Monday, June 04, 2012

Wind Down

It's Sunday night as I write this post, and I'm feeling some pressure.

Time pressure, really.  You see, I have no idea what I want to write about for this Monday post, never mind the rest of the week, and I promised my therapist last week that in an effort to better manage self-care and my ongoing struggles with anxiety in the midst of a schedule that is currently very full and in-flux, I'd re-institute a night time wind-down period.

So, I guess, given that that period is supposed to begin in a little under an hour, and is definitely NOT supposed to include televisions or computers (or anything else with a screen), I guess the wind down period is destined to be the subject of this post.

Can I tell you the truth about something? Of all of the tools I've used to manage sleep and anxiety, the wind down period is the one I like the least.

It doesn't matter that it works.  That I sleep better, with less dreams, and that because I'm more rested, I'm more able to handle the challenges of anxiety and a very full schedule.  I still kind of hate it.

I hate the limitation on screen time.  I hate having a fixed bedtime.  It grates against me to need to exercise those aspects of self-control and discipline in my life.  It feels like one more limiting factor, a problem when sometimes my anxiety flares up because of time-limiting factors.

9:30 p.m.

It's supposed to start at 9:30 p.m.

I'm not sure I can express just how hard it is for my night owl self to voluntarily turn off my laptop and/or television at 9:30 and spend the next 30 to 90 minutes reading, praying, and then self-imposing a "bed-time".  I kind of hate it.

But it works.  And I'm more committed to health than to fighting against this aspect of self-discipline.  And I remain oh so aware that my word for 2012 is "still", and that this imposes 30 to 90 minutes of stillness and quiet in my life each evening.

(But right now, I still kind of hate it.  Not to mention the fact that I continue to have an anxiety condition that makes it a necessary reality.)


terri said...

i need to do this too. i think for me it's especially hard because david gets home from work at 1:00am and i really like to be awake to greet him and chat. i know this would be good for me, but old habits die hard. let me know if you figure out any tricks that are helpful.

i'm getting a fitbit soon and it tracks your sleep quality. i think i'll use that as motivation to move in this direction. :)

Lisa said...

So curious to hear how the fitbit ends up helping with this!

I don't have any tips or tricks yet. The hardest part for me is doing the winding down, knowing there are so many other things I'd rather be doing, and that I'm generally a night owl who likes to stay up late!

That said, the way this week ended up playing out has convinced me all over again of the value of regular sleep, and a schedule with that, so I'll keep trying!