11 July 2012

Brandon Loves Naps

When I asked my friends to think about activities and things they did to empower themselves and show themselves some love, Brandon got back to me that he loved naps. Naps! Of course naps! I adore naps. They are a wonderful way of giving yourself some luxurious rest and respite. Sometimes I find myself being a little hard on myself, a stern voice in my head starts nagging me about being "productive". But I find a nap is a valuable part of taking care of myself and respecting my need for rest. These days I have a napping buddy, my dog Lucy. I thought napping was great before a dog, but having a little animal resting on you takes it to a whole new level and increases the loving energy. I loved reading Brandon's responses and they reinforced my feelings about this humble activity. Don't feel guilty about taking a nap, but look at it as a rest you deserve and an act of taking care of your precious self. Thanks Brandon for sharing how naps help you love you and reminding me to appreciate how I love me by indulging in this cozy pastime.

Is there a time in your life, a specific occasion when you really turned to the nap to really help you get through a tough time?

Brandon: I once worked in the activity department of a christian nursing home.  I lead sing alongs and exercise programs and planned social outings.  I was also responsible for rangling the residents together for other activities, such as daily devotions, which was the daily church service.  During the service I would sit in the back and do my paperwork.  The only actual participation that seemed to be expected of me during this activity was to bow my head with them in prayer.  People in nursing homes have a very long list of things that need to be prayed for, the daily prayer would clock in at a steady 15 minutes.  Prayer seems to make me drowsy and I would often fight dozing off in my chair.  Eventually I just started to go with it, I'd lean my head forward, shut my eyes and sleep until I heard "Amen".  I am really good at napping.  

What do you love about napping? 

B: Napping is nature's "reset" button.  It breaks the day into manageable pieces.   I'm in the habit of taking a nap in the backroom at work every morning around 10:30am.  It's a simple 8 minute nap sprawled across a couple of chairs, but it does wonders for me.  When I'm struggling to get out of bed at 7:30 I just think to myself, a little more sleep is just 3 hours away.  

How does it help you in everyday life?

B: I'm 1000 times more patient and understanding after a 10 minute nap than I am immediately prior.  A nap prior to exercising helps tremendously as well.  

How does napping instill in you a sense of self worth?  

B:Napping makes me a better person, which makes me a happier person.  
They make me feel cozy. 

Talk me through a typical nap and how it brings joy to your life?  

B: I usually begin a nap by laying down and covering my eyes.  I then slowly count to approximately 30.  I'm usually asleep by 30, but if I get to 30 and I'm not asleep I start over at one and this time I try to draw each number in my mind as I count it.  The more elaborate the mental picture of the number the better.  Next thing I know I'm waking up feeling nice.  

When did this napping become part of your self-nurturing?

B: I started napping in my early 20s.  I found it was the only way to stay up really late at night and still work early in the morning.  It's treated me well ever since.