We wake up in the morning, it’s a new day, and a new beginning. We should always think of it as a blank slate. To forget (or at least put in our mental closet of debris) the negative, the stress, and the mistakes of the previous day. To start out fresh with new vigor and excitement.
The downside to this is that unless you take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating the right food, and managing your stress we end up pushing the envelope to the point where we survive the day through coffee or other stimulants to finish the plans we made first thing in the morning.
This comes at a cost though. Fatigue starts to creep in after only one day of less than necessary sleep. Stress shows it’s head when a deadline is approaching and you don’t eat your lunch. You snap at your spouse because of your low blood sugar, you fire an employee over a random comment that you took personally, or you generally treat the people around you like you’d rather be someplace else.
There are always going to be deadlines. There are always going to be tasks at home that have to be completed at some point. There are always going to be demands on your time. So what are you going to do about it to make your life better? So you don’t feel so stressed out?
You can read a self-help book of course, but who has time? You can listen to podcasts and audio books on the way home from work, but if you’re tired and hungry chances are you won’t absorb much of their information.
Boundaries have to be set.
You can’t do everything. You can’t say yes to everyone. You need to learn how to say ‘no’, or ‘not right now’. You have to tell your boss that you can’t possibly attend that meeting if he/she wants you to finish the project they gave you. You can’t go to that party, that you’re not really interested in anyway, because you have to sleep. You’d love to eat at that new restaurant, but you say no because if you eat there you know that your digestive system will be angry with you for the next 24 hours.
Look at all the unessential things that you do each day. The things that you didn’t have to volunteer for, or agree to meet for drinks even though you’re trying to avoid alcohol (and you need sleep). Create a list, and start untangling your life to the point where only the essential things are left.
You might be surprised that people won’t be angry at you. You may gain more free time to get to bed early, or to cook a better meal for your diet. You may have time to actually get that run in you’d been promising yourself all week.
Boundaries. We need them to keep our sanity. We need them so that when we wake up in the morning we are refreshed, excited for the new day, and ready to challenge ourselves with the things that really matter.