To make a long story short, when I was in the corporate world I was trained by a couple of the people who trained The Men Who Stare At Goats. Seriously. The company I worked for brought them in to conduct a series of leadership training retreats. I’m not sure what the overlords thought we were going to get out of it. What I took away was a sense of self and self-empowerment, which is what led me to leave the corporate world and become self-employed. Oh, and I also learned how to take a power nap.

Take a Power Nap

When I was a kid I could sleep literally anywhere. At summer camp I was known as the guy who slept in a tree without falling out. I could also sleep through anything, which created some issues with alarm clocks and punctuality. Agita about the latter is probably what led me to develop insomnia. Fear of oversleeping led to waking up early, and difficulty falling asleep. From a fairly early age I was being trained to subvert my natural rhythms and be stressed out about my own needs.

Because there were no nap rooms or similar facilities at the office, we were taught how to sleep sitting up. Go into your office and close your door. Settle comfortably into your desk chair. Put your elbow on the arm rest, with your hand pointed toward the ceiling. Close your eyes. As you start to fall asleep, you’ll relax. Your arm will fall, and that will wake you up. It will be enough to revitalize you for a while.

These days I am privileged enough to work from home. When I need a nap… okay, when I need a nap I get self-conscious about having privilege that most people don’t, and feel too guilty to take a nap. Even though I slept poorly the night before because of chronic pain or anxiety. Even though no one will know. But I can go lay down in my own bed. I need to do it more often. I can set an alarm on my phone for 15 or 20 minutes, and recharge my batteries. What I need to do is get over myself, and take full advantage of this opportunity for better self-care and increased productivity.

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