On Sleep, Exercise and Mindful Work

This week for wellness, I’m focused on three things.

The first has to do with being mindful while working.

This is to ensure that I’m working at a right, or healthy, pace. I’m planning to reopen the Etsy shop by next week and there’s a lot of work to be done. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s work that I really enjoy! So much so that I can get lost doing it and push myself beyond my limits. What happens following that is I’ll be burnt out and unable to do anything for weeks afterwards.

So, in my Happy Journal, I added some quotes that will encourage me to try my best but also remind me that it’s okay if I cannot meet that deadline. Like last week, I used the coordinating stickers – Happy Goals and Live Creatively – for this journal. It is the Happy Life guided Journal which I use for wellness; journaling and gratitude.

To aid me in working mindfully, I first turned to prayer for God’s guidance and then to planning. Using a daily planner helps me to be realistic about and intentional with the time I have in each day.

While working, I would check in with myself regularly to see if I needed a break. I would also assess if I’ve essentially done enough work for the day, even though I had many hours left in which I could work. Not having to meet a deadline took the pressure off. And believing that God is leading me, in this specifically, gave me peace to work this way.

The other two things I’m focused on this week are challenges based on the wellness course I’m taking. It’s a free online course called the The Science of Well-being which I talked about in my previous Happy Journal post here. The challenges are based on habits we are encouraged to practice to cultivate happiness in our lives.

One of the habits is to exercise for 30 mins each day.

This doesn’t involve anything intense; just moving a bit more than usual. The reason for this habit is because research shows that not only is that healthy for our bodies but it also boosts our mood and can even decrease depression symptoms.

I’ve never been one for working out and strenuous exercise. I wrote about this a few months ago and mentioned my intent for exercise is to do just what this habit suggests which is move a bit more.

I enjoy walking but as we’re in the middle of Winter here in Canada, there’s no way I was going outside voluntarily. So, I just walked indoors and focused on breathing. I also chased my four-year-old around the living room and that was fun for us both.

Both exercises boosted my mood; one was calming and the other was just fun. Physically though, I did not see a health benefit because my feet were in pain for days following. Perhaps I didn’t wear the right shoes, or my body needs time to adjust, so I’ll continue until this practice becomes a true habit.

The other challenge is to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

The reason for this habit is because getting good sleep consistently has been shown to improve our mood and can contribute to health benefits like reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

I don’t do well in this area at all. I’ve been sleep deprived since having my second child, which was seven years ago! In fact the day before recording the video for this week, I got only 5 hours of sleep and woke with a headache.

One thing I did this week that I found very helpful is I instituted a quiet time in our home two hours before bed. My kids are young so it’s not really “quiet” but some of the noise is greatly reduced because the tv and other media are turned off. We also dim the lights and create a calm environment as we prepare for bed.

I also started drinking chamomile tea and using lavender products before bed, both of which has really helped me to fall asleep quickly and have a more restful night.

I plan to continue these habits because taking care of my well-being is an integral part of living this life well.

Do you struggle in any of these areas? What small changes can you implement today to work towards improving them?

Joy & Peace, Sister!

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