Photography by: Angie Garcia
Skincare routine. Pajamas. Brush teeth. Get in bed. Turn on HGTV. Grab phone. Scroll Instagram. Order said top off Instagram. Check e-mail for confirmation. Start responding to some e-mails. See a marketing e-mail for food. Get hungry. Go grab a snack. Come back in bed. Grab phone. Do it all over again.
Sound familiar? Yep, that was my nightly routine and I started to notice a lot of bad habits stemming from it. First, I’d get so anxious before bed. As with many jobs, a huge part of my job deals with timelines of campaigns. Most times I check my e-mail, I find that something has caused a glitch in a timeline, resulting in a 30-minute task of rescheduling. It’s not a huge deal, but I’d have to do that before bed and I’d get all worked up over it. Stress is a domino effect, so once I started feeling worried about one thing in life I’d start to think about something I had to do next Thursday at 4. You can see the picture I’m painting. It caused me to wake up a lot at night and while I’m not someone who requires a ton of sleep, I need deep sleep.
I was getting headaches during the day from tossing and turning at night and I am one of those people that will complain about a headache but refuses to take an Advil. It drives my mom nuts! She said, “Okay, if you’re not going to take medicine, then at least do something to get better sleep.“
I also knew I wanted to start reading more in 2018. I adore a good book, but with a newborn and building a home, you don’t find yourself getting friendly with a best seller. But 2018 is my year of “rest” [or so I’m telling myself] and it was time for a change!
I made the small goal of reading one book per month for 2018. For January I read, “The Couple Next Door.” I had started it before I gave birth, but hadn’t finished. And when I say I started and hadn’t finished, I mean I literally don’t even remember starting it but it had a bookmark so maybe I did?
This is a thriller, think “Gone Girl”, All Perry Mason Books, etc., but what I love is that you can’t figure it out until the last page! I find that many books like this can be easily figured out about three quarters of your way in. I gave myself a goal of reading 20 minutes, for three nights a week. That small change turned into a few nights where I read for an hour or so. However, I’m warning you that this book is a quick read! I could have read two books this month but I didn’t want to get all overzealous and then not follow through the following months.
So what changes did I see reading three nights a week?
- I slept better! I’d get so calm reading a book and not looking at a screen that I found I slept really deep. I slept so deep in fact, I asked Paul if something was wrong with me about two weeks into my new habit. I was like, “Babe, I didn’t wake up once last night! You had to tell me my alarm was going off! What’s going on?!” He laughed and said, “No, you’re normal.”
- I watched far less TV. I’ve got This Is Us to catch up on, I don’t know what has happened lately on The Bachelor and I have enough Real Housewives on DVR to last a year. The funny thing is I don’t mind one bit! Now I’ve never been one to watch shows in live time [minus The Bachelor here and there], but I don’t have a desire to catch up. I do however have a desire to read my next book.
- I started to listen to podcasts. I started to listen to podcasts while driving, which is beyond normal for me. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of them previously. Don’t hate me just yet, hear me out! I’d tried them and just couldn’t get into them. I felt like I was listening in on someone’s conversation and I didn’t want to hear the Real Housewives rehashed if I already watched it. I didn’t want to listen to career advice because this was when I was taking a break from work. I also don’t like how apple organizes them with the latest one first, like what if I want to start from the beginning?! But lately, while driving I’ll listen to Dr. Laura or Risen Motherhood and I’m obsessed! I think the trick is finding one you really enjoy, just like with reading. The reason I started to listen to podcasts was because I can’t really read while Maxi is awake, but I missed having a storyline with me. I can listen those while I clean or make her lunch, so it was an easy way to get my fix! I could try audible, but I’m a little old school and just like holding a book!
What’s on deck for next month? After brunch with a friend on Sunday, I ordered Divine Time Management. I was telling her that as a woman it’s so easy to feel like a vending machine and each moment someone is putting a quarter in to take something out, but you never get a moment to refill. She told me she felt that way until she read this book, so I ordered it right then and there. Now I can’t speak for it as I haven’t read it just yet, but she said it does focus on time management, but more so on the fact that if you don’t get something done you can trust God will take care of you.
Have you been reading in January?! What books are on your nightstand?