Sleep Well

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

~ Proverbs 3:24

My child taking a nap

For the past week or so, I had been going to sleep pretty late.  I was doing the opposite of what I wanted.  I was going to sleep late every night and as a result, I was waking up late.  Two days ago, I decided to change that.  I went to sleep still somewhat late but I set my alarm to wake up at 7:00 am.  I was a little tired but I still did wake up.  At around 5:00 pm, I started feeling a slight headache.  I was feeling a little tired but I decided that I was not going to take a nap at that time, otherwise I would not be able to go to sleep early.  So I stayed Up and by 9:00 pm I was so sleepy I could no longer keep my eyelids open.  The nice thing is that my child also fell asleep with me. I was able to reset my sleeping time, although I had to force myself to stay up when I wanted to take a nap. 

I understand some people are night owls while others are early risers.  For me waking up early works best.  I get more things done and I enjoy the first hours of the morning to myself before the sun rises.   My goal is to go to bed by 9:00 pm and wake up at 5:00 am.  This will allow me to have the first couple of hours of the morning to myself and to do my writing. 

Why I’m I writing about sleeping well?  Because sleeping well is essential for your health.  Years ago, I used to think that sleeping was not that important.  I used to cut on sleep all the time so that I could have time to do other things.  I even used to think that sleeping for eight hours was a sign of laziness.  So whenever I would sleep eight hours or more, my body felt physically good, but I felt guilty for sleeping that many hours. 

Little did I know at the time, that sleeping as much as your body needs, would make you a better performer at everything you do during the hours that you are awake.  Then I came across Arianna Huffington’s book called Thrive.  In her book she talks about the importance of sleeping and what being sleep deprived did to her.  She also shared stories of top CEOs and high performers who were getting sick due to being sleep deprived.  This was not only eye opening to me, but it made perfect sense.  How the heck did I think I could go on sleeping only 2, 3, 4 hours a day.  It was only a matter of time before my body gave up just like it happened to Arianna when she collapsed while working at her desk and broke her jaw.  I was already giving major signs of being super sleep deprived.  I would fall asleep when watching a movie.  I would fall asleep on the bus.  Even on the subway train, I would fall asleep and if you are a New Yorker, you know you should not fall asleep on the subway train. 

As I started feeling my energy level go down, I still was not associating that it could be due not sleeping enough hours for my body to restore, detoxify and to regenerate its cells.  Yes, eating well is very important, but sleeping well is also very important.  Lately, there are a lot of studies being done about the importance of sleeping well.  As I started to listen to my body, I started paying attention to my sleeping habits.  They were horrible.  I knew that sleeping well was something I needed to work on. 

It improved and then when I had my child and I went back to work, my sleeping patterns got messy again.  At the time, I was in a job where my schedule used to rotate every three months.  Before, having a child, I used to pay little attention to my schedule, but when I became a parent, time really became of the essence. 

I decided that I would not longer continue a rotational schedule where three months I would go to bed about two or three in the morning and three months I would have to wake up at 4:00 in the morning.  That was not conducive for my health and my family.  So I made the decision to leave that job.  Fast forward, I work only the morning shift.  My sleeping habits have improved tremendously but I had to make a conscious decision to make sleeping-well a priority. 

Now, this is not to say that my sleep is perfect all the time.  I have mad tremendous improvement to my sleep but it is not perfect.  During this time that we are in quarantine at home, to my surprise, my sleep got disrupted for the first week that I have been at home.  However, I was able to recognize that and I decided to course correct.  I was falling on the trap of going to sleep very late at night and waking up late.  Sleeping late and waking up late doesn’t work for me.  I want to be up before my child is up.  I also want do my writing early in the morning.  And once the quarantine is over and I have to go back to work, I will just continue waking up early to go to work. 

So since I found myself getting sidetracked with my sleep, I made a conscious assessment about it. Going to bed early and waking up early is sustainable for me; going to bed late and waking up late is not. 

What works for you?  If going to bed early is what works then you know what to do.  If going to bed late is what works, you know what to do.  If you do not know what works best for you, do your own experiment.  Test out going to bed early and waking up early, and going to bed late and waking up late.  Make an assessment of how you feel on either case, then decide which one works best for you. 

This is not about being perfect but about making progress.  My goal is to go to bed by 9:00 pm every night.  I know that being in bed by 9:00 pm every single night may not happen every single night.  But being aware that this is my goal will allow me to make yes or no decisions about events that may have to keep me up past 9:00 pm.  Are they that important that the sleeping pattern that I am creating may be disrupted?  And think about it, it’s not just about a sleeping pattern; this is about living as healthy and well as we can.

I understand that sometimes we have schedules that don’t go in line with our ideal sleeping patterns.  For example when I used to work a rotational schedule, I used to crave a regular day schedule.  As much as I wanted to go to bed early and wake up early consistently, I could not because of my working schedule.  I did not beat myself over it and I did not do anything about it until I had my child.  If I new better at the time, I would not have waited until having my child to make sleeping-well a priority. 

When I had my child, I left my rotational schedule because it was not working with my new lifestyle.  Before my baby, I could sleep until late.  When I had my baby even if I went to sleep late, I had to be up by a certain time; so it’s needless to say that I felt tired when I was supposed to be fully present and energized for my child and my family.  

Find what works for you and adjust your time to it.  If you are in a position that you cannot adjust your time to sleep during the hours that will work best for you, make a plan to change that.  If you have people in your life that play an active and important role in your lifestyle, talk to them about how important sleeping well is for you and share all the benefits that sleeping well will produce in your life (your own life as an individual and your own life as a group).  Do some research of the benefits of sleeping well and have a list of all the benefits to share with the people in your life who will also be impacted by your sleep.    So here is to sleeping well and staying well. 

Sleeping well is not a luxury; it’s a must, if you want to thrive in life.  Don’t worry about being perfect on this, focus on making progress on this.  Find what works for you. 

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

~ Proverbs 3:24

God bless you & with love,

Querin

Course Correct If You Need To

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:33 (NIV)

 Many of us like to plan.  However, no matter how much you plan, sometimes things will happen in life that are out of your control.  An extreme but very real example is what’s happening right now all over the world with this pandemic.  Many of us had plans to do certain things. 

Companies had budget plans to do better this year than the last.  But then this happened.  Now we have to course correct our plan and figure out how we are going to deal with all of this.  What can we learn from what’s happening now?   

As you reflect on this verse from the word of God “…In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   Think about what Jesus conveyed in this message.  Thru his word, God has made us aware that difficult things will happen in life, but God also assures us that He has already overcome all of those difficult things.  Course correct if you need to, but do not give up.  God is with you.  You are not alone.  God is with us. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:33 (NIV)

God bless you, & with love,

Querin

Eat Well

“Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.” 

~ Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

Carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, olive oil

It is alleviating to know that making the right decisions in terms of our food choices contribute to our well-being.  Eating well must be a lifestyle choice to live a healthy life. 

When we eat well our body feels better.  When you eat healthy, you build a strong immune system that helps us fight disease.  People with strong immune systems barely feel the symptoms of certain viruses and even if they get sick, they get well more rapidly again because they eat nutritious dense foods. 

God created the seeds and plants for us to eat.  Eat well and take good care of yourself. And remember, we are in this together.

“Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.”

~Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

God bless you & with love,

Querin

Priorities

What do I do first?  There is a lot to do and little time to do it.  Learn what is really important to you for you, in your life and career.  Take care of what must have to be taken care of, and that only you can take care of. 

Delegate and leverage those tasks that need to be done, but not necessarily by you, to others.  Delegating and leveraging effectively will free up chunks of time for you to focus and to take care of other priorities that can only be done by you. 

Simplify your process.  Test it out to see what works.  Mark Zuckerberg wears the same shirt to work out.  He simplified his action to work out.  He doesn’t have to take time thinking what is he going to wear to work out. He is practical.  He frees up time on unimportant stuffs to utilize his time on things that matter.  So start simplifying your systems to get you to get thing s done.  I for example, make me a juice or a smoothie daily.  I wash my veggies before placing them in the fridge.  Then in the morning, I just take my veggies out and make the juice.  I have simplified the process to help me to get my juice done each day.  But when I used to put my veggies in the fridge without washing them first, I did not make my veggies daily.  It would take weeks and even longer for me to make my juice or smoothies.  Making my veggie juice and drinking it is a top priority for me.  Some tasks if not really important can be crossed out as done, by simply removing them from the to do list altogether.

God Bless you, with love,

Querin

Consistency

Incorporating one healthy habit can be more sustainable than trying to start too many habits at once.  You don’t want to start making changes that will not withstand the long run.  So start small, start with one, but make that one stay.  Once that one is in place, incorporate another one, and so on. 

It is proven that starting one habit at a time creates more results than trying to take on too many at once.  Your healthy lifestyle is for life, not just for a few days, weeks or months.  Do it the right way.  Real things take time, take discipline, but the good thing is that by focusing on one positive change at a time, it will yield real results if you are disciplined. 

So incorporate one healthy habit at once.  It is said that it takes twenty-one days of repetition to create a habit.  Once you have your habit on auto pilot, in other words, that you do it without much effort or subconsciously, then you can incorporate the next one and so on.  The important thing is to be consistent. 

God bless you, with love,

Querin

Time

Time, time, time, why when I need you to go slow, you go fast?  Why when I need you to go fast you go slow? Time, time, time, you are so precious.  You don’t discriminate.  Time, time, time, everything will pass and you will continue to be time. 

You keep on going and you always are.  You don’t take breaks.  You simply don’t stop.  I ought to respect you.  I must  work well with you. 

Be kind time, time be kind.  The day has twenty four hours every single day.  Yet why do some days feel shorter and why others feel longer.  She/He who masters time, masters’ life.

God bless you, with love,

Querin

When Loved Ones Don’t Understand

Have you ever find yourself sharing your ideas, goals, dreams with someone close to you, thinking they will be excited and rooting for you. Next you find out they will be the first one to make you feel doubt and discourage you before you even begin.  This is why many people have become guarded with whom they share their dreams and goals.

They will look to guard themselves from someone who:

  • Will not genuinely support them.
  • Cares about them but who will make the wrong comments or suggestions out of fear.
  • Wants you to play it safe and avoid pursuing your biggest goals and dreams because they are not guaranteed to happen.

Sometimes there will be people close to you who will not give you the support you thought they would. Don’t let this discourage you. If this happens, you must still keep on going. Learn that this doesn’t only happen to you.   Most people who started something they wanted or believed in, found some form of opposition.

Oftentimes believe it or not, that opposition can come from oneself. When you find a thousand excuses not to do something, not to start something, that’s opposition coming from within. And out of all oppositions you may face, the one from within is the worst of all.

So let’s work on yourself by being your number one fan to yourself. Root for yourself. Despite of oppositions (conscious or unconscious), there are still so many people who inspire us to be our best, who motivate us. And even when you feel lonely on your own quest, keep on going. Stay away from those who discourage you and find your community of support. Those who genuinely care about you and have your best interest at heart will soon or later also join in with encouragement and support.

God bless you, with love,

Querin

Plan, Don’t Over Plan

I am working on ways to plan more often, to be more organized and to help me achieve my goals. I love the process because I am finding what works for me. I love note taking and I really like the process of planning and organizing. However, sometimes the process of planning can go on and on and on…without execution. You’ve heard the saying “Prepare to plan or plan to fail.” Well, I say prepare to execute your plan or plan to fail. A plan without execution is nothing but a wish, or a dream, or nothing at all.

So I say, yes, do plan, but don’t over plan. Rather, execute your plan and in the execution process you will find out if your plan works or if you need to tweak it or change the plan altogether. Now that I have a family of my own and I’m also a career woman, time has become even more precious to me. So I like to simplify processes that still will create great results. But I am also learning by doing. I am learning that making small steps consistently can even be more powerful than taking big leaps once in a blue moon.

I recommend the book The Self Discipline Blueprint by Patrick Edblad. I like this book because this book is about getting you to have the discipline to do what you need to do. But this book is also about self-care. It covers topics about the importance of having a good nutrition, about sleeping enough quality hours, about moving your body and staying active and it tells you why these things are important. And then you understand that if you want to accomplish certain goals in your life, you better start working on the things that will help you get there.

So plan, don’t over plan.

 

God bless you, with love,

Querin

I Almost Did Not Make It

This morning I woke up at five in the morning as usual.  I made my veggie juice and prepared breakfast.  Great! that was part of the plan.  When I came home this evening, I had dinner.  I did not make my veggie juice right away, as I wanted some time space between dinner and the juice.

I then started playing with my baby (he is a toddler already).  He wanted mom’s attention and after not seeing him during the day, it was only fair that we had some us time before his bedtime. We had some quality time and then he asked for milk and we headed to bed. As usual I stayed by his side until he fell asleep…and then I fell asleep too.

My body did not want to get up to make the veggie juice.  I did not want to get up.  But then I heard my inner voice telling me “get up and make your veggie juice.” And just like that, I got up, walked myself to the kitchen and made my carrot, celery, apple and lemon juice.  I am so glad I did. I almost did not make it, but my inner voice told me to and I knew it was the right thing to do. I’m glad I listened to my inner voice. When you know immediately it is the right thing to do, listen to your inner voice.

God bless you, with love,

Querin

I Dare You To Laugh

Did you know that one of the best medicines for the physical body and for the soul is laughter? Laughter changes your entire physiology.  Laughter makes you want to live. Laughter lifts you up.  Laughter makes you optimistic and it helps you look at the world with a positive outlook.

Sometimes it feels difficult to laugh, especially with so many crazy things happening around the world.  But it is important now more than ever to promote joy, to promote laughter.  Let’s promote healing not hate.  Let’s promote compassion.  Let’s promote love.

Let’s not take things so serious. And let’s be serious about laughing more. Practice genuinely laughing more. This is an amazing therapy for the body and the soul. Smile to those around you and they will start smiling too.

To conclude this post, I will leave you with some short jokes below. I hope you laugh or that at least they make you smile. Here they are:

1.What did the traffic light say to the car?

Don’t look! I’m about to change.

2. How do you befriend a squirrel?

Just act like a nut.

3. Why do chicken coups always have two doors?

With four, they’d be chicken sedans.

4. What did one hat say to the other?

You stay here. I’ll go on ahead.

5. What do you call a pony with a cough?

A little hoarse.

These jokes were taken from www.thoughtcatalog.com.

God bless you, with love,

Querin