Catch some Z’s
by Melissa Snyder
Feb 06, 2011 | 2104 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I know some of the busiest people on the planet and most of them are mothers. Their lists are usually longer than any CEO or director of a large corporation and probably have just as high stress levels.

Most days my lists are so long it’s impossible to check everything off, but I give it a good running shot. Sometimes to the point of feeling overwhelmed with thoughts of “How am I going to get all of this done today?” When this happens I can feel my shoulders tense up. The feeling of stress usually starts there and moves up the neck. One thing is for sure ... if I haven’t have a good night’s sleep, the stress levels are higher. Without a good night’s sleep, I think we all make more mistakes, react differently and our productivity is diminished.

All the time management experts seem to agree; if we want to be truly successful, we must be proficient time managers — even learning how to skillfully master the way we spend each moment and learn how to sleep well.

I read recently (can’t remember where) to develop as a productive person, able to reach goals and manage stress, we need to be good at taking breaks during the day — taking them often and good at catching some Z’s. Mastering these two things can us from prevent facing a burnout.

Wellness coach Elizabeth Scott who holds a degree in psychology and a master in counseling says regular stress management practice can come in the form of exercise, a hobby, a tension-taming practice or another habit, and that it’s important to make time for such things that can keep us feeling our best.

One way Scott believes is helpful in relieving stress is to take care of ourselves. So many things are out of our control when it comes to circumstances and situations we have no authority over, but we can control some things.

How we care for our bodies will positively reflect on our minds. Just by making sleep a priority we can function better in many areas and when stress does come our way, we will be in better position to deal with it. Whether it’s a full night’s sleep or a quick power nap, there is value in both.

Lack of sleep can cause us to be less productive, have trouble concentrating, affect our moods in a negative way and cause us to handle stress poorly when it does come our way.

By being good managers of our time, we can also keep stress at bay. Although I enjoy having a break, I am not a good break taker. I tend to sit in one place too long and work on a project too long. However, since learning how beneficial breaks can be at reducing stress, I am going to take them more often.

There will always be things we can’t control. Bills will continue to show up in the mailbox, there will always be errands to run, a list to complete and there will always be work and family responsibilities, but we can take charge of our sleep patterns by making it a priority.

They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing.