You guys, I have no idea what’s been going on with me this past week, but I can’t sleep to save myself. I’m tired — exhausted, in fact — and struggle to stay up past 10:00. I go to bed and I’m deeply asleep before my head hits the pillow… and then I’m wide awake again sometime between 11:30 and midnight, listening to crickets and trying not to wake The Husband by tossing and turning for hours. It’s like being jet lagged, but without the passport stamp.
But I have discovered the cure for this insomnia. No, it’s not reading a book, or counting sheep, or warm milk. It’s saying, “Ok, if I’m not asleep in 10 minutes, I’m going to the gym.”
Boom. Works every time.
Now, it’s probably not a coincidence that this week has been a high anxiety week for me. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation: I can’t sleep so I’m exhausted and stressed and anxious which affects my sleep which makes me exhausted and stressed and anxious. While chatting with my friend the other day (someone who was, in fact, jet lagged in Finland) she asked what had me stressed. And the answer, quite literally, was nothing of consequence. There’s no big, looming stressor, no deadline or crisis. It’s just a lot of little things adding up to that feeling that I’m in control of nothing.
On Friday, a last-minute cancellation gave me some unexpected free time. I pumped up the tires of the old bike and headed out for the trail. I love my new bike, with its upright ride and ability to carry more stuff than a pack mule, but there’s something to be said for ditching all of that stuff and just going. I was faster than usual, which makes sense with the lighter bike and no baggage or groceries. I felt like I was flying. When I got to the midway point, about nine miles in, I snapped the photo above. She may be squeaky and creaky, but she relieved my anxiety like no medication could.
So those are my revelations for the week: exercise (or the avoidance of it through sleeping) can be very therapeutic.