Kindly go to sleep

The subject of sleep has occupied my thoughts over the last few weeks. Often between 3:30 and 6:00am! Initially I tried not to worry about it too much, as I have found in previous years that my sleep pattern can be disrupted when the clocks change. There has also been quite a lot going on, both at home and work so there has been plenty to occupy my mind when I regularly awoke at 3:30am. And as I became increasingly aware of my lack of sleep having an impact on me physically, emotionally and mentally, this just added to my list of worries.

Man-Sleeping

All the things that usually help me to get back into a good sleep pattern didn’t seem to work this time. Reducing alcohol and caffeine intakes had no effect, practicing yoga or autogenic exercises, while relaxing, didn’t improve things and even a pre bed soak in the hot tub didn’t help me sleep through the night.

Thankfully my beloved partner knows that I have these phases and has supported me incredibly, as he usually does, even to the extent of sitting and chatting with me in the early hours of the morning. I am also fortunate to work for a company that takes wellbeing seriously so telling colleagues that I wasn’t sleeping well was not difficult and elicited both understanding and several colleagues saying they were suffering similarly.

Finally towards the end of last week I came down with a cold, nothing major, just a head cold. Now usually I would have just carried on regardless, but this time I thought differently. At work we having been talking a lot about the importance of looking after ourselves – for many of us this seems harder than looking after others. We also made a commitment at our management team last week to embrace World Kindness Day (which is today) and to hold each other to account to be kind to ourselves.

So I took things easy over the weekend and even though I did go into work the last two days I asked colleagues to cover some meetings for me and made sure than I left early each day, by canceling other commitments. Thankfully my cold seems to be clearing up and also last night I managed to sleep nearly 10 hours, so this morning I feel much better. I’m sure I could have carried on regardless but what is this saying to others and is it really achieving more? Increasingly I doubt that so I for one am trying to be kinder to myself and to others.

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About Sean Kent

Accountant and non-executive director based in Norfolk. Interests include coaching, food, wine and technology.
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