Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Living Life, without Sleep

It all seemed perfect. I put the kids to bed, turned on a fan, and snuggled in against my husband ( and I am not usually a snuggler!). it seemed like a perfect night of sleep was before me. And then. My seven -year-old came in. My husband had already gotten up and headed for the couch (which he does at times), so there should have been plenty of room. And yet, after this 1:30 a.m. awakening I simply could not fall back asleep. My mind had gotten stuck on the service learning project my fourth grade son is supposed to be executing for his one-day-a-week gifted education program. My son, who would much rather just play with magnets and batteries, isn't going to take the initiative. This project and getting it going is on me.
As I lay there and thought about how I could get this accomplished, I found that I simply wasn't falling back asleep. Now it's 4:30, and I have given up, gotten up, and started my day.

As you know, a sleepless or at least very sleep-deprived night can lead to some pretty unpleasant achiness throughout the body.
 I have a meeting scheduled with a parent so calling out isn't an option. I started looking online for tips on handling a sleepless night. My first search led me to several beauty tips on how to look like you slept well. Listen. I don't need that. I want my coworkers to see my face, read my pain, and pity me. I don't know about you, but I get emotional when sleep-deprived. However, if possible, I want to feel as good as I can.
I found this little article, Didn't Sleep Much Last Night?:10 Ways to Function Today,  by Murray Newlands, on Entrepreneur.com and it has some great tips on feeling better.

Using this article as a guide, I have created my action plan.

 1.Alternate cups of coffee with glasses of waterat least at home.
I am heavy coffee drinker, but I need a little more pure H2O in my life.

2. Take Ibuprofen. My body aches when I don't sleep well, particularly my neck, shoulders, and upper back. No reason to deal with that.

3. Listen to a Simple Habit podcast on waking up. Today I plan to listen to "Rise and Greet the Day."

4. Use positive affirmations and tell myself, I am rested and ready for the day.

5. Finally, I intend to make it a point to reach out and greet each person I meet. I have an introverted tendency to withdraw, especially under stress, however, a smile and a kind words should give me a little kick to keep going.

How about you? Do you have any tricks to share for getting through a sleepy day unscathed?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Inner Critic

Image result for shame

"Imagine having a friend who always made you feel bad about yourself because every time they came over they told you what was wrong with you." That loosely quoted quote came from my morning motivational series on discouragement.

I have been discouraged! Anxious. Stressed.

I realize a great deal of this comes from my own perfectionistic tendencies. I apply these to myself as well as others. I think part of me sometimes feels there is a positive proactivism in being perfectionistic and that in harshly holding myself in line, I will become the better person I want to be.

As we know, though, the inner critic, often backfires when it is too harsh, too unaccepting. Wisdom tells us we will let ourselves down. I will make a snarky comment without forethought, or a customer will be disappointed because they didn't read all the available information. My natural tendency is to jump harshly on myself. Rude comment? Welp. That's it. Noone will ever like me. Angry customer? Welp. I suck. Why on Earth would I think I could run a business? And I feel this shame over myself.

But Gosh darn! Enough already. The anxiety riding in my belly this week, requiring me to rely on Benadryl to relax into sleep and to wake up in a slight fog is just so absurd.

I made a snarky comment. Most people will know that snarky comment is a reflection on me and my insecurities. Other people make snarky comments all the time. That doesn't mean I should just not care what I say. But rather, the moment has passed, and I need to let it dissipate, and move on.

My unhappy customers? Well, on the one hand, it was spelled out clearly on the item page when shipment would come. Shipment has been slightly delayed due to issues with the supplier and a health scare, but not significantly so. However, as the seller, I have to realize people probably don't take the time to read all the information carefully. I have to either not presell, or make it very clear along with a follow-up email offering a timeline and a way out.
I have to LEARN from this, not throw in the towel in shame and discouragement.

I believe in the inner critic. I believe in holding ourselves accountable and pushing ourselves onto higher moral and professional grounds. However, the inner critic has to also be loving. The inner critic has to offer proactive help, not helpless disappointment. Working towards kinder thoughts and words is always a good thing, but allowing myself understanding and the ability to occasionally screw up is required. I don't know anything about running a business. I have so many things to be proud of including the signs showing that I am on the verge of beginning to figure how to make it profitable. That's a huge leap since we really started up last July. I am becoming more knowledgable and competent all the time.

I need to recognize and realize those accomplishments. I need to continue to work towards giving myself grace and mercy. I don't HAVE to punish myself, just as I don't have to punish others when they let me down (or make the occasional snarky comment-although, I wonder, if my quest to become the loving and sweet Melanie Wilkes, if I will make myself into the most boring person on the planet. Time will tell, I guess). I think that is the balance I struggle with. I spent years self-repressing and hiding because I didn't trust myself, and as I have struggled to break free from those self-imposed prisons, I tend to sway when I make mistakes and upset others. It's a process I suppose.

On a side note, we talked briefly of out-of-body experiences and life after death in the office yesterday, and I was so happy. I think of these things all the time, and it is so fun when other people join in!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

"You Had a Bad Day."

You know it is one of those days when Daniel Powter's Bad Day is running through your brain like your theme song. It started early. It was just off. My classes were fine. The kids were fantastic. We talked and laughed, they asked questions, I answered. Behaviors were great. Even the kids who challenged me had valid points, which was refreshing. I got enough sleep. I liked my outfit. My hair was a little questionable, but nothing is perfect, right? But everything felt off. Every offhand comment felt like a smudge, a swipe, a swat against who I am as a person. And I felt this creeping shame crawling over my skin, flushing my face and branding me as a misfit. I dreamed of a hot bath and a good cry, but nothing was really WRONG. So there are no tears.
There was this thing nagging at me and bugging me, until big girl Jill, came up, snorted, labeled it jealousy, and I had no choice but to deny it and build a story to fight against it, or acknowledge it and roll with it. Big girl Jill is actually pretty wise, so I listened to her.
Then Tierney had a phone call from an upset customer wanting to know where her things were. I get it-she sent us a lot of money-but she neglected to note the page said these were preorders and wouldn't begin shipping until mid-February. So I called her back and soothed her, but this flashing "Failure" sign was lighting up my brain.

I haven't had my morning time this week. People keep waking up early, early before 5:30 a.m. and breaking into my spiritual time. I haven't FELT like listening to deep thoughts this week from my ebooks, and just want to coast along on a romantic song and a cloud. But without that time, my fortitude is down. My emotions are raw rather than cared for. So, I came home, made some brownies, and decided to pull it together.

So! here is my have a better day mini-pack. You're welcome.

First some ideas  https://www.theodysseyonline.com/100-things-to-do-when-youve-had-bad-day

Make some brownies. Seriously. Brownie batter makes everything better. Just don't get salmonella.

Listen to some of my favorite songs (don't laugh at my song choices, I fear I am a simple cliche. That's okay, you know. The right people still love me).

I often go out for a diet soda in the evening to listen to music, get a break from putting Alec to bed, and get my second wind. But I think I might just take a bath tonight and just soak (but I am restless, so I don't know how that will go. It's hard to lay in a hot tub when your nerves are hopping all over the place).

Finally before bed I will watch a favorite show with my husband. Our go-to is Zoolander, but there won't be enough time. We'll probably catch some of The Office. Who doesn't love that show?

And it will be better.

What do YOU do to cheer yourself up?