For the last few years it has been consumed by financial sustainability of the basics. My rent, my food, my next opportunity. For a long time it has felt like looking for any scant opportunity and it has been extremely unpleasant.
Covid has provided an absurd light in what was a darkness In which I saw no end. 2020 ignited a light. 2021 I hope will offer a modicum of sustainability.
As we enter a new year the literal darkness with the length of day and night only gets better. The mornings get easier as the lengthening of the days extinguishes the dates bring dawn before I wake.
My routine is to wake at 7am to leave the house at 8pm for a walk. I walk once round my local park with door to door being just under an hour. On my return I have breakfast and depending on my first work commitment of the day at my home studio desk between 9.30 and 10 am.
I have been adversely affect by the early evening darkening days in the past but never with such psychological effects in the morning until 2020.
Recognising the cause and effect on the evening of S.A.D (seasonal affective deficit) was enough to help me cope and manage after the initial paralysis by the encounter. It actually came upon me in 2002 and I encountered a seasonal depression struggle for several years until recognising the seasonal trigger of the dark early evening in 2005 so was ready for the change in the following years.
2020 was the first year I was waking at 7 am finding the darkness a problem to reaching a level of consciousness to get me out of bed. I guess in time before COVID if I was waking to go or be somewhere the time urgency would override my perception of the daylight.
My 2020 solution was to change my operational time I decided to wake at 8 am to walk at 9 am. I was comfortably functional with the light then, I found.
For me, The transition of sleeping to waking state has always been uncomfortable. When I recognised the morning struggle taking hold a few years ago whilst on the road for a conference and workshop roadshow. I woke with the sense of dark weight at my windows. At university and years on tour I found Night Kalms or Nytol helped me wake feeling fresher but they work best with wind down before sleeping being taken an hour before bed. Not always possible but added a confining ritual that made me overthink the purpose for taking the tablets and dreaded the night as I would overthink my waking! Heightened project responsibility tends to exacerbate my hyper consciousness.
Then the ‘there is an app for that’ era arrived I tried several alarms and sleep tracker apps I wondered if I was waking or not sleeping deeply enough. I wanted to learn about what happens during the time I sleep. The app that provides that insight and wakes me up properly is Sleep Alarm.
It really works for me. I had fallen out of the habit of using the app in place of the native iPhone bedtime alarm but it makes a mindful difference. That would have been my solution has COVID not affirmed me the luxury of time shifting. 2021 is about me understanding mindfulness and actively applying it to my life. I realise I’m not without mindfulness I definitely want it to be part of me longer, more habitual in a life affirming manner. Am I alone in this aspiration.
No incentive to post about this app except that I use and recommend it.
Let me know if you give it a go and your experience.