In Defense of the Nap

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I am a huge fan of napping.  My weekend naps are almost sacred to me.  For this, I get a TON of grief from, well, just about everyone.  I suspect a good bit of it stems from a bit of jealousy- many folks just don’t see any way to fit napping into their day.  But to me it’s all about priorities.  And yes, naps are a priority for me.

My love of naps started when I had a work schedule of 6am to 3pm.  I was told that I would adjust to getting up a dark o thirty.   I had that schedule for 2 years and I assure you I was just as miserable on day 700 as I was on day 1.  So no, I never adjusted.  Sure, it was nice to be able to schedule certain appointments in the afternoon and not miss work for them.  But most days I would be so exhausted after work I would nap upon getting home.  Around this same time I started dating my now husband.  He  would often nap on weekend afternoons to recharge after a long week.  I soon followed suit and discovered they made me feel better too.

Now we’re married and I work a job with normal hours.  So, weekday naps are typically off the table (although once in a while I’ll sneak one in after a particularly bad day).  But weekend naps are still something my husband and I both take pretty much every weekend.

No, they don’t affect my ability to sleep at night.   I might go to bed a little earlier if I miss my nap, but my body is ready for bed about the same time every night no matter when I get up or what happened during the day.

No, they don’t mean I’m a bad wife.  My husband takes as many naps as I do.  He is also perfectly capable of vacuuming, washing dishes, or anything else that has been suggested could be a better use of my time.  I’m not a maid.   Which leads me to…….

No, they don’t mean I’m lazy.  They are an essential part of my self-care practice.  I am on medication, and I’ve been through two stints of therapy, but there are still days I struggle with my mental health.   It can be very tiring living in my own head, and If I don’t take care of myself emotional as well as physical symptoms will present themselves.  If I ignore those, I could find myself in a downward spiral that’s much, much more difficult for me to crawl out of.  I’ve been there, done that enough times to know.

I encourage you to discover the wonder that is the afternoon nap.  Sure, there are always other things you could be doing.  But you might discover, like I have, that after a nap everything looks just a little better and the rest of the day is just a little easier to get through.

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