Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, How does she do it all? The person who seems to have it all together: a clean house, nightly home cooked dinners, killing it at work, volunteering for everything, staying fit….
Whatever is on that list, chances are, some area is neglected. No one can do it all. When you give a lot to one area of your life, chances are another area suffers. If you’re putting in extra hours at work and really impressing your boss, the trade off might be less time with your kids, less time to focus on your marriage, or exercising and healthy eating may be put on the back burner. Something has always got to give.
The question I’m struggling with during the Healthy Sleep Challenge this month:
Is balance really possible?
Is it? Because for me lately, the area that suffers is sleep. I’m not sure how to focus on a healthy lifestyle (feeding my family real foods daily and exercising), keep up with house responsibilities, teach part time, volunteer at Meghan’s school, be present for my kids, focus on my spirituality, maintain a strong marriage, stay connected to family and friends, focus on blogging, and get enough sleep at night. How do I balance it all?
I don’t have an answer for you today. This month I’m forcing myself to ponder this question and figure it out. I’m determined to find a way to accomplish what I want to accomplish without sacrificing sleep. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers and it’s going to take some time to sort it out. But the truth is I can’t blog about a healthy lifestyle while running myself ragged by not sleeping enough. I can’t be a hypocrite.
As I told you in my last update, I’ve been using this sleep app to help me track my sleep and to help me figure out how to wake up feeling rested. My biggest issue isn’t falling asleep at night, I do that easily, but it’s waking up feeling rested. I’m usually so tired in the morning and have to drag myself out of bed. I hate that feeling. Sleep Cycle is supposed to help you wake up feeling rested by waking you during a light sleep cycle when your body is ready to get up.
From keeping track of my sleep and how I feel when I wake up, I’ve discovered a few things. I think waking up before 6am is not great for me, no matter when I go to bed. I’m pretty sure I’m always in a deep sleep (or at least not light sleep) in the 5am hour. This is sad because I do get a lot done when I’m get up that much earlier than the kids. But I’m finding I feel much better when I get up between 6:30 and 7:00 and even feel less tired during the day. So I’m going to try something new this coming week and get up later in the morning. This means I’m going to have to do some blog work at night. Not usually my best working time, but I’m going to give it a try.
The app also rates my sleep quality. I can only control what I can control, though. I can’t control Luke coming into our room in the middle of the night telling me he’s thirsty. I can’t control Tim waking me up when he comes to bed later than me. There are many factors out of my control when it comes to sleep quality.
Nonetheless, I will focus on what I can control.The other goal I told you I had was to cut out blue light in the evening 30-60 minutes before bed. How’d I do? It’s not. happening. It’s like I would have to magically create an extra hour before bed that I could just do nothing with in order for this to happen. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Sometimes I don’t think. Or I get too ambitious. Or something.
But! I found a possible solution. Anti-blue light glasses! Have you heard of these? You wear them while you are watching TV, reading, or looking at electronics after the sun goes down and they block the blue light so it doesn’t have the negative effect on your sleep. Cool, right? I just got these babies in the mail yesterday and am excited to try them out. Yes, I totally forgot I had them so I didn’t use them last night. Tonight’s the night I test them out!
I don’t have contacts or prescription glasses so it feels strange to see myself with these on. Luke said, “Mommy, you look pretty!” when I put them on, so that’s all that matters. 😉
I don’t yet have the answer to the question, Is balance really possible? What I do know is that it’s something that I will strive for, despite it feeling like I’m chasing a unicorn. Something has probably got to give and I need to find my priorities and see what I can put on the back burner. I’ll keep you updated as I muddle through these questions and strive for the elusive “balance” in my life.
How about you? Do you feel like you live a balanced life? If you are participating in the Healthy Sleep Challenge, how is it going for you?