Evaluate your Sleep Habits

Have you been getting eight hours of sleep each night? How about anywhere close to eight hours? When I become mind weary, I can usually look back and track the days I’ve been burning the midnight oil just a little too long. Part of my mind weariness is actually caused by sleep deprivation or interrupted sleep patterns.

Make a point of getting to bed at a reasonable time — and establish a pattern so you go to sleep at approximately the same time each evening. If you’re too wound up to get to sleep right away, do something to relax prior to bedtime — enjoy a warm decaffeinated beverage, take a warm bath, stretch out or read for a while.

Or, if your schedule permits, consider napping in the afternoon when you get tired. Learn to recognize your body’s signals and honor them. Don’t deprive your body of the sleep it needs to function properly. It may take you several nights to catch up on your sleep, but it will be time well spent — you’ll be a lot more alert mentally when you’re well rested.

Re-evaluate your schedule

Take a look at your activity level. Have you been taking on too much? Giving too much of yourself away to others? You have to maintain a balance between doing for others and taking care of yourself. If you’re running on empty, you will have nothing to give.

Now may be the perfect time to cut back on a few things. Remember the saying, “less is more?” In many ways, this is true. You can be more effective if you limit the number of activities you become involved in. By over-committing yourself and spreading yourself too thin, you become less effective in all areas and have less energy to devote to any one thing.

Reprioritize and focus more exclusively on the causes and activities most important to you. Learn to say no — without feeling guilty — to other calls for your help or less fulfilling activities that call for your attention.

Remember, you are only one person, and one person can only do so much. Pick your activities carefully and do your best at them.