Have you ever fell into a spot in life where you over-commit? It normally happens one day when you are trying to find time to unwind and you realize there are no spots on the calendar. Before you know it your schedules are overlapping your schedule and your family is in disarray.
Whether you have become a commodity of information to serve at a school, work, church, or a nonprofit, saying yes to everything drains time away from an already packed schedule.
The problem with saying no is saying no. For many, it is hard when asked to serve to say no especially when face-to-face. Throw in a friend or pastor asking, it is nearly impossible to feel okay about yourself if you refuse your services.
Yes, you may need 7-9 hours of sleep, but quality is what counts. It is not all about the number of minutes you are laying in bed. Several factors qualify as quality sleep. Sleep Health, the Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, indicates the following as quality restful nights:
- Sleeping more time while in bed (at least 85 percent of the total time)
- Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
- Waking up no more than once per night
- Being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep
With numbers at 27 percent of the population struggling to fall asleep in 30 minutes or less proves a lot of anxiety is on the minds of Americans when laying their head down on the pillow. Identifying ways to alleviate the sleep loss when first lying down may eliminate the restlessness.
Sleep journals are one sure way to keep track of your restlessness and it also bridges the gap between the issue and solution. Journaling at night may involve streams of to-do lists and responsibilities mounting at work, parenthood, and family-life.
Thinking about how to say no may bring more anxiety to the situation you have dug your schedule deep into, but there are ways to bring back quality sleep and a balanced calendar.
- Write out all your responsibilities on an old-school print calendar. By visualizing your schedule with the time and day of the week, you can see the issues on paper. Add in your spouse and children’s schedules, it may look like a hot mess. Take the extra step and color coordinated by family member or use a different pen color. This will help you prioritize responsibilities family-wide.
- Now you have everything down on paper, think about what items can be dropped. Is your 3-year-old involved in multiple activities? Dial down to one per season. This will free up your evenings. Adult responsibilities are harder to trim the fat. But look at new endeavors so you can keep the ones where you have committed time to grow relationships and work.
- Trimming the fat with volunteer work is the hardest task. Focus on your passions and why. Personally I am working full time, maintaining a full family calendar of activities, taking care of the housework, and earning a PhD. Overcommitted? Yes. But the volunteer work I do at church and on the two nonprofit boards are because of their mission and my personal mission.
- If you are squeezing in snacks and dinners later at night due to the tight schedules, create a normal routine. It takes three weeks to create a normal routine, but by changing your bedtime routine, it helps set the mood. Anything that helps establish routine every night prior to the rem cycle can help.
- Still experiencing sleepless nights? Get back to journaling. Make certain to date your entries so as you take measures to lighten your schedule, you can see the progress. These entries will be good reminders for the future asks.
Ways to say no may bring on panic so follow these simple tips and you will be fine.
- Stay the course to your mission and why. If it does not fit, don't commit. When you do say no, be honest as to why. It can be as simple as, "I am doing similar work on another committee" or, "We have a full family schedule currently."
- Be quick in your response. Yes, it is hard to say no, but do not put out the committee or volunteer team by lingering on the answer.
- Kindly say no while complimenting the organization or individual asking for assistance.
- For some situations, you can say no to the big ask of chairing the committee and say you will make a donation if financially able or run the cake walk during the fundraiser.
A sleep study may be the best route to link sleepiness. Though the type of sleep study varies by a patient’s symptoms, healthcare providers will monitor your sleep either in a lab or at your home using portable home sleep apnea testing equipment.
Completing a sleep study can also enhance your quality of life from these conditions which already is most likely taking away a full night’s rest.
If you live in Alaska and are ready to take back your sleep, contact The Alaska Sleep Clinic and receive a free 10-minute phone consultation with a sleep educator who can help you determine if a sleep study is right for you.