Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Simple Suggestion #16 of 100... Get enough sleep

There's not much simpler than this suggestion. It's a matter of avoiding those things that prevent me from climbing into bed at a decent hour. When I don't sleep enough, I yawn so much that I'm sure I'm impolite, I get snappish and impatient (with my family in particular), and I am easily overwhelmed if things don't go as planned. When I get enough sleep, I'm happier, healthier, my brain and body function better and life's little trials are just that.

Different things work for different people when it comes to getting enough rest. I have a few early-bird friends who like to be in bed by nine-thirty at the latest so that they're up and running by six or earlier. Others are night owls who watch late night TV and take a bit of a slower start to their day. I tend to fit in the second category (without TV), but lately, I've been trying to be ready for bed by 9:30 so I can read for a while before sleeping. It's a quality of life thing when the days are busy, as they are this week. My workplace is moving into a new facility today. Here are two pictures from yesterday's packing up.

Partly packed...

All done!

When thinking about the importance of sleep and rest, I'm reminded of the story of the great explorer who planned a long trek in the jungles of Africa. He hired some locals to help him carry his supplies for the journey. After four days of travelling at a break-neck pace, his porters sat down and refused to budge an inch. When he asked his lead man what was going on, the fellow told him, "We have been moving so fast that we need to wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies."

In our present, time-constrained world, we often wish a day had more than 24 hours, and fill it with so many things that it's a wonder our souls can keep up at all. Unfortunately, the corners we cut often amount to shorting ourselves on rest and relaxation, and that's pretty much guaranteed to make our lives less fulfilling. Simple living isn't about running ourselves ragged so much as it's about living a life of mindfulness and balance. Being mindful of our energy levels and making time for our souls to catch up with our bodies is just one simple thing we can do to keep ourselves in physical, mental and emotional condition so that we keep focused on those things that make us happy. So before I head off to today's work of unpacking, here's another wee suggestion: go ahead -- think of cat naps as essential to health and happiness!

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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