As I was lining up mason jars and adding dry ingredients layer by layer for overnight oats, I got to thinking….
It’s pretty cool how just by adding liquid and leaving them overnight, these hard, dry ingredients turn into a creamy, delicious concoction the next morning. The oats soften, the chia seeds swell, and everything mixes together to make something new and better.
So I started thinking about myself. How can I set things up for myself so that I can rest, rejuvenate, and be a better version of myself the next day. Overnight oats are all the rage. They are easy to prep, healthy, and a great way to start the day. How about overnight me?
I’ve read a lot about having an evening routine to help prepare for a restful night’s sleep. No screen time for the last hour. Take a hot shower or bath. Keep lights dim and home quiet. Pray or meditate. Do some deep breathing exercises. Gentle stretching.
Most of us know the restorative physical and mental benefits of sleep. Yes, we often sell ourselves short, because we are staying up late to get work done or just have some quiet unwinding time; waking up early to get more work done, have some reflective alone time, exercise, or get a jump on the day some other way.
But something we may not take into consideration are the emotional benefits of sleep. With toddlers it’s obvious, when sleepy, they often have a total meltdown. With adults that can happen too, but it’s usually more subtle. I often find my mood getting increasingly depressed as my sleep deficit grows. I have less energy and less joi de vivre.
Another emotional benefit to sleep is mending hearts, à la the old adage, sleep on it. Sometimes if I’m very upset about something, letting it sit overnight softens the situation. I may be ready to fire off an angry email that night, but the next morning I can write something more thoughtful and nuanced. I may feel hurt by something someone said and feel like cutting them off, but the next morning I’m read to forgive and allow for reconciliation.
Closing the lids on my mason jars, neatly filled with a variety of dry ingredients, I’m thinking about the potential softness and sweetness of overnight hearts. Here’s hoping I can take a deep breath and slow things down when necessary, sleep on it, and handle it even better the following day.