We all have months that seem to last extra long. October was that way for me.
Having been off work on a medical leave for a few months, I spent September preparing for my return on October 1. So as you can imagine, October was quite the change for me. The slower pace was welcomed. I should mention here that this blog post is not about returning to my job, but I may write about my experience in time. Instead, October was a month of restructuring, reprogramming, creating and easing into a routine, as well as patience.
I was both focused and scattered this month. My brain was restructuring itself and I found myself enjoying the hours I was focused yet I equally enjoyed unwinding and sleeping. I eased into a routine and found myself pondering how having a routine affects people. So many of us resent it, yet so many of us thrive with it. This month I focused on structuring a routine and let go of anything that didn’t support it. This meant and still means I feel behind on so many areas in my life, yet I know it doesn’t really matter. So what if it takes me longer to respond to someone or to cross things off my “to do” list. I have been through so much mental strain that it felt good to create a new routine for myself, one in which I can thrive.
Bedtime became quite the routine for me in October, but I think I’ll discuss that below…
I can’t think of any other time in my adult life when I needed more sleep. Having experienced sleep issues for a number of years, I welcomed the feeling and exhausting of wanting to go to bed early, sometimes 8:00 p.m. and always before 10:00 p.m. One time it may have even been six o’clock! I listened to my body this month and prioritized sleep over mostly everything else including making dinner, posting to social media, responding to personal messages/texts/emails, etc. Sleep was my number one priority. Well, that and food. Yes, I did eat dinner but I didn’t spend as much time making it so they were definitely less elaborate or tasty than my usual dishes. And you know what, I was and am completely okay with that because my body really needed to rest.
Sleep is an important factor in taking care of oneself and I have certainly noticed that I am able to sleep a little longer before waking if I get to bed at a decent hour. But often a “decent hour” means saying no to many other things, like being on committees and blogging about topics I wish to share my knowledge on. I’m used to not getting a full night’s rest and so sleep became very important to me. The thing is, I can get by on much less sleep in the summer. It’s interesting to note that as the days get shorter, so does my need and desire for sleep. My body feels connected to the sun, especially in its growing absence. I suppose that’s the case for many people. I used to deny it but now, I openly admit I am affected by the sun and the lack of it. So perhaps this is also why I slept so much in October. Whatever the case, I am thankful for the rest.
People either love or hate having baths. While I’ve always loved water, I’ve definitely drifted to the bath-person side of life and I’ve found them to be quite beneficial in so many ways. Having a bath is where I felt the most connected to myself throughout October. Sure, I felt myself when I was at work and did all the usual things that make me who I am, but the bathtub was where I felt most myself. It was where I felt peace.
I found everything to be quite connected this month. The more I focused on my daily routine-which often included having a bath before bedtime-the more I felt relaxed and the more I was able to sleep, which of course assisted me in my every aspect of my life. But I must admit, I am grateful for October to be over. It was difficult for me in some way, such as it was to finally write this blog post. I suppose it’s because I know there are much better things coming my way and I would rather focus on them instead of how tired I was last month.
Anyways, thanks for reading.