Are you feeling a little short on patience these days?
Do you find yourself snapping at your kids, like, all the time?
Do you find yourself fighting with your partner over silly little things?
Do you hate the idea of engaging with your coworkers because you don’t have time for their bu%*$^#? (Actually, that one might be legit.)
But in all seriousness, if you feel like you’re lacking patience on a regular basis, let me tell you a little bit about how you can fix that.
First of all, it’s important to know this: You’re not lacking patience because you’re a bad person.
You’re lacking patience because you’re exhausted.
What happens when a 3-year-old doesn’t get enough sleep?
They have WAY more tantrums than normal.
And we tend to have a lot of patience with those 3-year-olds. Because we know what their problem is, and we know how to fix it. An extra nap or an early bedtime are usually the perfect solution.
But why do tired 3-year-olds have tantrums in the first place?
It’s because when you’re exhausted, emotional regulation is VERY hard.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 3, or 43.
The difference is that 43-year-olds have a social filter that they can usually put in place. Adults know that tantrums they might have won’t be very well received. So we’re really good at filtering that out.
But when we get too tired and we’re around the people we don’t need as much of a social filter with (*cough* your kids, partner, or family), it can become incredibly difficult to regulate ourselves emotionally.
Which often shows up as irritability, snapping at people, or in some cases anxiety or depression.
So if you find yourself running out of patience often, then the first thing you want to take a look at is your sleep.
Take a look at my sleep?
When I say “take a look at your sleep”, you might already be nodding. Maybe you already know you struggle with sleep. Maybe you lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling. Or maybe you wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to go back to sleep.
But maybe when I say “take a look at your sleep”, you’re thinking, “no, that’s not the problem, I sleep fine.” Do you?
Do you feel rested when you wake up? Do you absolutely need coffee to be able to function? Do you have enough energy to get through the day? Do you feel like brain fog is a normal thing for you?
I could go on, but if you’re finding yourself really low on patience, you might not be sleeping as well as you think you are. And just like the cranky 3-year-old, consistent restful sleep is going to make all the difference.
So, how do you get better sleep?
Here are my top 3 tips for getting better sleep at night.
Mindfulness Activity Every Day
Incorporating some sort of mindfulness routine every day will help lower your stress levels, and will let you practice quieting your mind, both of which will help you sleep better. High stress levels are one of the main reasons for disrupted sleep at night, and mindfulness is an incredible way to address those.
What daily mindfulness looks like can be different for each person. My recommendation is to find a meditation app (like Insight Timer or Headspace or Calm) that you can do every day. It doesn’t even need to be long! 5-10 minutes makes a difference.
Movement Every Day
Daily movement and/or exercise will also help lower stress levels, but just generally helps you sleep better. That doesn’t always need to mean a crazy long workout every day, because I know I don’t have that kind of time. But maybe it’s a 20 minute walk at lunch time, or some stretching while you watch TV in the evening. Yes, we do need to do cardio and strength training, and you should work to fit those in each week as well. BUT, when I talk about moving every day, I mean in whatever way that works for you.
While sleep is a huge predictor of mood, do you know what else can make people cranky and irritable and easily lose patience? Hunger. I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “hangry”? Eating well is a very vague recommendation, and that’s OK for right now, I promise. I have a ton of other resources about how to eat well. But if I had to pick just one of the tips I would share with you today, it would be to eat more vegetables. You’ll notice I didn’t say cut anything out or reduce anything. Nope. Just focus on increasing your vegetable intake. Veggies will help fill you up, and the fiber can drastically improve food cravings and stabilize blood sugar.
If you’re ready to parent, and to live your life with more patience, but also more joy and fun, the first thing you should look at is your sleep.
And if you’re ready to dive into your sleep, I have an amazing resource to get you started. You can watch my free workshop, the Superior Sleep Solution here.
In this workshop I talk about practical ways an exhausted woman can improve her sleep, amplify her energy, and find balance – no matter how busy you are.
I’ll see you there!