7 Ways to Get Proper Rest

By Liz Scala

 

One of the greatest challenges that every nurse faces at one point in their career is lack of sleep.  Working as a nurse, we are sometimes put on various shifts.  We are asked to swing back and forth between days and nights.  We get brought in for on-calls, which could be a random night shift mixed into a run of 12 hour days.  Or we are placed on permanent night-shift, even when undesired, to help unit staffing when resources are scarce.

Not only does the professional staffing model of nursing create sleep disturbances, but our own experiences as a nurse often adds fuel to the fire.  When I worked on my unit, I would lie awake for up to 2-3 hours, unable to fall asleep.  I would get up at 3 or 4 am with my mind racing about staff, patients, and work issues.  I would toss and turn or go into my other bedroom in an attempt to change the scenery as a way to trick myself back to sleep.  I was constantly thinking about my job and had trouble letting go and drifting off.  Then in the mornings, as the alarm clock would get ready to ring, I would be wide awake watching the minutes and seconds go by wishing it was not yet time to get out of bed.

We take care of difficult patients.  We observe death and pathology.  We work with challenging personalities.  No wonder we have a lot on our minds!  But sleeping, or not sleeping, in this way can lead to terrible problems.  Mistakes can be made at work if our concentration is poor or our minds are foggy.  Moods can swing as we feel irritable, exhausted, and overwhelmed.  Illness can exacerbate as inadequate rest can lead to depression, weight gain, and decreased immune function.

So what do we do with all of this?  How can we ensure we receive proper rest?  Well, there are a couple of things.

If you can, try to get on a schedule.  I know with shift work sometimes this is impossible.  But the more you can get onto a schedule of bedtime at 10 pm and waking up at 6 am each day, the easier it will be for you to quickly drift off.

Keep your bed and your room just for sleeping.  Do not lie in bed while on the computer.  Do not watch TV and try to “fall asleep.”  Read in a comfortable chair before bed, but not in the bed itself.  You have to train your body to know that when you get into the bed; it is time for rest.  (And I have heard people say that TV or radio helps them sleep- it might feel that way, but it is not the restful rejuvenating sleep you need because your subconscious is still tuned on listening to the background noise).

Journal in the evening.  I find it helpful to write out what I am grateful for, what I got done each day, and what I plan for the next day so that when I lay down it is not inside my head thus causing my mind to race.  Getting it out onto paper gets it out of our minds.

Do not eat or drink too close to bedtime.  I notice when I cut off my water intake at 6 pm, I do not get up those nights to use the bathroom at all.  Same thing with food; if you eat too close to bedtime it will cause issues like indigestion and strange dreams.  Not to mention your body might be awake because it has to work harder to digest all that food so close to bedtime.

Get activity and movement in each day.  If you don’t do anything physical during the day, that gets your heart rate pumping, your body isn’t really going to be tired or need any rest.  It didn’t do anything!  So get outside and get moving.  Fresh air is a great way to charge up during the day so that you can rest well during the night!

Try aromatherapy or oils.  I spray a bit of lavender chamomile mist onto my pillow some nights and notice those are the evenings that I really drift off quite quickly!

Create an environment conducive for sleep.  Keep a dark, cool room.  The worst thing is to wake up seating and hot.  Turn down the lights to prepare for peaceful relaxation and quiet time.

 

About the Author: Liz Scala writes about Health and Wellness monthly for AMSDaily. You can visit her  blog at Living Sublime Wellness to read more on these topics. She is also one of the authors of the book, “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.

 

Baby Steps of Success

“You never know what’s around the corner.  It could be everything.  Or it could be nothing.  You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” – Tom Hiddleston

 

Photo of Ria G. Rombaoa

By Kenton Sefcik

 

Houston, we have a problem – a problem with how success is perceived.

 

I hear the adults complaining of the younger generation.  That these teenagers of today feel like they have a sense of entitlement, and that when they reach the ‘age of maturity’ they expect to be making loads of money working at a job they love.  But I ask the question, “Can we blame them?”

 

We are all a product of our environment and how we perceive it.  The problem lies in how, as human beings, we look at how someone is successful.  We usually only hear about or see the end product.

 

Music videos show young adults with expensive clothing, jewelry and cars.  Unbeknownst to the viewer, all of those things are rented and not owned by the recording artist as they are portraying an image – and one they will eventually reach.

 

What we don’t see is the ‘come up.’  We don’t hear about or weren’t there five years ago while that artist was recording a mixtape in their parents’ basement.  We don’t see the live performance shows where the artist was paid peanuts, only to have to wake up and drive him or herself to the next town to do the same thing over again.  And we don’t view the music video for what it is: a stepping stone to something greater.

 

Instead of concentrating on the ‘end-game mentality,’ we would be better served to find out the ‘how and why.’  Everyone, everywhere, regardless of where they came from, had to take baby steps to success.

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Kenton Sefcik is a husband, father, Registered Acupuncturist and published author.  www.harbourhealth.ca

 

 

Who has a Pure Heart?

Photo of Ria G. Rombaoa

By Buena Laoang

 

Few people find time to read. Few reflect and very few want to think over matters that do not directly affect their physical and material well-being.

 

Many times we become too consumed with the things before us, that we neglect to see behind these things, we neglect to evaluate their probable impact to us, or to other people.

 

Like the mom who rushed to office-because she needed to be on time at work; she did not see the the pathetic effect of it on her child, how the little one would have felt..how the baby carer would find it very hard to pacify the child…

 

Before saying it, think about it. Before acting it, first reason on it. In everything be conscious and use the godly intellect that heaven has bestowed us. That will lessen apologies, that will avoid troubles and make things right.

 

Only a heart that is pure can be able to go and do, without too many considerations. Because it knows about what it carries.

 

The mom who goes to office, if she will kindle purity of heart, would know that she has to wake up much too early, to be able to leave ample hugs and kisses to her child, an assurance that she will be back and the motherly love stays, even in the while she is a distance away.

 

But when we become too busy, we neglect on these things.

 

We have to strive cultivating a pure heart. “A pure heart, that’s what I long for,” as a Christian song says… “A heart that follows hard after Thee.”

 

Who has a pure heart? The heart that is open to speak to God at night and tell everything. The heart that seeks only to glorify God and forget about itself and is ready to tell truth anytime. The heart that if it has to admit overlooked faults or misgivings, will be very ready to say “I am sorry Lord… please help me up.. purify my heart.”

 

(Yes, Lord…I love you for this second discourse. Purify the intention to share the wisdom that comes from having a personal relationship with you. Amen.)

 

About the Author: Buenaflor Laoang-Rosete finished Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Diliman, and an awardee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Philippines in 2001. She is a mother, public servant, teacher. Her Lifenotes tell of a “once-a-wretch-now-fully-blest” life story, inspiring the advocacy of living simply, fragrantly and richly. She is a Filipino and is happy to be one.

Life is like a Train Ride

Photo and Text by Ria G. Rombaoa

 

Life is like a train ride.

We get on. We ride. We get off. We get back on and ride some more. There are accidents and there are delays. At certain stops there are surprises. Some of these will translate into great moments of joy; some will result in profound sorrow. When we are born and we first board the train, we meet people whom we think will be with us for the entire journey. Those people are our parents!

Sadly, this is far from the truth.
Our parents are with us for as long as we absolutely need them. They too have journeys they must complete. We live on with the memories of their love, affection, friendship, guidance and their ever presence.

There are others who board the train and who eventually become very important to us, in turn.

These people are our brothers, sisters, friends and acquaintances, whom we will learn to love, and cherish.

Some people consider their journey like a jaunty tour. They will just go merrily along.

Others will encounter many upsets, tears, losses on their journey.
Others still, will linger on to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.

Some people on the train will leave an everlasting impression when they get off….

Some will get on and get off the train so quickly, they will scarcely leave a sign that they ever traveled along with you or ever crossed your path…

We will sometimes be upset that some passengers, whom we love, will choose to sit in another compartment and leave us to travel on our own.

Then again, there’s nothing that says we can’t seek them out anyway.
Nevertheless, once sought out and found, we may not even be able to sit next to them because that seat will already be taken.

That’s okay …everyone’s journey will be filled with hopes, dreams, challenges, setbacks and goodbyes.

We must strive to make the best of it… no matter what…

We must constantly strive to understand our travel companions and look for the best in everyone.

Remember that at any moment during our journey, any one of our travel companions can have a weak moment and be in need of our help.

We too may vacillate or hesitate, even trip… hopefully we can count on someone being there to be supportive and understanding…

The bigger mystery of our journey is that we don’t know when our last stop will come. Neither do we know when our travel companions will make their last stop. Not even those sitting in the seat next to us.

Personally, I know I’ll be sad to make my final stop…. I’m sure of it! My separation from all those friends and acquaintances I made during the train ride will be painful. Leaving all those I’m close to will be a sad thing. But then again, I’m certain that one day I’ll get to the main station only to meet up with everyone else. They’ll all be carrying their baggage… most of which they didn’t have when they first got on this train.

I’ll be glad to see them again. I’ll also be glad to have contributed to their baggage… and to have enriched their lives, just as much as they will have contributed to my baggage and enriched my life.

We’re all on this train ride together. Above all, we should all try to strive to make the ride as pleasant and memorable as we can, right up until we each make the final stop and leave the train for the last time.

All aboard!
Safe journey!!

Write Your Relationship Goals

Photo of Ria G. Rombaoa

By Stuart Young

 

Take the opportunity today to write out your relationship goals.

 

This could be a difficult one for many people. Identifying what we want our relationships to be like takes some serious thought. If we’re not careful we’ll end up with a wish list that is impossible to fulfill. We run the risk of wishing for relationships where we are always superior, are always in the right, have full control and are basically treated like royalty. And why shouldn’t we? (Joking!)

 

Seriously, we all realize that relationships of any kind take a lot of time, commitment and work. All of which we could well do without sometimes but on retrospect appreciate as prerequisite for something deep and meaningful.

 

So, as you compose your goals list, be careful what you wish for.

 

About the Author: Stuart Young writes his thoughts on his blog How To Change Your Life One Day At A Time. He  launched his book on this topic in May 2012 and has since helped people change their lives. Click here to get your copy now! He is also one of the authors of the book, “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.