2020: EATING AND SLEEPING
We can probably almost all agree that, the past year has been difficult for SO many different reasons. One of the most commons reasons I heard expressed was the feeling of uncertainty. No one knew what was around the corner or when we could start back on the forward moving train!
For most of the year, there were twists and turns no one saw coming, which we just could not have been prepared for. After a brainstorm, the only two knowns we mostly all had in common across the globe were: eating and sleeping.
With all of the unknowns, I decided to ensure I was prepared for what I DID know was coming.
For example, with a stay at home order and working from home: the new arrangement quickly proved the need for increased cooking and decrease in my laundry. After briefly using a service like Home Chef, each week after I do my own meal plan and grocery shopping. Some weeks I want something easy to cook and some weeks I want to try something completely new.
Sleep hours are probably one of the easiest things for me to slowly chip away at to either stay up later, get up earlier or just do anything but go to sleep. Alas, as we all are aware, resting our bodies and shutting down, somehow is the second most important ‘fuel’. Ensuring that I was getting my 7-8 hours of sleep a night quickly became an important priority. Training myself to get to bed by 10pm to wake up at 6am wasn’t easy. But it had to be done. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, do what you can to start scheduling it in and being better about going to bed on time!
Most importantly, over my life I have learned to build in margin to my schedule. I stopped over-committing and started ensuring there was wiggle room before and after activities, enough time in case there was traffic (especially in Philly). This margin allows me to go through life ‘slower’. It makes it so when walking Bianca, I can ‘stop and smell the roses.’
The ‘just in cases’
I’ve always been the type of person to keep my gas tank full, even though I don’t really go too far. And, I am also the type of person to have some cash in different denominations for any tipping needs. I also always have stamps with me and at home. Go ahead and laugh if you want… but once this allowed for a super sweet moment in an airport.
Remember that cheer that was something like ‘be aggressive, b-e a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e, be aggressive!’? (Yes that was a squirrel moment.) Anyway…
Always more on the prepared side, I often hear, ‘thanks mom’ with a playful smile from friends (for those that don’t know me, I’m not a mom yet). Mostly proud of this, I am usually up for something spur of the moment. (Remember my post that said something like… ready if you are?)
In fact, I will argue that the more prepared a person is, the more likely they are ready for anything! I know I am.
Growing up, my dad would often carry extra snacks and extra layers just in case. This carried over to my adult life by ensuring where ever I go, I have a change of clothes, snacks of all kinds, water or the like for hydration, sunblock and the list goes on and on. My dad also made sure I always had rope in my car… quite a few people ask about this when getting in. I’ve had the same unused rope in my car since I was 18 (haha!). One day I probably will need it.
Great, so how do I apply this now?
First, if you have a car, get a big rope. I don’t know why… just do it. Second, think of all the knowns in your life right now. We might not know when we can take a vacation out of the country, which would require a whole different set of preparation. But, we typically do know what, say, the next week might look like.
ACTION: How to be more prepared!
- Use a calendar app or (like old-fashioned me) a printed calendar. Schedule in all the knowns and must do’s. This would include working hours, kids schedules, school schedules, workouts and the like. At this step, it can be helpful to make note of your personal desired bedtime and wakeup times. This helps me to budget my ‘free’ time especially in the evenings much better. Or to decide when to wake up earlier for extra morning time.
- Include any appointments with doctors and such. After, schedule in the need to do’s. For instance, an oil change or hair cut – something that should happen during the week but needs to be scheduled.
- Schedule in any activities that are more flexible in nature. Such as, phone calls, social activities and the like. I also find this helpful to write down any birthdays and special occasions.
- Review your schedule against your goals and priorities. Time to review the goals and/or resolutions you set earlier in the year. Determine if anything should be down prioritized or added to your schedule to better fit in with your original idea of how your year would go!
At this point, you will have a really good perspective on the week. And when you might need more energy or more down time
Having my weekly schedule in front of me allows me to see about how much food I’ll need and how much time I’ll have to prepare it.
After completing your scheduling, we will now move on to the needs of the week. Meaning, how much and what types of meals, are there travel needs or extra paper for the printer needs?
- How many lunches need to be pre-cooked and ready to heat up?
- How many dinners should be meal-prepped?
- Are there any specific transportation needs for pick ups and drop offs?
- Do the vehicles need gas?
- In today’s world, do any of the masks needs to be laundered?
- Are there gifts that need to be purchased and mailed?
- Is cash for tips needed this week?
If you find yourself doing something you have never done before, and therefore cannot easily determine the ‘need’. Research what others have done, find someone that is similar to you in disposition and use their example. (Maybe it is your first job interview over Zoom, or maybe you are skiing for the first time.) Having the internet and YouTube especially is truly a luxury for these moments!
Something I highly recommend, but is surely completely optional, is creating a daily intention. One of my last posts discusses creating an intention before every activity in your day. Instead, this is a daily intention, one that is meant to give the day a ‘vibe’.
For example, on days that I know will be particularly rigorous with meetings, I write, “BE PRESENT.” This simple reminder allows me to go from meeting to meeting without dragging the baggage of one meeting into another.
On days where I might be spending more time than normal outside or doing a physical activity, I will write, “HYDRATE.” Other days might be more spiritual in nature, for example my Wednesday’s are usually considered, “MIRACLE WATCH.” days. Some days, I simple right ‘YAY’. This reminds me something fun is going to happen and also keeps my inner hype girl ready to go.
This simple exercise can help you to remember your ‘why’, stay positive and feel more centered. Finally! DECLARE, “I’VE GOT THIS!” and sleep well knowing you are READY for the week ahead!
The inner calm and outer confidence being prepared brings to my life I something I desire everyone to feel. The sense of peace I have on Sunday’s going into Monday’s is a treasure. The preparation allows for the best use of time, but most important to me, it improves the way my energy feels moving from day to day.
The preparation technique described here is just one way I show up for myself and others in my life. My self-trust has grown immensely, and I am much more reliable now that I practice preparedness. It allows me to be more presentable and more attentive.
In short, being prepared allows me to be my best self.