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According to author and health researcher, Sam Graci, most of us have accumulated massive sleep debts over time. Our sleep debt consists of the number of hours of sleep we have missed over our whole lifetime. It consists of all those times when we got less than the seven to nine hours of sleep recommended. Graci wasn¡¯t only referring to sleep, but also to deep restful rejuvenating sleep. A simple good night¢¥s sleep is a very restorative and powerful health measure, but it seems increasingly difficult to obtain.
Unfortunately, most of us live frantic lives, fuelled by coffee and quick fixes. The most important things in life such as unhurried time with loved ones, time to reflect and meditate, time to breathe deeply, time to stop and smell or plant the roses, quiet time to walk and reflect are the first items sacrificed in our busy lives.
Even our vacation times have become marathons of activity and consumption. We reach our destination exhausted by jet lag, worn out by the stresses of our busy lives and then eat too much or drink too much only to end up sick for the whole vacation.
Holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving can become ordeals. Christmas has turned into a marathon of stress, overspending and overeating. Many people dread the family dramas that seem to be intensified at this emotionally volatile time of year. In an attempt to restore some of the finer qualities of the holiday season, some families have scaled down the gift giving and have started to make homemade gifts. They have also come to realize the importance of quality family time and relaxation over the commercial relevance of the gift-giving season.
Sometimes as we go into overdrive around holiday baking and gift buying, we have to ask ourselves, who are we doing this for? Often family members can understand if we let go of some of the usual work around Christmas preparations.
Remember family fun? My sister came up with the idea of renting an outdoor rink every year. All our family members, young and old, participate in a free-for-all hockey game on Christmas Eve.
In his new book, The Path to Phenomenal Health, Graci quotes a wonderful speech by Bob Moorehead. ¡°The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower view points. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment. more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness."
So, this holiday season, let¢¥s focus on making sure we spend time with loved ones and let them know how much they mean to us. Let¢¥s make an effort to take time-out for ourselves and to arrange for some quiet time in all the flurry of activity.
My neighbour who is a nurse taught me that when you are under a lot of time restraints, it is a good idea to book time for yourself, like any other appointment and then honour that commitment. We are all guilty of letting low priority items fill up all of our time and leaving little time or energy for ourselves or our loved ones
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