STRESSED OUT AND HOW
After having complained about being severely stressed out, I wrote about it on Twitter.
Sleep has not been the best quality lately – and I’ve always been able to sleep 12-16 hours EASILY. Now I can sleep 6-8 hours but I don’t feel rested. This has been happening intermittently the last 3-4 months and things got a head when the Boy left for his latest sailing gig.
My brain refused to shut down. The “thoughts” would not stop. Not a moment of silence. It was driving me crazy. I cherish my sleeping hours and have cut down on alcohol and caffeine ( considering how much I love coffee and beer, that’s a really big deal in my book ). I was sitting at my desk for long hours at a stretch and the stress of moving house and the Boy not being around really got to me. One of the most worrying symptoms was Bruxism ( teeth grinding – I was doing it in my sleep – the Boy mentioned just before he sailed – he said he’d never heard me do it this badly in all of the seven years we’ve been together ).
Now that I’m on my own, I’m not sure how badly I’m still grinding my teeth – I could put my phone’s audio recorder on at night while I sleep but I’m worried I’ll hear other sounds that I might not like. ( I watched Paranormal Activity many years ago when it released first and till this day I’m scared to hang my hands and feet off the bed. Go figure. )
Higher levels of cortisol due to less sleep is what worried me even more. Stress leading to more stress and the most horrendous vicious cycle ensued.
TWITTER TO THE RESCUE
Someone recommended The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and it looked promising. The idea was to hit the root cause and get my brain to shut down for some periods of calm in my head. ( I bought the audio book on Audible. ) I listened to the book for three nights in a row and it helped me fall asleep. The author’s voice is very soothing, almost meditative. But the content of the book is so profound that listening to it to help fall asleep isn’t ideal. So I’ve been listening to it during the day and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting this book if you’re being unable to shut off your brain. There’s a lot of practice involved and I’m planning to get more books from this series – I hear there’s a “workbook” as well.
The second thing that helped massively is physical movement. I haven’t been for my 10k steps walks for some months now and working at the desk means I am still unable to find the time. ( I know it’s an excuse really – I can make time and I will. ) I’ve started doing three things. When I wake up, I use the Boy’s stretching body-weight equipment to stretch out and hang for a bit, touch my toes and then do one round of thirty skip-rope and then ten squats – that I saw Lucy Liu do on ELEMENTARY on NetFlix. ( It looked interesting! And I’m always open to inspiration when I’m desperate. )
I’m more of a “do it now” rather than “do it perfectly” person because if I don’t do it now, I won’t do it at all.
Each time someone rings the doorbell, after I shut the door behind them, I do 30 rope skips and 10 squats.
Each time I get up to drink a glass of water, I do the same.
When I’m bored, I go hang on the body-weight equipment. ( Thanks for the sweet ClimaCool training-wear Adidas! ) I usually just do all this wearing regular day-wear : loose denims, t-shirt, sports-bra and Skechers shoes.
GREAT RESULTS SO FAR
Three days of doing this and I’m sleeping better. Waking up fresher. I will continue to do the rope skips, the hanging stretches, the toe touches and the squats till I get back to my walk schedule. The walking always puts me out like a baby. But it requires about two hours of time investment, which sometimes is just not possible on a daily basis.