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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Eat and Sleep

Today I want to talk about self care and what I'm learning about it.  Yes, we all know it's our job to take care of ourselves, but how many of us actually do it?  Do you make eating nutritious food a priority or do you indulge more often than not in fast food that you tell yourself is "quicker"?  At 58, this old bod of mine just won't run on that nasty stuff for very long.  Sure it's an occasional thing but if I pay attention, my body will tell me what to eat because I'll crave it.  Salad, vegetables, lean protein are all right on the top of the list (along with french fries-- I admit it).  I'm not gonna lie here.

And rest.  Do you take time out to lie down when you are tired or do you stoke up on caffeine and try to pop your clutch, when it's already burned out?  Again, maybe it's a function of age but I just can't do that anymore and when I over coffee in the afternoon after meeting with a friend, I'll pay for it that night when I'm staring at the ceiling.  If I forget to go decaf, honey, I'm in a world of hurt.  I realize a nap isn't on everyone's radar, especially at the office, but you can take a fifteen minute break (by law you get two per eight hours worked) and go sit outside.  Just taking a break from the frenzy will put juice back in your tank.  I'm a big meditator but sometimes people think your asleep which I have to say isn't all bad.  If they get all "whad are you doin??'" on you, when you say meditating, they'll immediately take a step back from you like you're radio active.  Don't ask me how I know this--and it's fun-- as long as you don't actually fall asleep.  Which brings me to chronic exhaustion.

Yeah, I know we are all supposed to exercise but we are also supposed to SLEEP--especially if you are a single mom.  If you are, find a friend and do a swap off of your kids.  She takes them for two hours (or   longer) on the weekend while you sleep, then the next day, she gets to rest.  No, you don't get to run laundry, go shopping, etc.  You have to get in your bed and lie there.  It may or may not take you longer than five seconds to fall asleep, but you will.  Chronic exhaustion causes your body to release loads of stress hormones and if you don't get enough rest, and turn off the switch, you simply get fatter and fatter--especially around the middle--which is a no-no for women who want to avoid heart disease.

Most of us are so used to running on empty, we have no clue how exhausted we really are, and if you do know, your w-a-y- past exhausted. Yesterday, I took a personal day and just cancelled everything I had on my calendar, and guess what?  Nobody died.  I showered, put on my favorite scrubs, and crawled back into bed.  It helped, but what really helped was watching TV last night, and then sleeping again overnight.  By the time I got up this morning, I could have fought a bear.  I'm feeling downright feisty.

I think we're all "Yes, but......" types at heart.  None of us really want to stop running, and we keep at it until we either get sick (dis-ease) (do you get it?) or drop in our tracks--some of us permanently.  Me?  I'd rather just crawl in bed.  It's just easier and a whole lot better idea.  

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