Dealing with Grumpy Barbara
Dealing with Grumpy Barbara
This week I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Not because I’ve been partying (unfortunately) and not because I’ve been anxious (thankfully).
Between uni, work, visiting family, and my upstairs neighbour’s starting to rearrange furniture at midnight, I just haven’t had the time to get the full amount of sleep that I personally need. This is when, as the boys I look after say when they’re feeling bad because of lack of sleep: out comes my grumpy. I’m a great morning person and I can stay up late if necessary but give me consecutive nights of bad sleep and I turn into… well, let’s just say I get grumpy.
Now Grumpy Barbara doesn’t make frequent appearances. I’m pretty good about making sure I plan for enough sleep. I’ve realized that I need a little more than average so I calculate for that when I set my bedtime. Somehow sleep has gotten linked to laziness: the more sleep I get, the lazier I am, and, vice versa, the more sleep deprived, the more of a hard worker I become.
This is ridiculous. I’m not saying that we should be sleeping in past noon but getting enough sleep -whatever enough means to your body- is vital for a healthy and productive life. In the article, Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep, posted on the NIH (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes) website it has stated that, “Sleep appears necessary for our nervous systems to work properly. Too little sleep leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. It also leads to impaired memory, physical performance and reduced ability…”
However, this week, I didn’t get my required amount. I’m currently running on coffee that my lovely boyfriend got up (even though he didn’t have to) and made for me before I ran out the door for class. So, although I feel a little, well, grumpy, I also saw an opportunity for growth. When I’m tired I realize, I lose the deep recesses of patience I normally have. I’m not as quick but I’m more defensive and I’m also much more sensitive. I find that I hold on to annoyances for much longer – almost letting it feed my tired grumpiness. So, during a recent moment of exhausted frustration I noticed that I was in fact fuelling it. Yes, I was tired and that was a big part of it but I was also justifying my shift in mood because of it and that wasn’t entirely fair.
I thought, if I can learn how to deal healthily even when sleep deprived I’ll be able to handle any situation. Let’s make it clear that I’m not suggesting we go into some kind of sleep deprived Conquering Life training but rather that at my personal worst, instead of succumbing I can apply my Conquering Life tools.
So, I’m whipping Grumpy Barbara into shape. I’m working on my letting go skills and my sensitivity when those things are at their worst within me. It’s difficult because Grumpy Barbara is used to self-sympathy when it comes to lack of sleep, and there is sympathy, just one of the more constructive sort. So, although I’m planning on sleeping ALL weekend and concretely kissing Grumpy Barbara goodbye, I feel productive because I made the best of a tough situation and maybe one day Grumpy Barbara will cease to exist! (Well mostly).
So, whether you’re dealing with sleep deprivation or any other thing that frustrates you or brings out the worst in you, try and find something positive in the experience. We have so much power in our lives, we just don’t realize it. We can all Conquer Life no matter what the situation! Well guys, goodnight –