Weekend Recap + One Thing I’m Not Getting Enough Of

by Ashley on March 16, 2014

Hi there! Happy St. Patties Day! I hope you all are wearing your green! Although we didn’t do too much St. Patties Day celebrating this weekend, it was still quite a lovely weekend!

Friday night I had a little get together at our new place with friends…

My mom came over on Thursday and made quite a few lovely flower arrangements for our house. Fresh flowers make every thing better!

flowers

Saturday was a dance class, mani/pedi, dog walk and the start of The Great Gatsby (which I’ve been dying to watch!). Sunday included a hot yoga class to start the day, we listened to church online, did a little bit of meal prepping and a “Chipotle-style” lunch at home…

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All left over from Friday night… Chicken Tortilla Soup and a Chicken and Veggie Burrito Bowl for the hub and a Veggie Salad Bowl for me featuring lettuce, cilantro brown rice, black bean salsa, sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms and tofu not pictured. Also more chips and salsa to go along!

And then we finished up the weekend with a date night at Haven and a trip to the grocery store to pick up a few more necessary items for the week…

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 Veggie plate featuring Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and onions, broccoli, field peas, and baked apples. It was heavenly! 

But anyway, on with today’s show…

When it comes to life, Dustin says that I am the queen of filling my plate up, having it spill and pour over (gracefully that is!), emptying it just slightly and repeating the process over again. Kinda like that semester in college that I took 21 hours, strived for a 4.0 (somehow was successful!), was the president of my university’s Student Dietetic Association, taught yoga, was training for my first marathon, was mom to two ever-loving dogs (one of which was only a few months old), trying to be a good wife, cooking 3 meals daily, working out daily and also served in another leadership role on campus. That felt like pure insanity just tying that sentence. Ever since he made me aware of this reoccurring theme, I have been rather conscious of at least making an effort not to do so. I have made an effort to allow myself a little bit of breathing room.

Lately, I have had that run down feeling even without feeling like I have taken too much on or have spread myself too thin. I feel very comfortable with my roles and responsibilities right now and am very happy with where I am in my life. I’m working a job that I love, living in a city that I love close to both fiends and family, etc., etc., etc. So why in the world am I feeling so run down and beat up? It has taken me a little bit too long to figure this out, but this past weekend, it finally hit me: I am not sleeping enough.

I KNOW the importance of ample sleep, yet it is the first place that I will cut time from in order to score extra hours. I used to be the girl that couldn’t function on anything less than 8-9 hours and now I am forcing my body to get by on as little as 5 hours a night. NOT okay. I have not developed any type of sleep schedule and therefore, my eyes hit the pillow only once I can no longer hold them open. I usually come home from work, spend far too long in the kitchen (my Sunday planning and prepping needs some improvement), find myself doing useless things (like scrolling through Instagram, reading through emails, wiping down the floor for the 3rd time that week because the dogs come flying in with mud on their feet, etc.) until Dustin comes home, eat dinner way too late and then have too much energy to fall asleep… my body feels like its 7pm, when really it’s 10pm. Then once I finally make it to bed around 11pm, I again find myself doing useless things on my phone until yet another hour is wasted and it is another hour closer until I have to be up. Once I finally fall asleep, I sleep very soundly but it just isn’t for long enough!

Sleep is so pivotal to our health because so many different things are going on while we are asleep. According to the National Institutes of Health sleep helps support:

  • healthy brain function (improved memory, learning, problem-solving, decision-making, creativity, focus, etc.)
  • emotional well-being (stable moods)
  • physical health (proper growth and development, fertility, immunity, decreased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity
  • daytime performance (increased productivity)
  • safety (delayed reaction time, human errors such as increased risk of car accidents)

Here are a few suggested strategies for getting enough sleep from the NIH:

  1. Get on a consistent sleep schedule, meaning go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekend.
  2. Start to unwind about an hour before bedtime by turning off bright lights, avoiding computer/phone/tablet screens/Tv.
  3. Eat lighter meals if you are eating dinner/snacks within two hours of bedtime
  4. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed (while the alcohol might help you fall asleep, it will not help you stay asleep during the wee hours of the morning).
  5. Ingage in daily physical activity.
  6. Make your room a place for sleeping only (no working in the bedroom!) … keep it cool and dark.
  7. Use relaxation techniques if necessary (such a drinking herbal teas, taking a hot shower or bath, writing down everything that you need to do the following day so that you don’t wake up thinking about it, etc.)

What about you… do you get enough sleep?

Have a wonderful day my friends!

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Heather @ The Soulful Spoon March 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

Ashley, I totally feel you on this one. I am another queen at filling up my plate WAY too full. I don’t know why I’m like this, but I just can’t help myself. There’s so many things I want to do and accomplish, and there’s not usually one single day I don’t say, “If I just had more time!”

Luckily, rest is something I made a priority during recovery and wow- what a difference it made on my hormones. Good luck to you in doing the same!:) If insomnia bothers you, you might try melatonin too, I found it is amazing in small doses for sleep.

GOOD LUCK!!:)<3
Heather @ The Soulful Spoon recently posted…*Happy Saint Patty’s Day Green Superfood Smoothie Giveaway with Garden of Life!*My Profile

Ashley April 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Another similarity between the two of us! I say that to myself all the time! I really need to make it more of a priority – something that I am definitely working on! Thank you 🙂 I might try out melatonin too!

jill conyers March 19, 2014 at 5:48 am

Love the math skills image! I remember those nights in college all too well! I have to be so careful. When I have a lot to do my first tendency is to sleep less. Less sleep eventually catches up with you.
jill conyers recently posted…Remembering Why I Love To RunMy Profile

Ashley April 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm

So much truth behind it! You couldn’t be more right about that … I do the same thing 🙁

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