Small but fundamental change
I’ve been toying with that idea for a while. Of course, I don’t (cannot) make any rash decisions, so I needed time to analyze and think it through. This is another part of self-care for me, and let start from the beginning —
I never liked to waste time. I was always proud of how many things I can accomplish (even when I was drinking). I guess it was a way to prove to myself that my life has some meaning. For example, I never took naps, and I couldn’t stand being idle. It took me a while to understand that there is nothing wrong with doing nothing. I had to learn that I can do nothing and I don’t need to feel bad about it. First — it was napping. Once I started, I couldn’t believe how great I felt afterward. Now I love them, I try to take a 30–60 minutes break from everything as often as I can. Just to lie down, let my mind rest, let my thoughts flow, let my body relax. Even when I am working from home, that 30 minutes can make a tremendous difference in my mood.
As far as I remember, I slept for about 6 hours a day. That was enough for me to function (even there was a 10-year period when I didn’t drink coffee — there was no need for me, I could function fine without it). I felt kind of proud of it, like the people who are proud that they haven’t had a day off from work in 5 years or have taken no vacations in 10 years. And that is idiotic on their part, and it was stupid by me as well. Doing things that just enough work for me and my body is not sufficient — I want to do things that actually make me feel good.
I have noticed that those 6–6.5 hours of sleep are not adequate for my needs. Well, I am getting older for one, and I like comfort even more than before. When I wake up, I take at least 30 minutes to get going. I feel groggy, half-conscious, clumsy. My mood is awful for hours, my thoughts race in every direction, there is anxiety and even panic. But if I sleep for 7+ hours, I feel like a different person after walking up. Much calmer, organized, ready for challenges. Normal is a good word to describe it. So, I decided — starting this week — to aim for 7.5 hours of sleep every night. Since I have set time when I need to wake up for work, I will have to go to sleep earlier than before. It might seem like a trivial change, but it is not. That change will fundamentally alter the daily schedule. I know it will only benefit me and my health, and I am also proud that after serious deliberation, I decided to make that change to better care for myself.