What a week. I have gone from the high of connecting with dear long-time friends for the first time since I moved to California to the low of having three kids with covid while processing yet another national tragedy.
I feel enraged.
I feel sad.
I feel hopeless.
I feel so much and so strongly, that my body is doing most of the heavy lifting. The body holds what the heart and mind can’t process. It’s been too much. Everything feels heavy. I feel it in my fascia as it tightens to hold the increased tension.
I’m accepting that perhaps I need to employ my subconscious to help. I can’t process all of this with my waking brain. I’m surrendering to my desire to nap throughout the day. And I’ve been avoiding the inclination to criticize my napping in place of the productivity I desire.
Permission to Rest and Restore:
- It’s OK to nap.
- It’s OK to sleep.
- It’s OK to daydream.
- It’s OK to rest.
As I’ve discussed my current state, friends are sharing that they, too, have been napping. They notice because it is rare. Perhaps we aren’t alone. Perhaps you find yourself longing for a nap or spending some extra time in daydreams or out in nature.
Research demonstrates many benefits to napping. In addition to helping regulate emotions, “it is widely accepted that sleep plays an adaptive role in the processing of daily stressors and emotions,” (Vandekerckhove and Wang, 2017). Scarpelli, Bartolacci, and De Gennaro (2019) reviewed research related to REM sleep and its potential role in processing emotions. Napping even improves cognitive performance and alertness (Lovato and Lack, 2010).
Sleeping is not laziness. Sleeping is restoration.
Sleeping is resourcing. And we need to resource ourselves for the journey ahead.
Sometimes, the world calls us to travel into forests we wish did not exist. But they do. The dark places are calling us to act.
“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.”
Sleep is not a sign of giving up. It’s a sign of getting ready … to answer the call.
*Note, increased fatigue may also be a sign of depression or another mental health difficulty. If you notice increased sleepiness along with other signs of depression, consult a mental health worker or your physician.
Lovato, N., & Lack, L. (2010). The effects of napping on cognitive functioning. Progress in brain research, 185, 155-166.
Scarpelli, S., Bartolacci, C., D’Atri, A., Gorgoni, M., & De Gennaro, L. (2019). The Functional Role of Dreaming in Emotional Processes. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 459. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00459
Vandekerckhove, M., & Wang, Y. L. (2017). Emotion, emotion regulation and sleep: An intimate relationship. AIMS neuroscience, 5(1), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.3934/Neuroscience.2018.1.1