Facing the scary stuffOct 31, 2022
I am not a huge fan of American Halloween. Sorry to be a party pooper, the holiday is confusing to me as it plays out in the USA. Maybe it's the hyper sensitive aspect of my personality and how I deal with trauma, maybe it's cultural. In my part of the world, parents buy candy to hand out to other kids that we don’t really want our own kids to have and try and stop our kids from over indulging the sugary junk everyone is handing out. Halloween is a transition time, with death is rebirth and new beginnings.
What comes up for me more than anything when I think about Halloween is facing fear and moving through challenges. The times I have found most challenging as an entrepreneur and leader were either created by or exacerbated with a lack of self care. Leaders and entreprenuers carry a lot of responsibility and weight, not all can be measured. During those times that I have found myself to be the most run down, I find it helpful to return to the basics:
- It's not just a good idea, it’s a great idea. Putting fuel in the tank helps to stabilize blood sugar, energy level and mood. Even if there is no appetite, sometimes holding on to a consistent schedule through eating can make a big difference in the long run. Keep the carbs and sugar on the low end and the greens on the high end.
- Hydration is critical! With much of our body being water, it is very important to maintain health by drinking water. I have heard a good rule of thumb to take your weight in pounds, transfer that number to ounces and drink ½ of that on a daily basis. So, if I weigh 200 lbs, it is recommended to drink 100 ounces of water a day. Not always an easy goal, try it out and feel the difference. Get a head start in the morning by downing a full glass or two upon waking.
- The sleep deprivation issue is becoming a world wide epidemic and kills productivity. Try and get at least 7 hours per night, ideally more like 8-9 if possible. Try and limit screen time before you hit the pillow and get into a routine at night to transition into restful slumber.
- The body and mind processes by moving and we are not meant to be sedentary creatures. This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day, at least go for a 20 minute walk. Better yet, go for a walk in the sun. This creates the critical vitamin D in the body which helps with sleep regulation.
Years ago when our boat hit the reef and we lost everything, I dealt with it by owning these basics of health. Luckily there was a gym in the hotel we were staying and that helped to channel my energy and immediate trauma. I would make myself just too physically tired to fight the mental head game, and by maintaining fluid intake and food along with sleep, I was able to move through it as smoothly as possible.
I don’t wish the ship-wrecked experience on anybody and suffice it to say we will all be faced with scary and challenging situations of some sort. By maintaining these basics for health, we can all find more grace and move through our challenges quicker and with less negative impact.
Still having trouble sleeping? Try keeping a notebook by the bedside and writing out all the things that keep spinning around in your head. Remember the Eisenhower matrix regarding the 'urgent' versus 'important' elements and chunk it down. Remember that nothing is really going to benefit from you losing sleep over it anyway!