Sleep has always been something that I have struggled to really prioritize & manage since becoming an “on-campus” college student.
Sleep. It makes me happy just to say that word. I know some of you reading this are feeling the same thing. Sleep is the ultimate relaxation and for some of us, I would dare say HOBBY. I know for me, sleep is one of those things I resort to when I am depressed, feeling discouraged, and want to escape my “real” life. Being in college now, I have class several hours a day, am part of many different organizations, and have an abundant pile of homework waiting to be done–it is easy for me to look or think about that stuff and want to escape it through the means of SLEEP. Relate?
Okay, now to get on with what I have to say…
Going to bed far too late, waking up way too late, having to take naps, constantly drowning in caffeine… These are all some different things that I have struggled with in regard to not prioritizing and/or managing sleep and thus reaping the consequences.
Have you been going to bed far too late, having to take naps, drowning yourself in caffeine, and missing out on the “stuff” that you want to do–because you are too tired and just want to keep sleeping??
A thought came to me a week or two ago: If sleep is not made a priority and managed, I will not be able to get all that I want/need to get done and do in the day. I mean, I am able to squeeze it all in, but I am not able to spend the amount of time I want to on those tasks–which sacrifices quality and truly doing ALL things with ALL my heart.
This past week, I have been doing my best to get into my bed around 10:00ish or earlier. I then have been shooting to wake up somewhere around 5:30 a.m. To my surprise, I have had one of the most productive weeks I have ever had in a very long time. I was able to do many things more thoroughly. Not only that, my body has already been adjusting to the switch!! (I will sometimes wake up before my alarm goes off). I am not going to pretend like it was perfect or my efforts were perfect but it most certainly was a “great” week and I think that it largely had to do with prioritizing and managing my sleep schedule.
Very basic routine that I tried out this past week:
Before going bed, I have been trying to plan exactly what I have to do before I get to my 8:10 a.m. class. With writing out a schedule of what I need to get done, I can better visualize and prioritize my time in the mornings with tasks.
I have had more time to read my Bible since waking up early. Right once I hop out of bed, I head to the kitchen to grind up some coffee and set the kettle going for my French Press. Once I do this, I am able to wake up by first spending time with God. Not only has this helped me by getting my mind in the right starting point for the day, but it has helped motivate me to get out of bed in the morning when I really do not see (or want to see) the need to.
Once I have finished up my Bible and prayer devotional time, I am able to take my shower—take my time in the shower—, put my makeup on, do my hair, and then get dressed for the day. I usually have a really hard time choosing an outfit
—I confess that I usually end up changing about 3-4 times til I quit. But with all the time I have to spare, there is no way I will miss/be late for class due to my indecisiveness, and I have actually found it easier to think of outfit ideas.
I am even able to pack a lunch with all the time that I have left over, which means I can save myself some steps in usually having to walk back to my dorm. HAPPY STUDENT.
As I have been walking out the door to class, I have found myself being more “outward” focused and not so caught up with my own stuff/jumbled mind. I remember to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me during the day, remember to pray for people as I passed them, and have been enabled to greet those I see along my path with sincerity. This can all be accredited to starting off my day in the right spot–laying all of my burdens in God’s hands.
I would say that this post is definitely geared more so to my college friends, but really we all have different things we want/need to get done in the day. If you are in bed until 11-12:00, you are missing out on really 4-5 hours that you could have had in the day.
Rest is a great thing & sleep is truly pretty glorious, but it was not created to master or dictate your life.
I am writing this post not to condemn or make others feel bad about themselves, but to encourage y’all in living life to the fullest. I am also writing this to keep MYSELF accountable over the “rest” (haha that was not purposely) of this semester. I refuse to be a slave to SLEEP! We have been called to FREEDOM in Christ, and this includes everything–even those little things that we can be controlled by including SLEEP & REST.
In the other direction, routine can sometimes become a “chain-around-the-neck” too. I pray that God would help me and you to find our comfort, purpose, and motivation in Him alone.
In conclusion & I think the main take away I am getting from this new routine for the year, is that how I “begin” my day, determines my attitude for the rest of the day. Life is meant to be lived–and lived to the fullest for God. Something that my AMAZING Mom says often is that “Everyday is a gift”. This teeny phrase envelopes so much truth. Our lives are short & they could end at any given moment. This is why we should want to live to the fullest.
Let’s celebrate this day that the Lord has made.
If you have any tips in waking up early, going to bed earlier, and staying motivated to do so…would love to hear those little and big things that you have tried.
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