As we move through our lives, most of us are working to make our lives better: happier, healthier, and more meaningful. We may work on these elements consistently, or we may follow fads and have multiple false starts along the way. In the midst of our busy lives, it can be quite challenging to pay attention to what is needed to achieve our most basic goals in life. But without accomplishing these goals, we are considerably less likely to achieve our more lofty ones. How many of us pay attention to the foundation needed to work on those basic goals—the elemental pieces of a happier, healthier, more meaningful life? It’s not complicated—eat right and exercise, get plenty of sleep, keep your stress level down—but it is onerous. It takes discipline, proactivity, an open mind, and consistency. We have to be intentional about our foundations or they will not happen. Although everyone’s foundation may be slightly different, we all have basic requirements that include sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mental/emotional health. Many would also add spirituality to this list. But whatever our foundation consists of, it’s important to be specific and intentional and follow through on our goals for each of these elements.
I’m totally exhausted!
Between my busy schedule and my tendency toward insomnia, I know what it feels like to be tired. Everyone feels tired from time to time. Being tired is part of life, and it’s natural to be tired: it’s our bodies signaling to us when we need to get some rest.
Many of us have a healthy relationship with being tired. We might overdo it on occasion, we might burn the midnight oil, we may have long days at the end of which we stretch and yawn and head for the sweet relief of a pillow, a fluffy comforter, and a dark room.
But for some, being tired is a permanent state. They never ever get enough sleep, and sleep deprivation is their new normal.
Sleep is our opportunity to recharge, a time to let the day’s bumps and bruises—both psychological and physical—heal. It is a natural break in our daily routine that allows us to reset and try again the next day.
For some, sleep is just another part of life. Like eating or breathing, it is an activity that sustains their lives and allows them to function.
For others, sleep is a magical place that they can never get to often enough.
Every once in a while, a voice inside me says, “I’m done.” I’ve used up all my energy and concentration, and I need some downtime. I need to spend some quality time doing nothing.
All of us need downtime—some need less than others and some seem to need way more than others. Why is this? One of the reasons might be what people do when they’re doing nothing. Some people waste their time when they’re wasting their time; and end up needing more time to waste (stay with me here).