Today I may have overdone it on the self-care by “napping,” and I’m using the word loosely because it was for the entire afternoon. I’d been up all night the previous two nights working, had slept very little, and ran errands all day Saturday with my family. We had a wonderful time together (we even started the day with our annual Pancakes and Pajamas at a restaurant), but running to every store, the vet, the pharmacy (twice!), the library, etc. definitely takes a toll… as does not sleeping.
My teenager is pretty open about loving sleep, which I find refreshing. When I was a teen, my overachiever friends and I took pride in how little sleep we got in between AP courses, sports, a dozen after school activities (many with leadership positions), caring for our siblings, jobs that were almost full-time in hours and hours of homework after getting home at 11 or midnight after all of that. We talked about it like it was a badge of honor, but some of us were so exhausted we were flagged for depression by teachers, classmates or counselors.
We simply needed sleep, but the adults didn’t seem to understand that. My own mom would call me lazy if she caught me napping. I’m the oldest of three, and years later, after my sisters were grown, she confessed that she had no idea how little sleep I’d been getting–or how much I needed as a teenager. She didn’t give either of them a hard time after learning that experts recommend 8 to 10 hours a night. Back then, I would get 2-4 most nights. That was true up until my mid-20s, and was even still common until recent years when my body just wouldn’t put up with it anymore.
Sleep should be a priority. It’s definitely not a weakness. I’ve been scolded by several doctors for not sleeping enough, and suffered multiple health issues because of it, but when you work, homeschool and run a few different clubs/organizations, it’s difficult to get everything done and really rest. I have had many desperate nights of Trying To Get It All Done, bribing myself with sleep as a reward, or falling asleep on my laptop. Once my husband woke me up next to a hot glue gun on my kitchen counter, where I’d fallen asleep preparing 15 wands for a Harry Potter party for a bunch of kids into the wee morning.
These days I’m averaging 6 hours a night on most nights, which is an hour shy of my goal. I am making it a priority, though, and I’m tracking it alongside the other healthy habits that I’m working on.
How did you engage in self-care this week?