The Value of Rest

For the last few weeks I've been sleep deprived.  I've managed to get an average of about 5-6 hours of sleep a night.  My wife and I have a one year old son who likes to wake us up multiple times in the middle of the night. 

Besides that, I work really hard at work. And when I get home, I still work hard, not because I have to, but because I really want to help out my family. 

Not having at least 8 hours of rest a night has really taken a toll on me.  Not only have I been tired, but I've been continuously tired.  At work I haven't felt 100% focused.  I feel semi-groggy with a cloudy brain. 

I've noticed that it also affected my mood.  I've become more irritable.  There was even a point when everything was irritating to me.  It's not a pleasant situation to be in.  I really hated being this way.

Luckily, yesterday I really got to rest.  I slept in for a couple of hours longer.  I took it easy throughout the day.  I gave myself permission to rest (and sometimes that's hard). 

Almost magically, I felt like a brand new person.  I felt fully focused and able to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather outside.  Most importantly, I felt much happier; as if my negative attitude ran out the front door. 

I know it sounds like common sense, but in the United States, being busy is becoming erroneously overvalued.  It's been my experience that people like being busy because it shows that they're doing something.  At work, it somehow proves to people that they have a purpose for being there.  Being busy somehow shows that we have lives.  Unfortunately in the Great Recession, there are many people who have to work extremely hard just to make ends meet. These people deserve to have rest.

It seems that Americans have become so busy that things like sleep and exercise take a back seat to work.  In reality, the more effective people are the ones who focus on being productive, not busy. 

This is my wake up call.  It's a reminder to regularly give myself permission to rest, exercise, and make time for me.

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