Time OR Stress, Not Both

In college, sleep deprivation and stress pushed my heart to the edge and sent me to the doctor one too many times. I’ve made very long strides to take better care of myself since then. Lately, I’ve been sleeping an average 7.8 hours per night if you’d believe it. I’ve always tried to be a badass and keep things cool in spite of the pain. Looking back, the number of times I boasted to peers about all-nighters makes me sick. Anymore, I keep it as cool as possible for my health: playing things down and taking situations less seriously has the magical effect of helping you actually take situations less seriously.

Over the years, I’ve learned one thing about personal investment in your job, projects or activities overall: you can give it all of your time or give it all of your stress, but not both. The cumulative tax on your body and mental health is not sustainable. If you find yourself stressing out about your work, give it time away. If you find yourself completely entrenched in working hours, find whatever way possible to breathe and relax as often as possible.

If you can’t find a way to be at peace with the way you’re spending your time, start considering serious damage control. Life is too short to sell your time, health, happiness and your soul.

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Sleep Can Wait Sometimes

Inspiration is rare and must be acted on as soon as it rears its beautiful head. For me, inspiration tends to come at night when my head is clear of the day. When that happens, I’ve developed a rather unhealthy habit of staying awake to see it through. While I have no intention of encouraging insomnia, I urge you not to waste one of life’s most precious resources. See your inspiration through. Never miss the opportunity – even at the cost of a night’s sleep and rough next day. More often than not, it’s worth it.

6 Tips for Falling Asleep

Anytime I have trouble falling asleep, I focus on a combination of the following six things. I usually win, no matter what is on my mind. Many of these tips take time, so budget 15 or 30 minutes accordingly. It’s worth it; time spent here will pay off with a better night’s sleep.

1. Dim the lights – set the mood for relaxation.
2. Turn off all devices – absolutely no screens of any kind to stimulate the mind!
3. Half a glass of wine – we’re not getting sloppy here!
4. Finish a to-do task – a small sense of accomplishment helps clear the conscience.
5. Tryptophan – turkey is sleep crack. Avoid high-fat foods.
6. Read – preferably something you’re not terribly invested in, like the news.