Today has been a very low energy day when I felt like a balloon with the air leaking out. It has been raining for 2 days, and cold, and in and out with the dogs I have felt chilled to the bone. It was a day for gentle quiet, taking a nap, allowing the table to rise.
One of the things about being mindful, which is very important for me when I have to constantly monitor and tend my energy levels, is that it helps me take the pulse of what is going on in my body and life around me. I started out making a list of things I felt I needed to get done, felt the pressure rising, and my body sinking, and thought no, slow down, wait a minute, breathe, just breathe.
I sat here in my desk chair with Delilah on my lap. Some days when I have been really tired, deeply tired, I have closed my eyes and just napped in my chair and the result was stiffness, backache, kind of an Oy Vey! when I got up out of the chair. Today I made myself go lie down on the couch, the pugs snuggled in around me, and I was asleep so fast I don’t even remember past lying down before I was sound asleep and then surprised to wake up and find out that it was 2 hours later. I had enough energy to get the dogs out, take late afternoon photographs, roll the trash barrel out in the chilly rain to the street for tomorrow morning’s early pickup, and then come back in and get the dogs a treat and settled around me so I could try to get some work done. No luck, my energy waned and I just sat here.
I came back to my body. It’s okay, it’s really okay, just let it be, went through my head, and I sank down into my chair and allowed time to wash over me. The clocked seemed to be ticking louder than usual and something inside of me fell into sync with the tick, tick, tick, moment by moment by moment, I sat with the air settling softly around me. It was if I could feel it gliding down over my body and I just noted it as it passed.
My sleep cycles have been topsy turvy, my Circadian rhythms askew. It has been 3 and even 4 in the morning before I have gone to sleep and I think it has caught up with me. I got a lot of work done even through Christmas and to New Year’s day. It was past midnight when I recorded my New Year podcast, and then I couldn’t go to sleep. The dogs and I snuggled in bed and I watched a British program, a series called Endeavor. I love these British mysteries, they are just about my favorites, and now that I don’t have t.v. and can watch a series on my Roku box with streaming it is so nice to look forward to another episode to hunker down and watch when I’m done for the day, it helps me shift gears and my brain relaxes. Unfortunately my “day” ended at 1:30 a.m. and the program I watched went until 3. I thought I would just watch a little of it, and I was snuggled into the pillows and covers fully expecting to watch a little and then pause it and finish watching it tonight but I just couldn’t go to sleep yet.
I have found it’s best to just let my body settle and find its own way to sleep otherwise I toss and turn until I get really anxious. I have medication to take to help me go to sleep but I don’t like to take anything I don’t have to. Lately, however, I have been taking it most nights or I have a terrible time going to sleep and then toss and turn for hours. The 2 nights before New Year’s Eve I had such terrible nightmares I felt wrung out when I got up. They were the kind of nights when I woke up so afraid I couldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom for awhile, and finally I sat up and turned on a light. These are times when mindfulness is a lifesaver.
I sit up, turn on the light, and look around the room. I take a deep breath and then make myself very aware of my surroundings. I’m okay, I’m really okay, I tell myself. I look at each dog, and at familiar things around the room. There are my glasses, my book, my Kindle, a notebook and a journal, a jar of pens, hand cream. I note things in the room and I breathe. I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay I tell myself. The worst are when I wake up in the morning terrified and afraid to get out of bed and don ‘t know how I will make it through the day. I haven’t had one of those for awhile, thank God, I have been doing so much better. Those days are paralyzing. These last couple of nightmares unnerved me but they weren’t the terror inducing kind.
I’m okay. I’m okay.
It’s no wonder I’m so tired. It’s 11:30 now. I will publish this post and then get in a long hot shower and snuggle in with the pugs to watch my program. I will be asleep by the time I went to bed last night. That’s an improvement. I need to work my way back to being asleep earlier and up earlier in the morning. I won’t even send the newsletter out until the morning. It’s just too much. I have to draw the line somewhere.
So I will leave you my loves. I am hoping and praying that you are resting well, sound asleep. I pray that your nights are easy and your dreams gentle with you. I hope mine are tonight.
It is the new year and I am easing my way into it. I will keep coming back to my breath and I will be fine.