Notes to Self

A very important list of things I really need to try to remember about myself that make my life so much easier. I often forget them, especially when I need them most. While these Notes to Self may be ever-changing, I think it’s a good idea to keep this information at the ready so that it can be referenced and updated as necessary.

Note: I borrowed this concept from the insightful Havi and her Book of You.

Get at least 7 1/2 hours of sleep. Because if I don’t, it gets ugly. I forget I didn’t sleep enough because my memory sucks I am so tired, and then I get all rage-y and emo for what to me feels like no particular reason until I’m like Oh. I didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Must.feed.Dawnrey. I cannot stress this enough. I must be fed often and with healthy foods. Otherwise, it gets even uglier than not getting enough sleep. I am convinced I have hypoglycemia, although it’s never been formally diagnosed. But if I don’t eat every few hours, I get nuts. I mean like batshit drama queenish. I pick fights, I cry, I indulge in existential angst.

Most of the time I’m good at eating regularly, but if things get busy, or I just didn’t for whatever reason eat enough at the last installment, I have issues. The worst part is that I often have no idea why I’m suddently totally crazy irrational impatient lady. So then I eat, and I’m like ahhhhh. Mental order is restored. Except those times I let the crazy go too long, and I get too stubborn to eat. That is the worst. It’s like the crazy in me wants an outlet and as long as I’m starving and my stomach is clawing at itself in desperate hunger, the wild part of me can have its way.  So huge fat Note to Self: Feed Me.

Always bring snacks. See above. But this is worth mentioning in its own paragraph. There have been too many incidents to count in which snacks were not at the ready (air travel, road trips) and things my mood took a nasty turn. I must be reminded to always keep filling snacks with me, stashed everywhere I can think. Bags, purse, car, work. Always, always, always assume I will need snacks. Always!

Avoid violent media. This has been a problem for a few years now. Whenever I watch movies or television with any kind of abuse or violence (exceptions being imaginative “violence” like that in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), I feel really anxious. Like physically anxious such that my chest tightens. It’s uncomfortable. The worst part, though, is the inevitable nightmares. After watching violent shows, I usually have twisted, tortured dreams. Which in turn affects my sleep, and we all know what happens when my sleep cycle is disrupted.

Avoid caffeine after 2pm. This cut-off time is elusive and keeps shifting. I used to be able to consume caffeine anytime and have it not noticeably afffect my sleep or my mood or both. But now, if I have caffeine past this point and try to go to bed at my normal time, I am tired but not able to sleep, which starts a nasty cycle.

Limit social activities and avoid large, loud crowds. As a Highly Sensitive Person, I get overwhelmed really quickly when I have to be around a lot of people for any length of time. Especially loud, boisterous folk. A social evening is great, but once I’m done, I’m done. I find that I need an escape route. So I always have to plan for that, to make sure I have quiet time if not remove myself entirely from the social situation.

My tolerance for crowds seems to have plummeted in the past 10 years. In my youthful 20s, I used to positively crave crowds; now, I seek out the grocery store on Friday nights and avoid the mall if at all possible. Rock concerts? Not a chance, but I’ll duck into a gentle folk concert, as long as – you guessed it – I have an escape route. Note to Self: keep loud social events and crowds at a minimum and always have a ready excuse for running away to go be alone.

Stick to the routine. I am routine-oriented; planning makes me feel safe and helps me meet my personal goals. I like to get up around the same time of day, do expected activities at specified times throughout the day, know what foods I will be eating and when, have a sense of what my evening will look like, and know what time I will go to sleep. My life goes a lot smoother when I know what to expect.

I often plan my week ahead of time so I can be sure to meet personal goals, like eating healthy or working out. I note any specific goals I want to hit during the week, such as beginning a writing task or wrapping up a nagging project. I try to get very specific about when these events will happen. I also schedule weekly workouts and plan the week’s meals ahead of time.

Sometimes these plans do not hold up, so I need to remember to have easy, at-the-ready, Dawnrey-approved back-up plans. For instance, if it looks like I’ll be getting home from work late and won’t have the time/energy to work out, I will just stretch my body and resolve to work out the following night. No big deal. This doesn’t mean that I’m an undisciplined schmuck because I didn’t follow my routine; it just means I’m tired and I’m listening to my body. In another example, if it looks like the best-laid dinner plans aren’t going to come together (eg, because no one feels like preparing food or no one’s in the mood for that particular food), I need to have at the ready at least 2 different quick meal options that meet my nutritional requirements (ie, healthy, balanced, filling). In this scenario, I would do well to remember to relax and know I’ll be fed, that I have a back-up plan, and that my world isn’t falling apart just because the routine gets disrupted.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Recap: Thinking in the Present « Dawnrey
  2. Trackback: Letting Myself Off the Hook, Act I « Dawnrey
  3. Trackback: Checking In: Notes to Self « Dawnrey

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