Hi friends! Happy Thursday.
I hope everyone is having a terrific week so far. As I mentioned recently, I’m currently reading Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Ariana Huffington. I would highly, highly recommend it. I think each and every single one of us can learn a lot from reading it.
To be honest, I was having a tough time finishing books as a new mama. I’m a bookworm at heart, but I found I was getting interrupted often and not able to jump back in as easily as I once did. Lately, on my commute to and from work I listen to audio books via the Audible App. I will also listen while cleaning or getting ready in the morning. Anytime I can focus on the words.
If you are feeling stressed, overly busy, unbalanced, overwhelmed…or you’re just in need of some inspiration and wise words I would download the app and then download Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living and Thrive. Then, prepare to want to change.
If there is one thing I’m sure of it is that I have an ever burning passion to try to help people to live healthier lives. On this blog there will always be posts about working out and eating better, because those are huge components of living healthfully.
But, I also believe there are other enormous components of health. Some of which I’m just discovering myself. I wanted to share a few from the Thrive by Ariana Huffington. I’m just scratching the surface, I’d really jump in if I were you 🙂
One thing I’ve been increasingly strict on is my bedtime. I KNOW, I KNOW…I’ve blogged about this a lot recently. It is such an important point though! This week I’m at Ambulatory Care Orientation. Essentially for 8 hours a day I’m learning all of the ins and outs of clinic including policies, procedures, how charting is different, cultural congruency, etc. etc. I’ll take a look around class and see grown adults SLEEPING during a presentation. Many people at my table complaining of how tired they are, when my friend at my table complained about how tired she was I couldn’t help myself, I responded: “what time did you go to bed?” It is eye opening (pun intended) and easy to see what an enormous problem it is in our society just by being around new people.
I have to say, my life has changed since I focused on sleeping enough, I got off of nightshift, and created healthy sleep habits. In Thrive Ariana Huffington talks a TON about all of the negative implications one can experience from not sleeping enough. It clouds our judgement, causes us weight gain, makes us emotionally reactionary, makes us poor decision makers, is associated with numerous negative health implications, just to name a few examples. Studies that she cites in her book say that the easiest way to start losing weight is to SLEEP enough.
“It’s also our collective delusion that overwork and burnout are the price we must pay to succeed. The method (or cheat code) we use isn’t a mystery: feeling that there aren’t enough hours in the day, we look for something to cut. And sleep is an easy target.”
I prioritize sleep OVER a lot of things. For example, getting a blog post just perfect or even just done. Although I do want to GROW the blog and start a business (side project), I’m not willing to sacrifice my own well-being to accomplish those goals. It is countercultural way of doing things, because most people will tell you to work your as* off until all your handwork pays off. But, I know that I’m at my best including the most creative and productive when I sleep enough. Ariana Huffington calls herself a sleep crusader and I strongly feel that I’m becoming one as well. Trying to help people unleash the power of being well rested.
Are you constantly tired or always needing caffeine to keep you running? What if you tried to sleep more?
How do you define it? Are you working yourself into the ground? For what? The book is chalked full of examples of CEOs that worked themselves into a health crisis only to then reflect: “what the heck was I doing?”
I don’t believe balance has to be a unicorn, never to be seen by you. I do believe that you have to want it hard enough to find it. It’s not easy to change or reprioritize or scale back at work.
We’re all in very different positions, so I don’t know what that looks like for you. This is one place where I have found my stride. I don’t associate my personal value or happiness with accolades, promotions, amount of money I make, or being involved on every committee that comes my way.
“Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success — money and power — has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.”
Is your job making you sick? What do you think would help fix that?
One of the main premises of Thrive is how important meditation is and all of the positive impacts it can have on your mind. I already had the knowledge that we could train our brains, but listening to all of the information about how influential meditation can be in helping us to channel our inner calmness had me sold in about 2 paragraphs. I started using the Headspace App. As Ariana Huffington suggests, start small! There is no reason to think you’ll be able to jump into 30 minutes of zen meditation practice right away, it is something to build up to. I started by putting on the Headspace Sleep exercise on 10 minutes before bed (around 9:20pm). I fall fast asleep as the guy leads me through relaxation. Last night Drew said, “Oh gosh, you’re listening to a guy talk about grass.” haha. It is SO relaxing ya’ll, I fall asleep about 10 minutes through.
I’m excited to start practicing meditation at other times too. One thing that Ariana said that stuck with me is don’t add it onto your to-do less and then stress yourself out about making time to meditate. Simply start small and add on. Soon you’ll value it so much that you’ll find the time.
Is your mind always racing or unwilling to turn off at night?
I enjoy and utilize social media a lot because of the blog and I am also the person that truly enjoys seeing people posting their babies, puppies, sports affiliations, vacations, etc. Seriously, give me all the baby and puppy pics!
Ariana gives a lot of mind blowing statistics about just how much technology has taken over our lives. One example is the average American checks their phone every SIX minutes. She also gave examples about how many people get hurt/cause accidents because they cannot even walk down the street without being on their phone.
This may look different for all of us. Perhaps you do an incredible job of staying off your phone and taking digital detox vacations. I KNOW I can do a lot better to be present and put away my phone more. It is vital to our health to have time away from screens.
Does a day without your phone scare you? Could you plan one each week? I honestly feel nervous about committing to one full day without my phone.
Let me know if you take one of my book suggestions and what you think of the books! I’d love to hear from you. I think I need a new tab for recommended podcasts and books! 🙂
I hope everyone has a great weekend! See you on Tuesday!