During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.
Life is full of struggles and difficulties. In fact, probably for most of us, rarely a day goes by that we do not have something (or many somethings!) to be stressed about.
However, more and more I’ve been realizing that John G. Miller is right: “Stress is a choice.” You can’t always choose your circumstances, but you can always choose your response to those circumstances.
When hard things come, you can either become uptight and anxious, or you can choose to be calm and cheerful. Sitting and stewing never accomplishes anything good, so you might as well opt to look for the silver lining and choose gratitude instead.
No matter what you’re going through, there is always something to be thankful for. No matter how hard your situation, it could always be worse. So make a choice to rejoice!
In the past few years, I’ve become a big advocate for rest. Not only having margin and white space in our schedules, but also just plain getting more sleep.
Burning the candle at both ends doesn’t make you superwoman; it makes you exhausted. I learned this lesson the hard way in the first six years of our marriage. As a result, I’ve now made sleep a high priority in my life. And I’ve learned that I actually get a lot more done when I’m well rested, plus I feel a lot calmer about life in general.
So I’ve been trying to go to be earlier and, on the nights when I don’t go to bed early, I let myself sleep in a little. It makes such a difference in my productivity — and in my overall demeanor.
Here’s what I wrote about sleep in my 15 Ways to Have More Energy post:
I know, I know. It’s hard to get sleep when you have a hundred other things you feel you should be doing.
However, if you don’t take the time to rest, you’ll constantly be running on fumes. Rearrange your schedule, turn off the electronics, do relaxing things before bed, go to bed early (if at all possible), take a 30-minute nap in the afternoon, or do whatever else it takes to make sure you are getting good sleep at least 5-6 nights each week (I’ve found that if I sleep well at least five nights each week, I’m rested enough that I can have a late night once or twice a week without it really affecting me!)
Don’t know whether you’re getting adequate sleep? I’ve heard that a good barometer is to see if you’re tired at all midday or afternoon. If you are, you aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Keep extending your sleep at night by 15 to 30 minutes until you no longer feel tired in the afternoon.
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