApp..Family and friends..Funny pictures flying around and feeling you have to respond..Smiley face, thumbs up..Whatever..!!!
And on top of all that every day I had this overwhelming sense that I wasn’t doing enough for my businesses but yet didn’t know what more I could do under the circumstances.
So here are the a few changes I made that made a difference for me.
- Firstly and most importantly I forgave myself for all the things that I felt I should be doing but was not doing. This immediately released me from my old friend “Guilt”.
- I decided to place a value on my time. It’s ok not to feel you have to answer a missed call immediately or respond to a funny post or a face book notification the minute you hear the “BING”.
- I went for a long walk every day.
- I stopped eating at 6pm every evening.
- I only had wine at the weekends and one glass was my “Forty Winks” limit. Two glasses and I am awake for the night in normal circumstances!
- No tea or coffee after 4pm in the afternoon. (that’s always been the cut off point for me for caffeine)
- Wear a eye mask so that the morning light does not wake you up at 5am
- I left my phone outside the bedroom to charge instead of having it beside me. This was the most difficult thing for me to do but absolutely the most effective.
- I found a good book to read in bed which made my eyes tired and sleep came eventually but at the beginning not easily.
- I started to wear an eye mask so that the morning light at 5am didn’t wake me up and I was able to stay asleep for an extra valuable hour or two.
“I suppose if I were to put it in one sentence I made a decision to respect my personal space“
Even as I am writing this blog I have sat through three missed calls on my phone. There will always be this immediate sense of urgency to answer the call but then I relax and make a mental note to call back later.
So the next time your phone rings let it ring. Don’t let it impose on your personal space or your time. Check it when you are ready to. It will be there waiting for YOU and so will your wonderful friends and family.
Please leave a comment:
Would love to hear if you have experienced the same issues around lack of sleep.