Do you consider rest a luxury? I often do, but that is when energy and motivation about a project take over me, I run mostly on adrenaline and oxytocin, and I forget that, sooner or later, tiredness will take its toll.
If I continue with the same pace, exhaustion will overwhelm me and if I try to fight it, I will end up with constantly raised cortisol levels.
And we don’t want to see that! Raised cortisol levels build unhealthy stress, the one that destroys your body’s capacity to thrive and grow and harms your immunological defenses.
Because we have limited time, we try to pack as many activities into a day.
We drink cleansing juices, exercise, meditate, do tech detoxes, work on self, and build relationships.
We listen to self-development advice from high achievers who tell us that the only way to do something with yourself in life is to get up at 4 am and start doing the side hustle, the creative project, the learning you have to do to make your dreams come true.
It looks like there is so much to do and so little time. So, wouldn’t sacrificing sleep be a smart thing to do? After all, we do nothing when we sleep, right? All that time has gone to waste! We could be seeing places, doing things, building stuff, and meeting people.
Driven by the FOMO, we forget that sleep is essential to a healthy, feelgood life.
Unfortunately, many high achievers are insomniacs, which is great when you are performing under tight deadlines, but awful when you want to keep your optimal health in check.
Sure, you can ditch sugar, go keto, eliminate unhealthy patterns in your behavior, but if you miss on sleep, get ready to welcome disease.
Even if you just want to sleep so badly at night and stay awake until late or wake up in the wee morning hours, the main problem is not the lack of sleep.
The main problem is that you cannot give yourself the permission to be tired.
To be tired is easy – you are tired at night although a racing mind may still be there. But instead of feeling the tiredness to its core and recognizing that you are a wreck, you resist. There is a train of thought that’s keeping you in the loop of constant doing.
It is the inertia of doing: you want to stop, but you can’t because the force you have used to get you going has momentum and is resisting its new command. You have completely forgotten what it is like to feel fully rested and in your best state of well-being.
So, give yourself time to unwind.
Give yourself the permission to be tired, say it aloud, and look forward to the hours you give your body and mind to replenish.
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