Enough has been said about the downside of hustle culture and the need to avoid wearing busy-ness as a badge of honor.
It still comes hard to many of us, however.
The little voices inside our heads that try to convince us that we can do just a little bit more.
Just one more thing before we feel valid and worthy.
The little voice that wakes you up at 4am, one that we are deeply familiar with, and out of which was born The 4am Report podcast in which we ask people ‘What keeps you up at night?’.
We are deeply familiar with that sentiment.
Deeply familiar with waking up at that time, with a list running in your head and the cloak of darkness which does nothing to help your general state of mind.
As we go into the holidays, for most of us here in North America, that involves some type of break over the next two weeks.
Let’s make it count.
To inspire you resolutely in that direction, I want to talk about one of the things that I’ve learned with some success in 2021.
The art of napping!
About five years ago, I met with a consultant. In the process of scheduling another meeting, this man, for whom I have a great deal of respect, said to me that he doesn’t fix meetings between the hours of 2 and 4pm.
Because he takes a nap!
At that time, 2016-Susan was gobsmacked! And very, very impressed.
Not just with the fact that he had that napping practice, but also that he was verbally setting boundaries and letting people know what the time was being used for.
He felt no need to pretend he had something else to do from 2-4.
No need to blame it on picking up his children. Or having a different meeting.
There was no need to falsify and fabricate.
He was quite clear about the fact that self-care was front and center, and important to him.
I remember thinking to myself then, “One day, I will count myself successful when I can do the same thing.”
And guess what? That day is now!
I won’t pretend that I set out to do this. That wasn’t the way it worked.
The habit started last year, in 2020.
Because of the pandemic – the full days, the constant company at home, and homeschooling my 10 year old daughter, meant I would nap from pure exhaustion. Sometimes even as late as 5 in the evening, ruining my night’s sleep and feeding back into that 4am story of waking up. I would just crash, and end up sleeping for an hour just to give myself enough energy to get through the day.
Eventually I asked myself, “What if this was not reactive and instead it was proactive?”
So this year, I started to do that. I can tell you now that it is the BEST THING EVER.
It’s a topic I mention with pride in interviews or talks where self-care questions come up. And the people love it! They usually want to dig deeper and vow to find time to nap themselves.
Is napping in the cards for you?
Let’s stop celebrating exhaustion and languishing.
I often talk with pride about the fact that I work six-hour-days.
I then have about two hours that I spend with my daughter for her various virtual schooling and life needs.
And I nap for between an hour and two hours depending on the day.
That’s a definitive habit that I’ve formed in 2021, one in which I’m very, very proud.
I hope that inspires you a little bit to give yourself the break that you need for the holidays.
We’re almost there, folx.
The happiest of holidays to you!
Thank you for keeping us on your ‘nice list’ this year.
Much more next year; refreshed and reinvigorated.
I cannot wait!