Tuesday was my first workout after my week long yoga break. I was very excited to get back into a more rigorous training routine. Yoga has been enjoyable. I needed the pause. My flexibility has improved and I even got a few good night’s sleep out of it. I am sad to say that I am back to dreaming in excess though. I wake up feeling exhausted and I remain in this kind of hazy intermediate stage much of the day. Funny thing though I seem to be capable of inducing sleep in others. I don’t mean people doze at the sound of my voice. It’s just that when I am the bus there is a circle of people around me, dead asleep. Not just in the morning which is understandable but in the middle of the day as well. Only around me everyone else on the bus is awake and animated midday. It’s like I’m exuding all my good sleep hormones!
Onto my workouts. So far so good. Tuesday was HIIT. My breathing was good. I felt I was jumping higher. I had fun. My calves are sore though (jump rope). Wednesday was an arm workout. I had 15 exercises and 30 minutes to complete as many rounds as possible. I got through 3 sets, with 8 reps each. A personal best actually. I had to make some changes to avoid putting weight onto my right wrist though. My wrist has been an issue for years. About 3 years ago I injured my wrist while jumping back into a Burpee. I tried resting the wrist but it didn’t help. Then I discovered I was tucking the wrist under my body when I was sleeping so I bought a wrist brace to sleep with at night. That really helped but before my wrist completely recovered I fell hard on some ice and landed with tremendous force on my recovering wrist! Ever since then I go through cycles where my wrist is okay, kind of weak but I can bear weight. After a while bearing weight gets painful so I take it easy. The wrist gets worse anyway and eventually interferes with normal activities so I sleep in the brace and it improves back to stage one. So never quite right but not always bad. In the worst stages it burns and my fingers fall asleep and its feels floppy and stabby and weird. I suppose I should check it out but I don’t want to go to the doctor. Today is yoga since I have my cleaning job which is quite strenuous by itself.
I have recently started meditation. The first night I slept brilliantly. Meditation is something I have always found threatening in practice, theoretically it sounds lovely. I have Dissassociative Disorder so I am not exactly on speaking terms with reality. I am certain to run into some demons during this process and I am not ashamed to say that scares me. Sitting with myself, being present, feeling my feelings I expect I am going to struggle sometimes. At the moment I am experiencing some resistance (both of the mental and physical sort). While I am meditating I am okay. I have monkey mind and I have pain/tension but it’s okay. The following day though I am tired, disoriented, and easily irritated. I have periods were I just forget how to person like I’ve had some sort of neurological episode. I am finding this very difficult actually. I imagine it’s like starting to exercise at first you are sore and exhausted! At least that is how I choose to see it. I have never stuck with meditation though so I want to give it an honest go.
For the sake of honesty my diet hasn’t been great lately. A lot of frozen meals (not that my frozen meal choices are all pizza I eat a lot of vegetarian dishes). I haven’t yet worked cooking into my schedule. Also Sam has made several batches of chocolate muffins and some chocolate balls with Oreos and cream cheese. So I have had too much sugar.
On another note I have been fidgety. I seem to want to be busy but I am not quite sure what I want to do.
That’s me being creepy and unstealthy in the background. My new soap seems to have improved things at least I don’t look like Freddy Kruger. Anyways I rarely draw maybe once every 5 years or so? I am not good at it so I am just going to tell you that this is supposed to be Lotus. I had thought about drawing a different flower everyday as like a meditational practice in patience, who knows maybe I will eventually even improve. I was also hoping it might strengthen my eyes somehow. I am not sure if I will go through with it yet though. In the comments leave the flowers you want to see and feel free to try this.
I was asked to do a tutorial on waking up in the mornings though it turned out to be more tips on improving sleep I hope there is still some useful information!
1. Have a consistent sleeping schedule. I can only speak from my own experience of course but when I am feeling sleep-deprived I find that my self-injurious and suicidal thoughts increase substantially. I also find that my productivity and performance take a hit which means my confidence does as well. For me sleeping in is not particularly tempting as my body gets very sore and very stiff. Sleep past 7 am and the sleep paralysis kicks in. I sleep from 10 pm to 6 am. I use my phone as an alarm. My alarm isn’t all that loud or annoying because it doesn’t take much to rouse me. For some people music works best and there are these nifty alarms that work with your circadian rhythms and light. Speaking of light turn it on, open the blinds. I can’t do this because Sam wakes up later so I have to physically exit the room. If you tend to hit snooze place the alarm clock far away so you have to get up to shut if off. I find having the schedule also helps when I am feeling especially Depressed because my body is trained to get up at a certain time so without even thinking about it I just get up.
2. Have something to look forward to in the morning. When I get out of bed or I should say when I leap out of bed to avoid slipping back into a coma I have a routine. I always drink a cold glass of water to rehydrate/wake myself. Some people will wash their faces in cold water or hop in the shower. I post to my blog but I don’t bother with my email because if I tried to sort that out when I first got up I’d never manage to get anything else done. After posting I do yoga for a ½ hour. Yoga has really helped me cope with Depression and body pain. Also doing yoga forces me to put on something at least resembling clothes. If you don’t like yoga try some other form of light exercise (Tai Chi is great for balancing and increasing chi) in the morning it helps to start the day healthy. After yoga there’s breakfast which I never ever skip. Then I brush my teeth. I have to brush my teeth because on the days I postpone it I am completely miserable and inactive. Later I will exercise more intensely as exercise is a great mood enhancer. Some people look forward to a morning cup of tea/coffee, cartoons, reading the newspaper. In my ideal world I would love to complete the above and then write but I have to get Isadora to school, clean, and of course I have to read those emails.
3. Air out your bedroom frequently. Seriously open the windows let the light in and try not to make the bed for at least 4 hours so the sheets can breath (I just never make the bed problem solved). Wash your sheets frequently. Make sure you have a good mattress and pillow so you are actually getting a restful sleep. Sam has Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome so we went with an orthopedic mattress it isn’t I’ll never get out of bed again soft. For some people a humidifier may help I lived in one apartment where the air was so horrendously dry I’d wake up gagging. I probably woke up looking like the crypt keeper too lol
4. Go outside every day if possible. You need natural light you can’t stay in an apartment with the windows closed and the blinds pulled you will get sick and you will get morose as fuck. I have to go outside and hug trees just to avoid becoming homicidal. A walk is often the best medicine.
5. If you really want to get picky follow a low GI diet and eat small frequent meals this will keep your blood sugar levels stable which will keep your energy and your moods from crashing. It will also help you to get to sleep at a decent hour because if you are subsisting on sugar and caffeine highs you are probably not sleeping properly. I don’t even drink caffeine I do eat chocolate on occasion though haha.
6. Lay off the booze while alcohol does help you fall asleep it doesn’t allow you to reach deep sleep.
7. Orgasms can relieve the stress and tension accumulating during the day which can allow you to sleep better at night.
8. Music once you get out of bed why not put on some upbeat tunes to invigorate?
9. Make dinner healthy and try to avoid eating after 7 pm (no late night junkfood binges)
10. Set yourself up in the morning for success. Lay out your clothes, prepare the coffee pot, a little prep work can help ease the stress and dread of getting up. You can record your favorite show and watch it in the mornings instead of when it airs.
11. Have a relaxing bed time ritual. Meditation, a nice bath, light reading. Try not to flood your mind with disturbing or distressing images before bed.
12. Write down something good that you look forward to the next day or try keeping a gratitude journal to add a little bit of positive energy. Turn your dreams into stories so you have to get up and write them down before you forget!
13. If you love animals and can properly accommodate and care for one, having a pet can lift your spirits. Having a dog forces you outside. Pets also demand to be fed in the morning so you have to get up.
14. Express yourself. Make sure you have a creative outlet and someone to talk to. Keeping feelings bottled inside is terrible for your health.
15. Exercise your mind. We’ve covered physical exercise, spirituality in the form of creative expression, but your intellect needs a good workout if you want to sleep better and feel happier. You can start with watching TED Talks or documentaries that way it’s not too far out of the comfort zone. But work your way up to active learning activities. Take a class, study a foreign language, take on a new hobby, try to rekindle your curiosity about life.