Unlike many recommendations for sleep hygiene, I do not go to sleep the same time each night. Some nights I work late, some nights I enjoy the theater or other live entertainment. Some nights I’m reading, while others I’m catching up on a television show. I do my best to listen to signs of being tired if I’m at home, and I put myself to sleep accordingly. Inevitably, this leaves me in a perpetual state of never quite catching up with the shows I enjoy.
Then, in the morning, I look out my window to determine if I will catch the sun rise. Often, I’m too tired to move and I get back under the covers. I’ll even admit to being relieved some mornings when it’s too cloudy to enjoy the colors of the dawn. And, then there are the other days I put on some sweats and walk across the street to take in the sunrise over Queens across the East River.
Our minds like rules. I spent too many formative years not admitting that I prefer to assess what I need in the morning, evening, or at any given time of day. I followed some rules, but privately, I’ve preferred to check in with myself to see what I want. It’s an imperfect system. Sometimes I struggle to make a decision about capturing the sunrise. Other mornings it’s very clear that I will either make the short trek to the East River Promenade, or I will return to bed to meditate and read.
In any event, this blog has been a motivation to get out before 6:30 am at least once a week. I like taking pictures. But there is also something to be said about appreciating the spray of colors from my bedroom window without documenting it. A private moment of a universal phenomenon.
- If you are attached to your routine, see if in one instance you can change it up. See how that feels. Are you afraid of not being safe? Does it feel freeing? And, if you are doing something as a routine that does not bring satisfaction, look into alternatives that may support you in a kinder way.
- When you have an urge to do something impulsive, stop for a moment. Ask yourself if this is what you want. If so, then enjoy. If not, see if you can pause until you know what might be a better action.
- When you have a chance, take in a sunrise or sunset. They have the power to soothe the soul.