Graphic by Dakota Cox.

The world was a better place when I didn’t take naps

Taking a nap should always be a last resort
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It’s the middle of the day and you’re exhausted. You stayed up entirely too late last night and you’re not going to make it through the rest of the day, so you decided to take a nap. You lay in bed for half an hour with thoughts swirling madly about your mind before you fall asleep. You wake up and it’s dark outside – five hours have passed since you first laid down. You’re too tired to get out of bed, but the swirling thoughts have returned. You lay there for another half-hour, trying to slip back into blissful slumber, but the sweet sensation evades you. Reluctantly, you crawl out of bed and start the second half of your day.

Fast-forward. It’s three in the morning. You’re not tired, but you’ve got places to be at nine, so, reluctantly, you climb back in bed – only to stare at the ceiling for an hour while the swirling thoughts throw a rager in your brain. Your alarm goes off at eight O’clock and you hate yourself. You hit the snooze button.

Fast-forward. It’s the middle of the day again. Your mind is an empty fog and your eyelids carry the weight of the world. Every instinct in your being urges you to fight the temptation, but you’re weak, so you climb back in bed. And the vicious cycle continues tomorrow – long gone are the fond memories of preschool nap times.

The indoor lifestyle forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic has presented every opportunity for the weak willed to fall victim to the seducing beckoning of their mattress. Combining a lack of exercise with inconsistent eating habits brought upon by a non-existent sleep schedule, many wake in the morning feeling exhausted. Days quickly blur together as they grow more distant without anything exciting to distinguish one from another, and the monotony of daily life creates a chronic mental fatigue that leads right back to bed.

While you sleep, everything else melts away – COVID-19 is nothing but a distant memory. You’re greeted by smiling faces as you walk down the street. Children share their toys in the yard. The smell of barbeque fills the air. But eventually, you have to wake up.

Over a year has passed now with you sleepwalking through life, waiting for things to return to “normal.” You’re not stupid, you can see where this is going – even with a vaccine, the end of the pandemic remains out of sight, and a return to the society you knew before will be separated by years of economic recovery. But, you’re tired. So, you take that nap anyway. Self-care, right?

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