Putting It Into Practice – Part ‘n’

PIPracticePutting It Into Practice – hereby known as PIIP. This, and all future PIIP posts will be known as “Part ‘n'”, because I don’t want to keep track of which number I left off on… Lazy? Maybe. But I like to think of it as “efficient”. 🙂

I had a great appointment with my therapist last week. I was almost late to the appointment (as usual), so felt very rushed and stressed when I finally sat down in her office. The first thing we usually do is a “check in”. Exactly what it sounds like. I told her how I was feeling particularly rushed, and how every day seems like this. I’m rushing to get from place to place, doing what I can do to satisfy the obligations of the day in order to get home, go to bed and wake up to start all over again the next day.

It was a perfect transition to what I talked about in the first PIIP post, how I make it to the appointment, satisfy whatever needs doing to get through the appointment, then leave only to go on to wherever else I’m supposed to be – without giving the appointment another thought.

She logically asked about places in my life that I have some room to slow down a bit. And as I thought about my day, I slowly realized that it really is not very busy. I mean, sure, it’s average for a parent, getting my son off to school, getting to work on time, working, whatever appointments I have, then whatever the evening holds, then off to bed – but nothing that I feel should stretch me as much as I had been feeling.

I started to wonder if my days really were as busy as I felt they were. And no, they are not. I’m just usually tired. Which leads to a totally different problem – getting the right amount of sleep each night.

I’ve looked at this piece of my life before, and it never fails to creep back up. I know that getting a good solid 8 hours of sleep is very important to everything for me. Namely my ability to be resolute in the face of self-care challenges that life presents. I also know that I have not been getting the right amount of sleep for a while now. It makes sense that when you are constantly tired that everything makes you feel all stressed out.

So then we started talking about why I wasn’t getting a good nights sleep. I usually do get in bed and lay down at a reasonable hour, but then I start goofing around on my pocket pc – which I charge on the nightstand. I will usually catch up on blogs, go through a to-do list, review upcoming appointments, or play some goofy little game. The thing is – this stuff can keep me awake for hours. Next thing you know, I’ve ended up with a short night of 5 or 6 hours of sleep.

The next thing she said was very powerful. She said “your lifestyle usually supports your habits” – be those habits good or bad – we have worked them into our lifestyle. In this case, the fact that I charge my PDA/smartphone right there on the nightstand, where I can’t resist the temptation to pick it up and mess with it.

This leads into how to Put It Into Practice. We have agreed on one action plan per week, each action plan consisting of three things:

What: charge PDA/smartphone elsewhere – NOT on the nightstand
When: Immediately – I will start keeping it somewhere else tonight
Confidence (scale of 1-10): 10 – I am confident that I can do this. If this comes in below 7, then I need to re-evaluate the plan and think about why my confidence is lower than desired.

Along with this action plan we established some accountability. I am to call her each Friday to report in on whether I was able to meet my action plan, and if not why not, and also to establish the action plan for the next week.

I am very pleased with this game plan. I know from previous experience that a good night sleep makes a world of difference, and I’m excited as to what I’ll be able to tackle for my next action plan.


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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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