Just take a Nap
This morning/midday, I did something I almost never get to do anymore. I got a few hours to myself and I watched some new TED videos, Dean Ornish’s Healing through Diet talk from 2004, read part of a book, Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, that’s taking me a long time to read even though I’ve read it before and I read very fast (a few pages a night before bed is all I get these days), and then I took a nap.
It is Wednesday.
The universe kind of organized things for me so that I could have this time. Normally, I do not. I am self-employed, have a crazy schedule that covers the entire day, have just opened a new business, and I have a two-and-a-half-year-old bundle of joy that I often lovingly call my “tiny life terrorist” for his ability to disrupt sleep patterns and turn everything upside down from what it was just a few short years ago.
I’ll tell you what, sometimes deciding to not immediately reply to all the emails or return the phone calls (I’m sorry if you are someone waiting on a response from me, I’ll get to it very soon and in a much more positive mood!) and make your brain slow down on a Wednesday morning for a nap is absolutely the best health and happiness tonic in the world. And the world is not going to end if you turn off your phone for a while. It doesn’t have to be a Wednesday, but sometimes you just have to decide that you’re going to take a moment back from a busy, happy life and treat yourself to nothing other than a nap.
Now, here in Pamplona, in most of Spain, I’d say this is common wisdom that is an ingrained part of the culture. The Spanish word for nap is universally understood. But I’m American, and we don’t nap nearly as much or as well. So, all the things that I had to do before the nap are still there, but now they feel manageable and interesting (because I really do love my job, which is something that fascinates me every single day), and I somehow meditated in my sleep on how to best handle what needs deciding. This blog is certainly not scientific proof of the benefits of a siesta, as there were a million uncontrolled variables in my Wednesday Experiment, but if how much better I feel now than I did at 10 am is any proof at all, then I’m sold on the conclusion. Just go take a nap.