Happy New Night-Nights

January 5, 2022 12:30pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 11 Comments

mindfulness with Jules Smith

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Another new year commences but this time with a new set of rules. I am no longer making impossible resolutions and instead have cleverly labelled my goals as “Self-Care” Some have stated that this is a little ambiguous but that’s because they weren’t smart enough to think of it. On occasion, self-care may mean that in fact, a large glass of wine is what’s needed, or a rant at someone is necessary to relieve angst. Other times it may mean I follow a path of calm and positive purpose.

 

 

Before Christmas, I watched something about mindfulness. There was a monk who said that we should be less reactionary and more accepting of negative or anxiety fuelled emotions. Learn to accept them and sit with them for a while. When you feel panic you should welcome it by saying, “Welcome, panic..”

I love a bit of monkery so I thought I’d give that a go because I’m a person who always feels frantic inside and that can’t end well. 

That started out OK. Instead of cursing at the person in front of me driving so slowly, I said, “Welcome, you doddery old sod and thank you for making me realise I don’t need to rush to get where I’m going all the time.” Or, to the person standing in the middle of the supermarket aisle, “Welcome you dozy old cockwomble and thank you for making me wait whilst you chat in the centre of aisle 7 because now I can understand selfishness a little better…”

This has been working well for me because I have replaced getting furious with laughter. Good start. 

 

Alive and Unconscious

 

 

I started to wean myself into change over the period between Christmas and New Year where time does not exist. Airport time. A muddy period where days roll into each other like a swampy fog. You eat the remnants of the Quality Street tub for breakfast washed down with sherry and wonder why you feel like a hot toxic mess. Going straight from that to serious change is not conducive to self-care so I decided to implement my first new routine. 

I am crap at sleeping and apparently sleep is one of the most important things to get right before you even think of doing anything else. 

 I go to bed with the good intention of going to sleep and end up reading my book for hours until I eventually fall to sleep dribbling on my Kindle. I wake up at 3 am and then get up for a cuppa and ruminate over spiteful little thoughts that dance around my head. I go back to bed, wired and watching the night turn into day behind the blinds. Sometimes I go back to my Kindle and can’t remember a damn thing I read a few hours ago. I then fall back to sleep minutes before it’s time to get up. Dreadful. 

 

All Aboard The Night Train!

 

 

I found out that you can train yourself into a sleep pattern. Pick an eight hour period and stick to it vehemently. Even if you wake up during that time, do not get out of bed. You must lie still in torturous bed prison and not get up until your allotted time. I decided that this would be my first trial into self-care. I chose to go to bed at 11 and get up at 7. 

I can’t begin to tell you how difficult this was when I first started. I got Alexa to play rain sounds in an attempt to quiet the devil in my brain daring me to break the rules. No! I’m sticking to this. I lay there like an inmate, lights out, staring at the ceiling. Too hot. Too cold. Covers on. Covers off. I eventually went to sleep and woke up around 3 and then 5. I tossed and turned. I experimented with sleep mists on my pillow. I ended up drenching myself and the bed in lavender stuff in an attempt to drug myself to sleep. I am now allergic to lavender. When 7 am came and the alarm went off I wanted to cry. Shut Up Alexa and go to hell.  Thank you for this fresh new opportunity for an early start…

Like a warrior, I got up and zombied into the day.

 

 

The days were so long that on one of them I ended up having a hysterical time tantrum. It was only 4.30 in the afternoon and I could have sworn it was bedtime. I wailed and despaired and forced myself to do things and the clock refused to tick like normal. I wanted to smash its face in. Thank you, clock for revealing how much more time I have to do all the thing’s I can’t muster the energy to do.

I’d already been at it for nine hours and I had to stay up for another six and a half. I couldn’t even stay awake to The Witcher. I knew it was bad when I started nodding off to Henry Cavill. Were naps allowed? Apparently not. The evil sleep training does not allow this privilege. You must endure a lifetime in each day and be too knackered to do anything constructive past 3 pm. 

Dear Lord above, it’s been a trial. 

However, it has started to work. Not entirely; I still find the days exhaustingly long but I am now starting to get better sleep, only waking up once before my due time and easily falling back off. And since this has started to work I have taken on yet another self-care challenge which I will tell you about next time because I’m having severe problems with that one and might be on the verge of a psychotic meltdown – thank you for all these challenges that will help me hate everything more than before become a better and more balanced person. 

 

 

11 Comments

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Yes, we all need to learn to be kind to ourselves.

Right. I am determined to do it this time. Determined, I am!

I have not used an alarm in 10 years. I wake up every day on time. Even after two weeks off work, where I stayed up late and slept in till all hours, I was up at 5:00 am and ready to start back to work. Waking up without an alarm is one of the most freeing things I have accomplished. It is a liberating and stress-free way to begin the day. Happy (calm) New Year!

I don’t usually have an alarm because I didn’t really sleep much but I need one now to make me get up at exactly the right time and so I don’t look at my phone and get distracted. I’m easily distracted which is another thing I need to cure.

I would always wake up at weekends or on holiday at the usual time. How very frustrating! Now I’m going to become the nightmare person to go on holiday with when I leap from my bed at 7 am and want to play!

5 am. My God. That’s way too early to get up to go to work. I’m impressed.

Happy New Year!

Gotta love a bit of ‘self-care’… nudge nudge, wink wink. Say. No. More!
Although that can actually be conducive to a good night’s sleep, y’know.

It’s a damn sight better than Lavender mist. Masher 😉

Rx for Jules: CBD gummies. Perhaps the version with melatonin. Guaran-damn-teed to help, says this hypermotivated Calvinist.

Haha! Thank you, Roger! I shall take this advice!

which monk did you listen to? there’s a difference between Thomas Merton and Rasputin…

Morning Meditations? i could show you a few tricks…

this is what my roommate did at Berkeley. she never ate ANYTHING after 10PM, while we were out at Fat Slice. no midnight snack, only water. it works. your body will fall instantly asleep everytime cos it’s empty and light as a feather. and believe me you get WACKY dreams after drinking that much water…

*)

Haha! I’m following several along with some Japanese Kaizen stuff. It’s all very MM, my sweet!

I get wacky dreams anyway – I don’t need any more of that or I’ll start resenting real life. Oh, wait…

*)

The way of the monk is not in succeeding, but in trying. However, the way you describe it gives me more anxiety than my current routine. I’ll stick with my routine :).

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