Last night, I had a terrible night’s sleep. I woke up around 2 in the morning, moved to the couch because hearing my husband sleep was making me angry (sorry honey – I know it’s not your fault) and proceeded to toss and turn until close to 4AM. My shirt was annoying me and I felt it was making me hot so I took that off. The legs on my sweatpants were riding up to my knees and felt too tight around my calves. And my shins were extremely itchy to the point where I sprayed them with Benadryl spray to make it stop. Everything was annoying! It was too bright outside with the snow, the light coming from the kitchen nightlight was in my eyes, the humidifier was making too much noise, and my eight-year-old woke up with a bad dream.
The most frustrating part of all of this is that I really wanted to sleep. So very badly. Our schedule at work for today is very full so I knew that I was going to need to bring my A-game. Instead, things were looking like I was going to be bringing my “Three cups of coffee game”. As is the case when I find myself restless and unable to sleep, I know to check in and see if I can ask myself why. The closer I can get to understanding what is literally keeping me awake at night, the sooner I can usually find myself nodding off and getting back to sleep.
For starters, I had not done a very good job of taking care of myself that evening both physically and emotionally. I was stressed, angry and sad. And I did all of the things that I know to not do when I feel that way. There have been a few things going on in my life this week that have just had the scales tipping a little less favorably and yesterday afternoon, I had reached my breaking point. So I resorted to comfort in the form of food. Before raiding the pantry, I made myself a deal that I would stay away from sweets but that didn’t stop me from eating almost two dinners, a lot of cheese and spoonfuls of peanut butter. I was stuffed when it was all said and done.
So here I am at 2AM, angry for not taking my supplements that help with stress, eating too much and reflecting on how un-health coach like I’ve been. But then I stopped myself in my tracks. In that moment, I had awareness of how I was thinking and of what I could have done and have been doing differently. I was coaching myself; now, I just needed to listen to what I was saying. So in that moment, I began to formulate my game plan to turn around what was transpiring so that the outcome could be transformed. I needed to clear a path to make things easier (and healthier) for myself now and in the morning.
I went to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water, turned off the light that was bothering me, and took a supplement to help promote some relaxation. I cozied up in my blanket on the couch and was starting to finally feel sleepy. I could feel myself start to unwind a bit as my body became more supported by the couch as I was succumbing to rest. Thoughts of the morning entered my mind, leaving me to contemplate what I could do differently to support my physical and emotional health. I planned my healthy breakfast and food to take to work. I committed to an outfit to save a few minutes getting ready.
And I let a lot of stuff go.
I acknowledged what hadn’t been working about the last few days and how I was feeling about that. I let myself be present one more time to the frustration, anger, and sadness that I had felt during the week and let it be okay. And then I let it go.
There was nothing more to be done about it. There was nothing I could do in that moment except change my mind about how I was feeling that would allow for it to be any different. Too much time had already been given to these concerns, doubts and worries. And all of that energy spent was not going to change a darn thing. I am not responsible for how other people feel. I cannot control that. I can only control how I feel. So I did.
This is what being a health coach is all about. This process would not have been so easy to do if not for the guidance from some wise people in my life that have helped me to honor who I really am – which allows for me to dismiss these negative feelings as soon as I am ready to. Too often in our lives we have people that beat us down, that make us feel and think bad things about ourselves, that leave us feeling crummy. We doubt ourselves and what we feel and let them have too much of a vote in our happiness. Self-care is synonymous with self-love. You need self-love to be able to truly practice self-care.
So if you are having trouble loving yourself and seeing all of the goodness that you possess, if your thought process is stuck on the track, “I’m Not Good Enough,” if you’re tired of the negative chatter that you hear, let’s talk. Let me be the wise friend in your life that can help you see how great you really are.