I cannot believe the anguish I have trying to write out these few lines. The worst part is…..I am the creator of my own anguish. To be truthful that last sentence ticks my right off. There are a million excuses I could find to blame my current disassociation with life against but at the end of the day it is just me. What makes it even worse is I could have avoided this anguish by taking a hold of my current situation and dealing with it….getting back to a routine.
Where the anguish came from!
Around this time last week I was having a good week and looking forward to the start of NFL football on Thursday night. Needless to say I went to bed late. I could blame it on the NFL for running a Thursday night game and pitting two high powered offences against each other with neither team showing any real defense. The high octane game was addictive and I couldn’t turn it off, plus it took some time after the game was done to wind down before going to sleep. Of course nobody from the NFL was at my house holding me in place on the couch and they didn’t make me turn on the game in the first place.
Friday night my cousin had a wedding reception and I attended. This was a lot of fun as my little guy went with us and spending an evening with good people and food is always great. Since my little guy was there I didn’t stay as late as I normally would it was still a bit on the later side and by the time my wife and I put the little guy to bed, dogs out and wound down, it was late.
For the most part that is all it took, two late nights and regular mornings to throw my whole routine and system out of whack. Saturday night was a Saturday night and Sunday was more football until late into the night and here I am a week later in anguish because I didn’t use enough self control to go to sleep early.
Why the anguish?
I can attest to the fact the being obese and having depression does not enhance your sleep. Almost any study you read will attest that sleep patterns are negatively affected by these two health issues. Generally speaking when I stick to my routine I have a pretty good sleep. I feel rested most mornings and get out of bed with no problem and I am ready to face the day. When my sleep gets interrupted or messed up in some way it affects the rest of my life. My head tends to be a little bit cloudy similar to when you have a head cold. I do not process everything as fast and I tend to get confused easier. A lack of sleep makes it much easier for even small things in life to be overwhelming. Once I begin to feel overwhelmed or unsure I start running on instinct and habits instead of logical thinking. I begin to eat poorly as per my prior eating habits. I begin to spend more time lost in front of the TV instead of trying to work through issues as my clarity isn’t there. The problem is I consciously know that avoiding issues only make them worse not better. As my food habits degrade so does my remaining energy and focus. Now I have become more sensitive to everything going on around me and my mind makes all issues seem like a “slight” to me personally. Next I begin to stay up at night because I cannot shut my brain off. Due to its lack of focus it spends hours running over the daily grind focusing on statements and actions that meant nothing but it changes them to a negative reflection of me.
Getting Over the Anguish
1) Recognizing the anguish and moving away from it. I decide right now, today that I need to get over the anguish. That’s how this article has come to be. I have recognized what has been happening and I need to get back on the right track.
2) To clear my mind I need to be rested. Napping isn’t sufficient as I am not able to take a nap every day. Also, my internal clock needs to be back on a system to get to sleep and up at a certain time. Today I commit to going to bed at my regular time unless there is a family emergency.
3) Let those closest to you know about your new plan. Why? I let my wife know in case I zone out and it starts to get late, she may comment what time it is or if I was still sticking to my new sleeping plan. It’s usually a great reminder. (Don’t tell her I said that).
4) I keep a book to write in that is near my bed. If I find that my mind doesn’t want to shut off while I am lying in bed I write down everything it is tossing about to look at the next day. It’s amazing what the mind will let go once you have written it down to deal with in the future. It is the best magic trick ever.
5) Go to sleep.
Next week I will be sure to write a follow up article to this and let you know how my new sleep plan is working. I would be surprised if it wasn’t and I am looking forward to a great week next week.