While meditation and yoga are critical components to looking and being your best, there’s still something else you could be doing to enhance these practices…
Get enough sleep.
It’s the ultimate key to being your best style. And by good sleep – I mean a solid 7 or 8 hours. I understand that may not be do-able every night, (particularly during certain phases of life, like having a newborn) but by neglecting sound sleep for days, your mind and body take a serious toll which will ripple out into the rest of your life.
It happened to me recently.
As a typical Type A New Yorker with a to-do list of household chores, family obligations, business goals and personal practices I started cutting into my sleep time to get it all done. And once House of Cards entered the picture it got even worse. I was staying up way beyond my bedtime. Yet still waking up at 6 because those early dawn hours are absolutely precious to my wellbeing.
Here’s what happened:
+ I started looking like sh!t. Deep bags under the eyes that no concealer could handle became my look of the day. Every day.
+ I couldn’t make clear decisions. Especially later in the afternoon when the exhaustion really set in. On a shoot it took me way too long to figure out how to tie a scarf into a cute neckerchief. And purchasing plane tickets for our summer trip felt impossible. (Do we save the $172 and fly in at night, or are we better off spending the money for the extra day?)
+ I got super agitated. Often. Little things that I’d normally blow off became bigger than they should have. My already thin patience wasted away to nothing. And I took a lot of it out on those around me.
So my lack of sleep was getting in the way of my supreme goal, to be more kind.
And it hindered my concentration big time.
In meditation class the other day, the teacher spoke to the people who have trouble dozing off, and in my mind I thought wow, that’s so weird to actually fall asleep while sitting up in meditation. But then in that session, I felt like I was at war with myself trying to stay awake. I just wanted my bed! It was terrible. And afterwards I didn’t feel enlivened from the practice. I actually felt more tired because my body was finally allowed to be felt as it was…desperate for more sleep! That was my wake up call!
No more staying up too late to see what chic look Robin Wright would wear. No more late nights perusing my insta feed for yoga + style inspo.
I realize I won’t be able to get 7 or 8 hours each night…just as I can’t always complete every single item on my to-do list. But by adding sleep onto the list, I’m putting it as a priority which I know will make me better in all aspects of my life.
How much sleep do you get a night?
(Image by Terry Doyle Photo)