Monday, November 15, 2010

Counting Sheep

It is no secret that stress and worry can effect your sleeping habits. According to this article about sleep deprivation around the world, "Monday-morning anxiety prevents 78 percent of workers around the world from getting a decent sleep on a Sunday night." What are we all worrying about?
I know that it is rare that I don't wake up at least once during the night, but what factors is this tossing and turning attributed to? The noises in the new house we moved in to? My boyfriend occasionally snoring? How early I always fall asleep? Am I stressed?
I will admit that my sleep habits have gotten much better with the new mattress I get to sleep on every night, but I also will admit that I am the poster-child for the part of the population that finds ways to worry about everything. Did I lock the doors before bed? Is the stove off? Is the washing machine making weird noises in the garage? If I don't either make my boyfriend get up and check at least one of these things or get up myself to check (which happens at least twice a week), I definitely have a harder time getting myself to drift off into sleep.
So how do I manage stress? Nine months ago, I couldn't have told you. My first edit deadline was a mess. I was up until all hours of the night re-reading copy sentence by sentence making sure each word was perfect. I thought I could handle writing my first feature with complete ease until I realized that 1,400 words is a lot of words. I hadn't yet mastered the interview and realized there were still questions I had that I didn't have time for. I was a newbie.
Now, I'd like to think I handle edit deadlines with a bit more grace. I usually have my edit in a day early and have built an excellent list of freelancers to take care of that feature for me. I am more prepared going in to each month as I now know what each section requires and what I need to do to get it completed. But editorial isn't my only responsibility in life.
I met with a friend of mine about a month ago and she helped change my weekly routine in the best kind of way: she taught me how to plan more effectively. Now I carry around a little Moleskin notebook wherever I go and it not only has a calendar, but it has my ever important to-do list. This list is split up into categories - i.e. my full-time position, my magazine, freelance and personal - and then I make my list based on this structure. It not only helps me see what I need to accomplish based on what position I am fulfilling, but gives me an idea of just how much I have to accomplish each week. I find myself doing tasks more efficiently and quickly because I love the accomplishment of crossing them out once finished.
It is impossible to avoid stress and worry completely, but as I have learned, it is possible to deal with it. Dreading Monday morning? Treat yourself to a pedicure or massage Sunday afternoon to help relax. Take a bubble bath. Even more drastically, try disconnecting from the internet world sometime mid-Sunday and see if the break from the busy world of social media helps you focus on only what you personally interact with that day, allowing for more focus on the immediate. Even work on setting up your plan of attack for the week. Seeing what I need to accomplish on Sunday night vs. right when I get into work on Monday morning helps me go into the week a little more prepared.
Are you one of the 78 percent of the population with sleep issues Sunday night? How do you handle stress and deadlines and making sure that you are refreshed when your alarm goes off, instead of dreading the day?


Amanda said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing your tips!

Amy said...

It's my boyfriend's snoring. 98 percent.

MonsteRawr said...

If I do wake in the middle of the night, it's either because I have to pee or because the cat is standing on my trachea. With a few small exceptions, work stays and work. I almost never have trouble falling asleep, and if I do, it's not due to over-worrying.

shilpy said...

i get depression from sunday evening which prevent me from sleeping.This post definately gonna help me to relax myself and get a better sleep. thanks working girl..