Wellness isn’t just about what you eat and how you move your body. It includes things like sleep and connection to people.
Sleep: According to all the reading I’ve done, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. Not 7-9 hours of being in bed, but actual sleep. I fall on the longer end of this spectrum. To operate at my best and not require a nap, I need 8.5-9 hours.
My night routine includes oil washing my face, brushing my teeth, turning on the fan, turning on the salt stone lamp, turning off the light, and turning off my phone. I meditate for 12 minutes, then read a good book. I try for something not too exciting (in fact, if I get the exciting part in a mystery I’ll try to finish it during the day instead of at night) and I read for about 30 minutes. Then I turn on an audiobook (30 minutes using the audible sleep timer) and fall asleep listening. This seems to work best for me. The fan helps keep noises from bothering me and the audio book keeps me from hearing the tv in the living room.
I like the room totally dark, but noticed that Jasper has trouble getting around in the pitch-black darkness and I was waking up to turn on the salt stone when he needed up and about. So now I am sleeping with the curtains open. It lets in just enough light that he can get around and I am actually sleeping better with fewer wake-ups.
I have become a complete convert to the fitted sheet, sheet, and duvet world. It is so warm and yet so light. I am wondering about needing a lighter weight duvet in the summer. I think I’ll try just using the cover and see if that works. I also use only organic fabrics on the bed.
As a side sleeper, who rotates onto her back once in a while, I need a fairly firm and tall pillow. I am petite, so nothing terribly drastic, just a bit of loft. I have a Casper pillow that I love and a Threshold (Target brand). What I love about the Casper pillow is that it is actually 2 pillows in one. When you unzip it you find a slim pillow in the middle. This means when you wash it, it fits nicely in the washer and dries much faster than a conventional pillow. Each week when I change the sheets, I unzip the pillow, shake all the parts, and then re-zip, and put inside a clean pillowcase. I’ve had the pillow for a year and it continues to be comfortable.
Connection: I’m an INFJ and a 5w4 — which means I am about as introverted as a gal can get. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want or need other people. It just means that I need plenty of alone time to process.
My small family is my comfort zone. My husband and children know me, get me, and love me anyway. They provide stability in an overwhelming world. My husband and daughter work hard to make sure we have the necessities and niceties. They take me where I need to go and are patient with my struggles to remain as independent and autonomous as my deteriorating vision allows. My son has become my right hand around the house. He’s learning to do all sorts of things that I used to do. He’s learning to help me without just doing it for me. He’s also taken on nearly all the outdoor chores (and with 5 acres, there are many many chores).
My faith is very important to me. I am an Anglican/Episcopalian. I use the BCP (Book of Common Prayer) 3 times a day, read a devotional book daily, and worship at St. Paul’s as often as I can. These practices are life-giving for me. They ground me, center me, and also provide the folk I need to feel complete. This is my home. The place where being me is enough. The place and the folk with whom I choose to put down roots.
My other source of “tribe” is my spiritual companion group. This is a group that meets twice a month to discuss a book. We’ve done everything from C.S. Lewis to Henri Nouwen. In a move of spectacular love and support, they now come get me for our group gatherings and carpool up here on alternating gatherings. This means the world to me!