As parents and caregivers know, tasks are often piled on before we even get out of bed—wet diapers, hungry tummies, and little souls who want to be nourished through reading and playing, and other adventures together. Even our home holds it’s own set of demands—laundry, dishes, yard work and such. Add in a to-do list; purchasing a gift for a friends’ upcoming event, stocking the fridge for a get together you’re hosting, or whatever else it may be, and you might start to realize there’s not enough of YOU to get everything done. Not to mention your personal priority list of career, friends, and whatever sparks your soul as an individual…
And we haven’t even thought about your health and self-care yet.
The reality is most of us juggle more than is physically possible for one individual to accomplish (In fact, I feel like I need 7 assistants to accomplish all I would LIKE to do); however, hiring help may not be a reality. So, here we are—still trying to catch all the balls we’re juggling. In our 'on the go' lives, It’s easy to rush from one need to another, having the intention of taking care of ourselves, but the reality is, most of us never get that far down on our to-do list!
So, here lies the challenge (and the secret to success this summer): Respect your personal bedtime!
I hear the groans already—it seems like another impossible task, right? But, it’s a domino effect for success. Here’s why:
When bedtime is respected, then you have the ENERGY to rise early and workout. (And, that’s the real secret—taking time to workout!)
If you slide in a workout in the morning—whether it’s lavishly long, or it’s a quick, dirty 10 minutes, it clears the mind for a happier, better, more focused day (when coupled with a good night’s sleep!) There are so many benefits to exercise! Blood flow to the brain brings clarity of mind, which helps you think faster, so you can more easily determine which of your priorities need to happen, and in what areas you can simplify and let go of extraneous details. Workouts clear toxins from the body, so you will stay healthier & have more energy. Also, posture is greatly affected by exercise (namely Yoga and Pilates). Good posture lets you float through the world, feeling like a goddess (and having your clothes fit better). All of these workout benefits contribute to a happy attitude, and thus, more success in your world. Sleep and exercise are gifts you give yourself to help you stay strong. In turn, you will have a better ability to successfully juggle the other demands in your world. One thing I’ve noticed when I sleep and exercise is that I see possibilities instead of roadblocks—in every aspect of my life. I become better and more effective at everything I do, simply because I have taken the time to nurture my physical body and clear my mind.
Put your care in first—before anyone else is up. It might seem like a sacrifice to get up early when the rest of the world sleeps in, but it pays tremendous dividends.
Sleep + Exercise = less stress—the stressors around you may not change, buy you will feel less effected by them.
On the days you sleep in, all is not lost: Take time to do down dog or a headstand—even for two minutes. It stretches back and chest, which allows the body to stand tall, effortlessly. AND, the blood flow to your brain is wonderfully cleansing and refreshing.
If you decide to make ONE goal for yourself everyday, let that be BEDTIME. Because as you are rested, you’ll fit in your workouts more regularly, and your mind will be able to more clearly delineate between priorities and things you can let go of. You will feel happier and more balanced in your world. And balance feels wonderful.
Mother of 4
Exercise Physiologist & Trainer
Specializing in prenatal & postpartum health
& Children’s health and nutrition education