I’m tired. Sick. So very tired of being sick. All I want is to have energy and to play in the sun, and travel around the world, and be loved, and to be able to give love to those around me. Being in really good shape would be cool too, and being talented at playing the piano, and becoming super smart like Leonardo Da Vinci, and flying jets would also be fun…
One time I made a list. It was called my “If only…” list. Every project that I’d begun and forgotten was on that list. All the relationships that I’d let drift into nothingness. If only I hadn’t done ____. If only I had done ____. I didn’t stop writing because I ran out of things to write on the list. I stopped writing because I ran out of paper. It scared me.
For almost a month after that I was deep into a state of depression. It’s always been easy for me to lower my spirits into a dark place. The more I tuck and hide away my thoughts and weaknesses from others, the heavier the weight that bears me down and down.
I’d been sick since the beginning of the year. My energy seemed to wax and wane in a cyclic fashion. For weeks at a time I would feel amazing, but these times always seemed to be followed by a sudden crash. My spirits often plummeted along with my energy.
Each day I’d wake up a little later. Stay in bed a little longer. If I allowed my thoughts to stay buried in self-pity then my attitude would start to feed on itself and become increasingly worse.
I hope to write more about my health journey in a later post. Human nature often hides that which makes us look weak. We each try to hide the struggles that play within our souls and in our bodies. We play pretend that what we are is perfect. It embarrasses us to allow others to know about the struggles and fears. The imperfections.
People don’t want to hear lies though. They want the honest, raw truth. They want to know your story. What did you do? How did you overcome your health problems – or some other struggle in your life?
This is how I try to keep myself waking up with a playful spirit:
1. Praying before sleep and before I do anything else when I wake up. This alone can complete turn around my attitude, keep me from indulging in self-defeating attitudes, and really set the day up for success. Meditating day and night on the Word. Staying anchored in it so I won’t drift.
2. Keeping a “set in stone” morning routine. This really focuses me. I wake up with more energy when I know exactly what the morning has planned and how I’ll go about accomplishing it. I feel best when I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and pray first thing. Following that with reading the Bible. Then diving straight into work.
3. Getting some sun every day. This helps with calcium metabolism, immunity, gene expression, and melatonin production. Vitamin D is absolutely essential to health. I sleep like a baby when I get 30 minutes to an hour of sun a day. If I can’t make time, or it’s one of those dark, rainy days, then I will supplement with 4,000 IU of D3.
4. Keeping a consistent bedtime. This goes hand in hand with the morning routine. I won’t feel good if I don’t get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep, and I won’t get that if I stay up late and then try to keep the morning routine up as well. It takes self-discipline, but it’s one of the highest impact changes I’ve made.
5. Avoiding media consumption within an hour of bedtime. Avoiding blue light from artificial sources right before bed is critical. Exposure to blue light limits the body’s production of melatonin. That’s a great thing during the middle of the day. However, when I’m are getting ready for bed then I want melatonin, the sleep hormone, to start building in my body. This means that I will enter deeper sleep sooner after going to bed, and thus wake up more rested. I love to take advantage of that redeemed hour before sleep to read, pray, and write (pen and paper).
What helps you to wake up happy?