Now that the rentrée in France, or the end of summer in North America is upon us again, the hustle and bustle of school, projects, appointments and commitments is starting again. I feel a need to preach about what I believe to be possibly the most important practice to transform every aspect of your life!
Get enough sleep
In spite of all our good intentions during the summer break, before this month is over, most of us will have altered our schedules again to accommodate the demands and needs of everyone around us. The first thing to be gnawed away is usually sleeping time.
Putting #MyTimeFirst starts with getting enough sleep. Sleep is hands down the number one time and money saving secret! It is THE best and most important thing you can do for yourself!
How to save time and money in and with your sleep
When you start looking like the picture in your passport, you can buy a pot of Crème de la Mer for 500 Euros or a Chai-latte machine, or you allow yourself 8 hours of sleep. Simpler and more elegant.
When your favorite dress doesn’t fit any longer, you can try the latest Amazonian-rainforest-supplement-enhanced scientifically proven diet, but without enough sleep, your body will cling to her fat like a shipwrecked sailor to a tree trunk. Go to bed and reduce your stress levels or snack and binge eat. Your choice.
The quality of our lives, our relationship, our family’s lives or any other form of success depends largely on the decisions we make. Decision fatigue is a well known phenomenon – making decisions is tiring and at one point we start to make poorer decisions, because our decision-making batteries are depleted. This is as true for judges in court as it is for a shopper in the supermarket.
Our accelerated lives demand a constant stream of decisions (every email is one), and it is no wonder that in the end, costly errors occur. Now, if the physical and mental exhaustion from lack of sleep meets decision fatigue, the babies are not going to look very nice!
The true relationship you have with your sleep
Imagine a woman you truly admire coming as a houseguest to you. (I was going to suggest George Clooney, but you’d start to hyperventilate and not concentrate any longer!) So choose someone you truly respect, admire and adore.
What are you going to do for this woman to show her how much you respect her, care about her, want to make her feel welcome? Show her the special effort? Our sleep is way more important in your life than, say the Queen or George Clooney. Treat your sleep as you would these persons, not like someone you order around with a snap without caring about their wellbeing.
– Would you surround her with constant babble from some stupid reality show on TV?
– Would you start to welcome her, then interrupt yourself to check some email from work?
– Would you put her on an old ratty mattress, with sheets of doubtful freshness and a pillow past its prime?
– Would you invite her into a bedroom full of clutter with overstuffed wardrobes, dusty mirrors, grimy perfume bottles and and heaps of bric-a-brac in the corners?
– Would you tell her to hurry up, because you haven’t gotten much time?
– Would you berate her if she wouldn’t come and go at your beck and call?
No, I didn’t think so. Yet this is what we do to our sleep all too often.
In many cultures hospitality is a sacred duty. Treat your sleep like a sacred guest.
Offer her a walk in nature, a bath with natural essences, fresh air, luxurious night ritual and plenty of time to get settled in.
MyTimeFirst = MySleepFirst.
Give your sleep all the care, elegance and luxury you’d want to fill your days with . And enjoy the results.
Ten ways for sleep to thrive.
1) Sleep needs acoustic silence. Turn off every noise-making appliance.
2) Sleep needs visual silence. What’s the last thing you are looking at before nodding off? Does it invoke visual silence or visual noise?
3) Sleep needs electric and electronical silence. Use batteries for your radio. Switch your phone to airplane mode. Turn off your laptop.
4) Sleep needs energetic silence. Clutter in every form is like an energetic scream. Imagine trying to unwind with something screaming at the top of its lungs in your bedroom!
5) Sleep loves fresh sheets and high quality bedding. Did you know that mattresses are “done” after ten years, and cushions after one year?
6) Sleep enjoys a good walk, because….
7) Sleep thrives on fresh air. (Open a window during the night)
8) Sleep loves a bath with lavender essence. Candles and an inspiring – non work-related – book won’t do any harm here.
9) Sleep enjoys herbal tea (which you can have whilst taking your bath).
10) Sleep loves warm feet. Rather than lie with icy feet under the blanket, waiting for them to warm up eventually and being miserable, take action! Warm socks, a hot water bottle, a foot bath, your man – whatever works for you.
By now you might think that sleep is quite high maintenance – but oh, does she give back!
MyTimeFirst: Create a luxurious nighttime ritual – as if you had a romantic date with sleep! Here’s a poem you can read to welcome sleep:
“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
Begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
Photo : d-i-a-b-o-l-i-q-u-e-s, via thegiftsoflife