Often, people who are introverts and people who are left-brained (shortcut for “those who spend a lot of times in their heads) don’t have a clear idea about their body–how they feel, how to take care of themselves, what pain or discomfort mean.
Sometimes, the feelings we have seem to be working for us when they are working against us. Here’s what I mean: I depend on my second wind all the time. I can usually kickstart it with coffee. I fly home from a different time zone, and drink a cup of coffee to overcome the dragged out feeling I get from flying. I then lie down for a nap. Twenty minutes later, I wake up feeling refreshed. The coffee hitting my system woke me up, and I’ve had a nap. Second wind is on the way.
I feel tired every afternoon between 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. My answer is often a dip in the pool, a walk around the block, and my second wind appears and I’m back at work, good to go.
The same thing happens around 9:00 p.m. I feel tired but have a lot to do. For example, right now I am watering the plants in the front yard, monitoring a dryer full of bathmats, creating my to-do list for tomorrow, waiting for the banana bread to come out of the oven, and writing a blog. As soon as all this is settled, I’ll catch my second wind.
And right there is the crucial point. When I catch my second wind, I’ll be wide awake, ready to go till midnight. But tomorrow morning starts early, before 5:00 a.m., so midnight is not a goal, it’s an enemy. That means as soon as the blog is proofed, I need to go to bed. Even though about 20 minutes ago, I stopped feeling tired and started to feel ready to tackle a lot of work.
Feeling what my body is capable of is not always in my best interest. Knowing that I have to get sleep is the important part. So paying attention, not to my body, but to what my body needs is the important part. Taking care of yourself is not always easy, and much harder when you are a workaholic, a perfectionist, or so “in your head” that you can’t see what is best for your body.
Thanks for teaching me so much; I’m off to bed.
—Quinn McDonald is glad she did the bed laundry early today. The bed is ready and waiting. The bathmats can stay in the dryer.