Wow! Thanks for all the advice (and sympathies) for dealing with stress. I'm cured! Well, maybe not quite. But I did throw together a get together with some friends last night without a single ounce of stress tainting the preparations. Let me add that HH was out of town from Thursday morning until 30 minutes before the party started. KN and BW were, of course, as helpful as a toddler and preschooler can be (translation: more of a hindrance then a help). So, I'm really proud of myself. But I did have a total meltdown the day before over a phone call. There is still a lot of room for progress.
Are you ready to help solve my next major problem?
I can't sleep.
Can anyone relate? Probably everyone? And being sleep-deprived is a MAJOR joy killer. So, how do you find a way to get some Z's?
For me, I'm pretty sure it's related to the stress thing. But I also have poor sleeping habits. I blame my genes and HH. When I met him I was going to bed early and then waking up between 6:30 and 7--without an alarm. I just felt rested. But he's sort of a night person. Definitely NOT a morning person. And instead of letting my good habits rub off on him, we went the other direction. The only problem is, I wake up early in the morning, every morning, and then can't go back to sleep--no matter how exhausted I am.
Because my brain is busy trying to sort and solve all the major issues going on in my life. Like what to do with the guilt I feel over all the phone calls I've needed to make since April (I hate making phone calls), what outfit to wear to the gym that day, debating whether or not to throw my daughter a "friend" birthday party, pondering how I'll ever muster the energy to take down the Christmas decorations, debating whether it's better to wrap the Christmas presents now, or to just keep trying to hide them in various places, trying to remember where I put the present I bought for HH last week... and I think you get the point.
Anyway, like I said, being tired makes finding joy a real challenge. A lot of times when I begin to sink into a depression, being tired is the main or only culprit. Even when I'm not depressed, fatigue still makes me cranky. I'm more prone to snapping at HH and my kids. And I don't like it. It just feels yucky. Inside and out.
I know I should be better about going to bed early, but I'm still working on being more disciplined. Does anyone else struggle with this? Any ideas for generating motivation to take care of myself? Does anyone else have the overactive brain problem? Have you found anything that helps you to shut it down? The other problem, is that I can pretty much always think of something that seems more urgent than the sleep. At night that is either cleaning my house or spending time with HH. In the morning that includes studying the scriptures, cleaning my house, organizing my shopping list, returning emails, etc. Sleep is always one of the last priorities, even though I know it's important. Has anyone else needed to make a similar priority shift?
And what about the times when you can't avoid being a little sleep-deprived, like when your child gets sick in the middle of the night and keeps you up until dawn? Why do kids always get sick in the middle of the night? Okay, you don't really have to help with that one, but does anyone have advice for keeping the nasties away when you are tired? Any tips for regaining that ever-elusive patience?
The other thing about fatigue is that I'm less capable of eliminating and/or dealing with stress in my life. When I'm tired, it's kind of like I gather in all the possible stresses around me and clutch them tightly to my bosom. Why? I don't know. But when I'm tired, that's what I do. And it's SO STRESSFUL! But I feel incapable of letting go of any of it. Yet I'm way too tired to actually deal with it and work through it. But I'm too stressed to sleep. And so the vicious cycle continues. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Or am I just the freak of nature that HH thinks I am? He is a grrreat sleeper. Anytime, anywhere. I'm not jealous.
I hope you don't feel that I've turned this into my own personal self-help board. It's just that stress and sleep-deprivation go hand in hand in my life and they've both been playing lead roles lately. And I'm plumb tuckered out. And I figure I'm probably not the only one dealing with these things. And when you're exhausted, it's harder to find and appreciate the joy in your life. At least it is for me.