Lessons from the Dog - Take Naps Daily
Some people can nap anywhere, while others can't nap if their life depended on it. I'm one of those folks that anytime I'm in something that moves, I will fall asleep. I nap in the car, on the plane and in a train. Something about that fast speed makes me fully relax and check out for awhile. Sometimes when I'm tired and cranky, my husband will suggest we go for a car ride out in the countryside. Because he knows I'll get a much needed snooze and will stop taking my frustrations out on him! I don't know this for sure, but if I had to guess, I'd bet my parents used to drive me around the block when I was a baby to get me to finally settle down and rest.
While I would love to nap, perhaps daily, I rarely do. Sometimes when I see my pups snoozing in the middle of the day, I get jealous. My to do list is far too long for me to take a time out and close my eyes. But boy, do I know how much good it would do me. Even when I try, I just lay there thinking about what I should be doing at that moment instead. There are times when I'm just so tired, that I can hardly keep my eyes open and I do get a little cat nap. Then the phone rings, or someone knocks at the door, or a thunderstorm breaks open, or my alarm on my cell phone goes off reminding me of a client appointment, or the dog jumps in bed reminding me it's time for our walk! I get up and think maybe later.
For years I used to take a nap almost daily. But only because I couldn't get through my day on just a mere 6 hours sleep while working day after day after day. I don't recommend working 14, 15 or 16 hour days, but I do remember how good it felt to take a break and get some shut eye. Without it, I'm not sure I would have been able to function. Which brings me back to my dogs. They never get cranky, irritable, or grumpy. And I bet if I got a nap daily, neither would I!
If you've ever visited one of the European countries then you are familiar with a typical work day. Which starts around 8 or 9 in the morning, take 2 hours off at lunchtime and work until about 7 or 8 in the evening before a long relaxing dinner with the family. Why such a long lunch break? So they can take a siesta as it's known in Spain, or a riposo as it's known in Italy. Otherwise known as a nap. And it's not just in some businesses. Doctors' offices, museums, and churches all lock their doors so their employees can go home and rest. Ironically, many Europeans only work 35 or so hours a week. Now, that sounds like a perfect work/life balance to me.
While my dogs don't work a job the way I do, they sure do remind me how beneficial a nap in the middle of the day is for my mind and body. Maybe it's time I start paying attention and join them when they are snoring peacefully at my feet while I type away on my keyboard!