Sunday, September 07, 2014
I have just had a lovely weekend - all to myself, and I got to do things when i wanted to, and I have achieved a lot of things that I wanted and needed to do. I didn't get enough time to go and take the long walk that I planned, though I did get a walk in the sunshine that was just lovely. So why do I feel meh?!
I am so lucky - I have a cute little sports car, my cat, I get to ski and sail, I live in Edinburgh in Scotland, I am on the mend after a spell with cancer, and I have a wide circle of friends and supporters.
So what's wrong?
well, I think it comes down to one major thing - I can't sleep. I can't tell you the last time that I slept all night, and whilst the 'SparkPeople Official Sleep Challenge' has been helpful, it just hasn't sorted me out.
I know that I am very stressed for much of the time - my job is extremely difficult and takes all of my brain power, and I am often working in the evening and at weekends. I don't get much down time, so I signed up to the 'SP Official Stress Busting Challenge' to help me sort out my stress, and like the sleep challenge, it has helped a bit.
So, if I can sort out my sleep, learn to relax more, and keep an eye on my diet and exercise. I need exercise to help me work out my demons, but I don't get enough time to take significant exercise or relax, if I'm completely honest.
So what to do?
I'm going to think about it this week, and come up with some kind of an action plan that is workable and practical.
I'm not being unrealistic - I know there will be difficult days, and days when only sandwiches and chocolate are available, but I need to keep some ambition there to keep me going.
I also need to look at my head - I feel really blue and unsure, and just so tired.
One step at a time, and one day at time.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
This week has been really tough - it started with a virus that has really laid me low all week, and alongside that my stress levels increased with trying to manage my workload whilst still feeling unwell.
My sleep pattern has been all over the place for the last couple of weeks, and of course, this adds to the overall feeling of being unwell.
I identified a solution in a previous post - exercise, and making sure that I take regular walks outside and commune with the world around me and watch the change in nature as we move towards autumn - it reminds me that I'm a very small part of the world, but the world is still there to provide me with solace when I ask for it.
interestingly in addition to exercise, I have found making entries into my stress and my sleep journals has been really helpful too - just writing things down helps to park them for the night and identify possible solutions (though I find other things to worry about during the night now!)
My goals for this week include the following:
1. Take time out for myself - my head hurts so much because it hasn't had a break for a couple of weeks
2. Do a 30 minute exercise workout every day
3. Take the time to slow down and breathe
I appreciate that this doesn't make very happy reading again, but there are a couple of positive thoughts, and I have an outline plan for the coming week - so for me this is
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I've just completed week 2 of the Official Sleep Challenge, and the 1st week of the Stress Busting Challenge. The 2 are definitely related in my case!!
So, first to sleep and my progress - or the lack of progress.... This week has been awful - I have been very stressed out, I got a virus which stopped me from sleeping well for a few nights, and my appetite has been all over the place which makes me sleep badly too.
I did stick to my plan of no computer or phone an hour before bedtime, and caffeine only at lunchtime, but it didn't make any difference.
The stress side of things has been at its highest levels for some time this week - I have been threatened with a disciplinary process because I made a very genuine mistake, and inevitably this has had a pretty bad effect on my state of mind.
Being ill and stressed had a major impact on my head, and though I have been incredibly tired, I have simply been unable to get enough sleep and inevitably this is making things worse.
I recognised the missing element to my plan - the exercise - I haven't been able to exercise because I haven't been well, but tonight I managed to walk for about 40 mins, and I added extra walking to my travel to and from the office today and I feel much better as a result.
I'm going to head to bed early tonight, listen to some radio and reduce my stress levels before going to sleep. If I wake up during the night, and I usually do, well, I'll try to use some relaxation techniques and get back to sleep.
I can't pretend that this has been an easy week, and I'm disappointed that I don't have a list of lessons learned but I think the lessons will come slowly this time and after some reflection.
So no happy message this time, but certainly a real reflection of a hard week.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Having joined the Sleep Challenge, I decided to up the anti and have now joined the SparkPeople Stress Busting Challenge too - with luck this will take me to some interesting and new ways to manage my life and achieve my goals of losing weight, taking regular exercise and having a good work/ life balance....
My glass is half full!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I have signed up to the Official Better Sleep Challenge and I have reached the end of week 1.
As part of the challenge, you are required to keep a sleep journal that looks at your habits prior to going to bed, how your night went, and how your stress levels were throughout the week. (well they look at other things too, but these were the important topics for me).
I don't sleep well at all, and get easily disturbed, so I am hopeful that I will get some help from this challenge and avoid resorting to medical help.
So, how did I do?
Well, I pretty much follow the same routine each night, and I generally go to bed at the same time. The main differences are what happens to my diet and during the day.
When I have caffeine, or sugary snacks during the day, I suffer at night. If my stress levels go up beyond 5, I suffer during the night.
If I take exercise, I sleep better.
So, overall I've learned about my personal needs:
1. Stick to a routine as much as possible
2. Avoid caffeine after lunch
3. Take exercise regularly
4. Avoid sugary snacks and stick to 'proper' food.
it was a really useful exercise, and I enjoyed taking part in the process.
I'm looking forward to the challenges of week 2 - no computer 30 mins before bedtime, and no caffeine after 1pm.
On that note it's time for
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