You’d think that a nap would be a nice and peaceful topic, but if you haven’t met these two high-strung individuals, you’re in for a rude awakening!
In this episode, Chris and Allison talk about why they are so anxious about napping and how it relates to their larger anxieties around productivity, FOMO, turning off their brains, and sleep.
It turns out when you have anxiety, even a tiny thing like napping can become a big scary closet-monster that brings up all sorts of other complexes. Fun!
I’m Anxious About Naps Because…
- We place so much emphasis on the actual “success” of falling asleep or not falling asleep during the nap, which hinders our ability to get some rest and restoration.
- We often have trouble falling asleep and turning off our brains with anxiety, and laying down to nap can feel like signing up for a game you know you’re going to lose.
- It’s hard to want to nap if you don’t always feel well-rested or restored after a nap.
- Kindergarten nap trauma.
3 Tips If You Have Anxiety About Naps
- Remember that naps are a chance to rest, and it’s not necessarily about whether or not you actually fall asleep as opposed to just turning off your brain for a moment, closing your eyes, and enjoying the sensations of resting.
- Listening to a podcast or guided meditation while resting or trying to nap can be helpful, because if you fall asleep, great, but if not, you at least have a soundtrack to listen to while you rest.
- One benefit of the nap is just signaling to yourself – and the world – that you’re not available for a bit, away from notifications, expectations, and work. Chris calls it a “power move” in the world of lengthy to-do lists and urgent-flagged emails, and that’s fairly accurate.
IAA 47: I’m Anxious About Energy Levels
If you think these two podcast hosts are the kind of people who can unwind and settle into a peaceful midday nap, it’s probably your first time listening (in which case, hi!).
Indeed, Chris & Allison are pathologically incapable of napping, and the sheer thought of it is enough to invoke a nervous tailspin or two. In this episode, they break down what it is about naps that make them so antsy and restless and give a few tips for other people who are constitutionally unable to relax.
Speakers: Christopher Mitchell & Allison Green
Christopher Mitchell 0:01
Welcome to I’m Anxious About, a podcast where two friends commiserate about our respective anxieties on a new topic each week. I’m Christopher Mitchell.
And I’m Allison Green. And today, we are anxious about naps.
So, for new listeners, you might be confused, because what’s so bad about naps, but any longtime listener will probably know that Chris and I are both a little too high energy and anxious for a good old-fashioned nap. It just doesn’t happen, not part of our vocabulary for the most part.
No, it’s just not part of my repertoire. I have a complicated relationship with sleep and always have. And that’s something we can probably dive into more on a future episode on sleep itself. But for the time being, we’ll try to focus on the nap.
But yeah, the nap, say, it’s a complicated one for me. I mean, I don’t think this will end up being a one and a half hour sort of dive into what it means to nap and my relationship to napping, and you know, which will turn into a tell-all novella.
But I do think I will be able to talk about this for a little bit. And kind of, I’m interested to see what comes up because I think on the surface, this is one of those potential topics where someone might be like, how could one be, like 30 minutes of anxious about a nap, you know, like talking for 30 minutes? But I think I mean, that’s what we’re aiming for.
Yeah, I think it’s funny and kind of telling that we’ve been putting off doing this episode about sleep for like a year now. Because we both have such a fucked up relationship with sleep that we just don’t want to dive into it. But nap is like a little portion before we like can actually grapple with the big monster that is sleep and all the anxiety around sleep. So this is like a little entree into the hellish main course that is sleep.
Right? If we continue to put off the I’m Anxious about Death episode, but like 25 episodes from now we’re like, I’m anxious about being in a coma indefinitely.
Allison Green 2:33
laughs Basically, yeah.
Christopher Mitchell 2:37
It’s like, well, there’s an elephant in the room. But anyways, this is what we’re going for. And I actually do think in this case, the way that I think about naps is quite different from the way that I think about sleep in terms of like shutting it down for the night sort of asleep. But we will get into that I am sure.
But before we get into that, we always got to kick things off with our scale to check in how we’re doing today. And of course, the scale is always related to the episode.
This is a scale that I really enjoy, because I have so many memories to think back on. I don’t remember too much from my childhood. But I do remember this. So on a scale of one to being forced to nap during kindergarten. Where are you today? 10 being the worst, of course.
Yeah, I’m a one, because nothing can compare to that full body anxiety of someone telling you to relax while you’re like a little corpse on a tiny weird cot, and you just feel like everyone’s watching you try to sleep. It’s a horrible feeling.
Allison Green 3:42
But actually, I’m just not anxious today, irrespective of my animosity towards that scale. I had a good weekend. I’ve just been settling into routines here back at home, getting to spend time with family has been really nice. And I have just been being more active, active to the point where like, I did enough outdoor activity to where like, I got a sunburn for the first time in forever. That’s a humble brag about you know, it being warm in California, by the way, but I was like, Oh, yeah,
Christopher Mitchell 4:15
And how active you are, you’re like, Oh, God.
Allison Green 4:17
Christopher Mitchell 4:20
Yeah, I just like hadn’t been outside for any extended period of time pretty much over the past year or so. And that’s a little exaggerating, but not by much.
But not too much.
Allison Green 4:30
And so like, oh, sun, ahh, even though it was like probably only like 65 degrees and sunny, which I’m sorry, I can’t even bother to cover that into Celsius. It’s like under 20, it’s not that hot. I still managed to get a nice little sunburn.
Christopher Mitchell 4:46
It’s still alarming for your vampiric composure.
Yeah, exactly. It definitely was a reminder that the sun can be friend and foe, but I got to see a friend who lives in the area, we did like a socially distanced walk around the reservoir, which is really nice. And it’s just nice to kind of be like, Oh, I actually have friends like living at home, which is like a narrative that I didn’t really have for a long time because most of my friends moved away after high school for college.
Allison Green 5:17
So I’ve always been like, Oh, I’m isolated at home, blah, blah, blah, but it actually, now I have more friends living in the area that I’ve met through blogging and conferences and whatnot. So it’s been nice, actually, to sort of like have all of those kind of components coming together. I’m feeling like less socially isolated and more well rounded I guess, and that’s really helping kind of lessen the anxiety. So yeah, I’m a one today, which is awesome.
So Chris, on a scale of one to a forced kindergarten nap. How are you doing today?
Christopher Mitchell 5:51
Yeah, firstly, that scale does not suit me well, I think I still have long term trauma from being forced to nap in kindergarten, shout out to Miss Stagg, legendary teacher. Scale aside, because that scale does get me going. I mean, like, I just don’t like being told what to do and I don’t like sleep that much… Not that I don’t like sleep, I’m just not a great sleeper. So that combination, it’s a powerful combo for me in the wrong way.
But I actually feel pretty good today. I think the weather being pretty lovely and sunny out is great, have been doing my part to get outdoors just like you and try and get that sunkissed composure. But actually, it’s not even for that, I just feel like, you know, all jokes aside, you can feel sometimes that vitamin D is just going to be helpful for you. And I think I almost sometimes will take a moment to sit down and take a couple of deep breaths in the sun and just almost feel like I’m soaking in the good nutrients. You know, you’re like, Hahhhh
Allison Green 6:53
Christopher Mitchell 6:54
Exactly almost like embracing my inner, you know, small ambitious plant and just being like photosynthesis. And also Bri and I are just making a point of just trying to do little things, even just like going for drives and visiting places that we can that are safe and outdoors and we can be separated adequately.
Also a few things are coming together for me just from work perspective that it seems like a lot of the work I put in during that vampiric period we were talking about earlier, you know, is starting to come together. So I’m excited about that.
And the last couple of check ins, I think I’ve been probably more on the downside for me. So it’s good to be probably, I’d say one or two, to be honest, good to be back around that range.
And probably a good time just to highlight the fact that how you feel like, the reason we do these check ins is because how you feel the week before, it’s not necessarily be true that because you felt like a seven or an eight the week before you’re going to feel like a seven or eight the week after, I think it’s nice to know that last week and particularly the week before that probably wasn’t feeling my greatest but this week, I’m feeling a lot better. So that is good.
Yeah, I think that about sums up my check in. So let us move into the heart of the episode on this deep and challenging topic of…. how do we even start with such a intense topic? For me, it’s you know, number one most difficult, probably I’m anxious about death. But number two right there. It’s naps.
Yeah, I think we should probably just start with what is the Oxford English Dictionary definition of a nap, which is to sleep lightly or briefly, especially during the day?
Well, if it’s to sleep lightly, then all I do is nap.
Yeah, I’m also light sleeper, especially when I’m going to sleep. I do not nap well, unless I’m operating on a serious sleep deficit. I am not a napper. My first year or two teaching I had really bad insomnia. No, my first year teaching I was too tired to have insomnia. Like it just overrode that. But my second year teaching I had really bad insomnia.
Allison Green 9:13
And so I started turning to naps is like a way to kind of catch up on that sleep deficit. But it actually was never satisfying because my naps would always be like two hours long. And then I’d wake up feeling like I had a fever and I was confused about where I was and then I felt like I had to start my day all over again.
And we’ve talked before, I think it was in our episode about mornings how the stress hormone cortisol rises in your sleep. And I’ve definitely found that I have more anxiety in the mornings and I tend to actually get like an uptick in anxiety after I’ve taken a long nap. And I think it’s maybe the same. I wonder if it is the same sleep process happening. So if anyone’s interested in that episode, where we talked about the physiological reason why people might have anxiety in the mornings, that was IAA 37, I’m anxious about mornings.
But yeah, I kind of feel like I hate mornings. And I’m not a morning person. A lot of the time I’ll wake up with physical sensations of anxiety upon waking up there, so like a nap is like a second morning. And I’m like, Well, I don’t want that, I’d rather it just be night, fuck mornings, you know. So that’s kind of like where some of my nap resistance comes in.
Christopher Mitchell 10:26
Allison Green 10:27
And also just having had lots of naps, that end up being too long and then lead to that sort of like drugged, What happened? Where am I feeling? Those are some of the reasons I struggle to nap because I don’t really have positive associations associated with naps, because I’ve never been someone who can like lay down and then like, spring up like a gazelle. 15 minutes later, being like, That was perfect.
I’m like, I’m either out like a cartoon where, like you like knocked me over the head with a frying pan and I’m dead to the world for two hours. Or I lie there like a kindergartener on a cot, unable to sleep and just twitching with energy to get up and start moving again. Those are the two places on the poles for me. What about you, Chris?
Christopher Mitchell 11:11
Yeah, I just, I’ve never really been a napper largely because of the intense FOMO that I have around missing out on things. And I think part of the reason that I’ve always been someone who goes to sleep quite late and quite late is like, I don’t know, maybe like one, one in the morning or so. In university, it was like 3:30 or four in the morning, I would probably go to sleep at, my feeling is that I probably started going to sleep late one, because I like the quiet of night. And I’ve talked about that before in previous episodes.
But I think I also get some sort of, I don’t know, satisfaction as if I were but like, I’m almost calmed by the fact that there’s probably nothing else going on that requires any of my immediate attention. If something requires my immediate attention at one in the morning, it’s probably you know, an emergency that my door is going to be knocked on shortly anyways, right?
I don’t like the idea of taking a nap during the day, partially because I think I don’t give myself a whole lot of grace as far as like, if something urgent comes up, like I want to deal with it right away, which can be complicated in the world of notifications and things of that. So I have to be quite cognizant of that.
But napping for me, you know, it’s one thing to silence your phone. But it’s one thing to like silence your mind and nap, I just like, I’m just not great at that. So I think that’s probably where one of my anxieties around napping, I also think I’ve just grown up thinking about naps as a last resort. And that’s probably because I just I’ve naturally tend to have a lot of energy.
Throughout my life, I’ve dealt with certain things around like fatigue, and that, you know, as it relates to anxiety, but generally speaking, I’m more on the energetic side of things. So I kind of think that unless I’m, like, totally exhausted, I’ll go to caffeine, like the band aid solution as opposed to the nap. And yeah, and I also have found that like, the lack of assurance about whether I’m going to feel great after the nap, the uncertainty just, I don’t know, it frightens me a little bit. Like, I just, I will only really ever nap for 45 minutes with an alarm unless I really, really need to sleep. Like I just flew all night, and I have to meet someone in three hours. And I have two hours to spare that I would just like, nap or whatever.
But I think generally speaking, if I nap for anything longer than 45 minutes, I end up in that sort of gray zone you talked about where you kind of wake up again, and you’re like, Oh, I have to restart here. Like I have to maybe re caffeinate and feed myself again and all this kind of stuff. It doesn’t tend to be… I guess it’s like my issue really is that oftentimes a nap… keep in mind I take like, I don’t know, maybe like 10 naps a decade sort of thing.
My sort of thing is, is that naps for me, it’s never really been like a comma in the sentence. It’s been much more like an exclamation mark that I had to wake up and deal with. You know, it’s it hasn’t served me all that well. But anyways, I’ve approached a lot of topics as it relates to the nap there. So I shall let you respond.
Yeah, I will say I am a fan of like the jetlag nap. Sometimes I think it’s like the only thing you can do to like bridge, the gap between like, where you are and where you want to be is to just admit that like, I need these two hours and then I can actually make it to that time and not have a hellacious day. I don’t mind a jet lag nap. And that’s kind of the only time I really will nap with any consistency is like that, like when I’m jet lagged.
Allison Green 14:33
But even this most recent time, when I came back, I didn’t even do any naps on my way to like resuming my time zone thing. I think it’s more of like a thing, where when you’re traveling and you’re exhausted from like sightseeing and also jetlag, then you might need a power nap in the middle of the day.
But for the most part, I probably nap maybe five or six times a year and most of them are unpleasant at the end, you know where it’s just like I wake up feeling worse than how I started. I guess I do, I don’t know if like this counts, it doesn’t count. It’s just going back to sleep. I’m like I do morning naps where I wake up and then go back to bed. But no, that’s just going back to sleep.
Because sometimes I will find that when I wake up super anxious, if I like do like a brief meditation and go back to sleep, I can kind of start the day over again. It’s like getting a little redo button. And that’s not like a true nap. That’s just deciding I didn’t like the way I woke up and trying it again.
Christopher Mitchell 15:29
Yeah, I used to sometimes pull the the desperation nap card, if I was remarkably hung over, I would be like, I just got to make it till 2pm. And then I’ll crash for a bit. You know, I actually like some of what I was saying…. I’ve utilized the naps, here and there, I’ve taken more than 10 naps in a decade, that’s for sure when I think about it.
But I think when you read out the Oxford Dictionary, it kind of changed my conception of what a nap is because sometimes I will just lie down knowing that there’s a 0% chance that I’ll sleep. But closing my eyes gives me like an important reset.
One thing that I wanted to make sure was clear when we were doing this episode is like in a world of endless distractions, and just a frustrating amount of notifications which require and yearn for your attention. The nap’s kind of a power move in a way, right?
Because you’re putting your phone on silent, you’re saying I’m committing 45 minutes to myself, like I’m currently… I feel like I need this nap, I’m going to put these 45 minutes aside or hour aside just to give a shit about myself. I kinda actually respect that.
But thinking about that, that probably speaks to the fact that I’m often just not necessarily great at always putting self care first for myself. And so yeah, I guess this episode for me is like about, you know, the fact that I probably could use, utilize the nap in my life a little bit better when I needed it. Because there are definitely some times when I just like caffeine away the desire for a nap. You just sort of get so like,
Mmhmm. Oh, yeah,
You know, caffeinated that you’re like, you’re like nap what’s a nap, you’re just like, just ripping like circles around the city block. But I do find especially now that I’m juggling so many different things. It is kind of a power move to be like, I’m gonna close my eyes, and I could care less what arrives on my phone in the next hour.
I’m just focused on me for a sec. Like, I think Bri legit gets excited when I say I’m gonna have a nap. She’s like, Oh, my God, look at this guy prioritizing himself. You know, it’s exciting. So I wanted to bring that side of it up, too.
Yeah, that’s interesting. I didn’t think about it like that. It is sort of going against the current of what people expect of you to kind of like, always be on and always be available. It’s like saying, actually, that’s optional and I don’t opt into that right now, today. That’s an important thing to remember.
Allison Green 17:52
For me. I don’t often nap. But I do often take like a quick time to like, lie down and either do like a meditation. Like I’ll say, like I’m trying to nap. But really, I’ll just kind of like lie down and just close my eyes and relax, and then just kind of like get up when I start to feel antsy. And it’s not like a nap in the true sense of the word, but it is restorative. And sometimes that’s enough.
Sometimes all you need is like that quick little time to just, I don’t know, just like, let your body catch up with your brain almost. And just like because your brains probably been going a mile a minute and your body is probably just like exhausted from trying to meet all of your brain’s demands. And so it can be nice for your body to just lie down and just focus on the sensations of like lying in your bed being supported by your bed, and curling up to like a soft pillow and just all the like kind of just being in your five senses for like a quick minute.
Christopher Mitchell 18:22
Allison Green 18:25
Even if it’s just 10 minutes, I find that to be like… even if it doesn’t necessarily raise my energy levels, it does make me feel calmer, you know. So that’s something I’ve kind of substituted for naps because I really struggle to fall asleep unless I’m completely physically at the brink of exhaustion.
Christopher Mitchell 19:06
Allison Green 19:06
I have to feel like my eyelids weigh 45 pounds before I can even dream of sleeping. I don’t understand those people who just like… and now we’re kind of going into sleep territory, so I’ll make it short, who just like lie down for like one second and then they like immediately start twitching and they only fall asleep for life.
I’m just like, what, what is happening? Do you just go somewhere? Are you possessed by some sort of sleep demon that just like makes you just sleep easily? Like what is happening
Christopher Mitchell 19:33
Can I hire them?
Allison Green 19:35
Yeah, I’d like that. It’s almost painful to watch someone fall asleep in front of you kind of and you’re just like, Oh, I want that. But that’s kind of how I feel with naps. I know there are so many people out there who like love the nap and can nap so easily. And I’ll just like lie there in bed and just be like, why isn’t this easy for me? It’s really easy for other people. This isn’t fair.
Christopher Mitchell 19:58
I’m failing. I’m failing the nap.aIt’s interesting. I mean, there’s a few things there that I caught my attention. I mean, the first thing being that I kind of saw like a bit of a correlation we just talked about in our previous episode on I’m anxious about airplanes about how sometimes it wasn’t even really, about what you were listening to, it was like the fact that putting in the headphones is a bit of a signal to those around, you’re like, I’m not available.
And I wonder if there’s a bit of like a correlation there with a nap that, really, it’s not really about what you’re doing. It’s about like sending that signal, like, I’m not available right now, like, I’m going into this room, whether I sleep or don’t is so almost besides the point, you’re making space for yourself. And that further reminded me like, kind of like with the meditation as well, right?
If you can put whatever label is convenient for you, for others, like I’m gonna go nap. But if you choose to close your eyes on a mat for 20 minutes and meditate, sure, I mean, whatever, it’s whatever works for you. It’s more about like putting up that signpost you know, putting on those headphones that like I’m getting into this place of considering my mentality and giving myself an opportunity to rest.
I actually meditate now probably on average, like two times a day. And I also do like some morning and afternoon stretches and stuff like that, which serve me I think, pretty well. And sometimes night stretches and stuff like that as well. So I’ve kind of all sorts of things, which, you know, maybe I’m not napping that much, but I am trying to give myself those chances to like recover.
I also, you know, I don’t want to go too far into sleep mode. But I I do find some of my best ideas do come to me when my eyes are closed or in the shower and I have those moments to actually think and that’s something we’ve talked a lot about on the episode, as well.
So there’s one thing that I can’t go through this episode without bringing up because it just, it was a fact that just it blew me away. And I think it’ll blow you away too. So I’m reading a tweet the other day from this fact, I was gonna say tweeter, but that makes me sound like I’m 7900 years old.
So anyways, I’m reading a tweet from an account that puts out facts. And they said, on average.
Allison Green 22:05
laughs That was much better.
Christopher Mitchell 22:06
Yeah, thank you very much. And they said on average, it takes a person blank minutes to fall asleep. How many minutes? Do you think it takes up the average person to fall asleep, Allison?
I don’t know. There are a lot of weird people out there. So it’s like trying to find the average. It’s hard. Hmm. I’m gonna guess these freaks only need like seven minutes.
Okay, so you’re right. It’s the average.
Allison Green 22:29
Christopher Mitchell 22:30
It’s seven. It’s seven. Yeah. The average person… impressive, by the way, golf clap.
Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe I’ve read that fact before or something because like, I don’t know why I was just like, Oh, it’s seven. You know, that number just kind of popped in.
And we have video now to prove that I wasn’t holding on my hands to give you the answer. Yeah. But anyways, My point being seven minutes… when I read that fact, I was like, it takes me seven minutes to get into bed to even get on to the train track of sleep, whatever that would be like, yeah, it takes me seven minutes to get through the initial rush to get to the door like I’m elbowing people preventing me from sleep, I picture like a crowd out front of our anxiety house that we reference all the time, just to get to the door of that house you know, it would take me seven minutes.
Allison Green 23:23
Christopher Mitchell 23:24
Now this used to like really bother me, like I used to basically close my eyes and then the entire time be like, wow, horrible at sleep, horrible at sleep. And I have shifted my mentality to now I’m focused on rest. And that’s what I need to do with napping is realizing like, whether you fall asleep or not is irrelevant. The nap is all about just giving yourself space to relax, think and reflect.
It did occur to me, like if I was alloting myself 45 minutes to fall asleep. There’s no chance it doesn’t take me almost the entire time just to fall asleep. And then I kind of wake up but it works out fine. Because they say like 15 minutes or whatever can be good. So it probably takes me half an hour of rest. And then I get like 15 minutes of sleep and I wake up feeling okay with 45 minutes, but seven minutes to me… like that fact, I was like, I don’t know what it usually takes me like, on a bad night, an hour or two on a good night, half an hour, 45 minutes.
And I can’t go too far down this path, I’m not ready to do IAA sleep. So we can back this up a little bit as it, you know, relates to napping. But I did feel like that fact there. If anybody else is with me on that, like, I don’t know, message us in the group or something like that. Seven minutes to me. We should do a poll on the we’re anxious about like, Is it more or less than seven minutes for you?
Allison Green 24:41
Christopher Mitchell 24:41
And I bet you that would be a smart idea. But anyways, what do you think?
I’m definitely veering on more. That’s crazy. I’m the same, if I actually allocated 45 minutes for myself to nap and was like, it’s okay that I’m getting 30 minutes of rest before the nap, I probably would nap more often. But the problem is I’m too ambitious with my napping and like a little unrealistic.
Allison Green 25:07
So what I’ll do is, you know, I’ll assume that… if I’m trying to nap I’ll generally put on like a napping guided meditation that’s like 15 to 20 minutes. And then I usually just like, get extremely antsy halfway through it. And I’m like, I’m not asleep yet. I’m not asleep yet. This is a waste of time. This is a waste of time, just stop, just look at the clock, look at the clock, like I have a such an…. And I have to really resist the urge to look at the clock when I’m meditating. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s that like little kindergarten voice kind of like trying to stare at the clock to see how much longer I have to lie down or Miss Shirley will yell at me and call my parents.
Christopher Mitchell 25:46
I feel like kindergarten was pretty tough for us, huh?
It was, it was, and I don’t know, I’m just really not good at napping, it’s too much work to relax sometimes, it feels like labor to relax.
Allison Green 26:02
And I usually don’t even let myself get to that point, because I just kind of keep myself in a stage of perpetual caffeination. Although I do stop caffeinating, usually by around two or 3pm, I try not to drink coffee after that, unless like I’m just so beat. And I know that I’m not really going to have that much of a lift from the coffee because I’m already like, I’m at like a negative 20. And like the coffee is only going to bring me up to a negative five anyway.
Christopher Mitchell 26:29
15 points on the coffee scale. That’s pretty good.
It is. Yeah, but it doesn’t break..
Minus twenty to minus five.
Yeah, it doesn’t veer into like the I actually feel awake and alive and not like death. But you know, something, it’s less death, like
It’s an interesting scale the minus 20 to plus 20 scale, I assume it goes to plus 20, I don’t know, I really obviously read into this.
I’m just making this up. And you really got excited about it. So I’m happy you enjoyed this scale.
Allison Green 27:02
But yeah, so napping for me, it’s just usually not happening. I will say there are like some scenarios in which I enjoy a nap. So paradoxically, my favorite kind of nap is the beach nap. We had our second episode, I think was I’m anxious about the beach. But one thing I love when I’m at the beach is like when I’m on a lounger — completely covered by an umbrella and coated in sunscreen, mind you because I’m pasty as can be.
I love that feeling when you’re like you’re reading a book under a sun lounger. And so your eyes just get really heavy. And you’re just like, I’m just, I’m just… then you’re just out like it’s just from being in the sun and like sitting and kind of letting your mind go I can nap.
And I love a bus nap. You know, like for some reason being on a bus. It just knocks me out. I love a good bus nap. So those are like, my two naps are extremely situational.
Christopher Mitchell 27:58
Allison Green 27:59
Yeah, they mostly have to do with being warm… on the beach or like being warm, because I find that buses usually run warm, with a bus nap. Also, it’s a slight defense mechanism against nausea. It’s like, oh, if I go to sleep, I won’t be nauseous on this bus. But those are my two naps that are kind of like… I don’t really categorize in the same way, though, because they almost happen kind of against my will, you know, where it’s just like, I actually just, oh, this is happening.
Christopher Mitchell 28:26
The bus nap, I understand from teaching, because at the end of a long day, it was nice to close your eyes for a second and listen to something or what have you. But I can’t say I’ve fallen asleep by accident that many times in my life. And I’ve mentioned that fact, for some reason a few times throughout this podcast, but like I just don’t recall that many times where I’ve fallen asleep against my will.
It’s usually like a very willful, like, I’m usually really, really going for it and cutting for it. Yeah, but I do think that, generally speaking, I’m starting to definitely see the benefits of just having your eyes closed. And just especially like, just throwing on a pair of sunglasses, as you mentioned, wherever that is in a park or a beach or whatever, and just being like, I’m just gonna rest and the rest of it can fuck right off, whatever.
The other thing I wanted to say about napping, and there’s not really too much more that we can dive into I don’t think in the realm of naps. But napping for me was always difficult when groups, you know, when being in groups was the thing.
I’m thinking particularly of like, there used to be occasions in the social world where you would go with like, a bunch of couples to like a cabin or something for a weekend or… Let’s just say for the sake of this story, like just being in another place with a bunch of people. You could be skiing, you could be… whatever you’re doing. I think I can’t nap in those situations because of what I’ll call the ADHD Jester complex, where I feel like it’s my job to be in just endless entertainment mode.
I just feel like if I nap in this like sort of conceited, narcissistic-potential way where you’re like if I nap, like the energy and the morale might go down quite a bit you know. And funny enough like you could perhaps someone went to go nap because they couldn’t handle the intense energy of like you being a jester in the first place.
Allison Green 30:23
Christopher Mitchell 30:25
Like if there was a big people were hanging out outside or whatever, like I was always jealous that people are like, I’m gonna go catch a nap for an hour like, I just don’t have that in me. I like to be part of the action. I like to be forming memories, making stories, keeping everyone you know, having a good time and I can usually push through. But yeah, I guess that would be the final hurdle for me in napping, the Jester complex, making sure that I’m you know, for some reason I’ve taken upon the… I also was gonna say jester crown but I feel like it’s probably more of like a bejeweled and bell-laden hat for a jester.
Yeah, it’s not really a crown, is it? It’s like a little felt, with little jingles.
Allison Green 31:04
I guess, like what a cat toy would have, like a cat toy turned into a hat.
Christopher Mitchell 31:10
Yeah, I will totally heed that argument.
So I feel like for some reason I put on the cat toy hat. And I actually quite honestly, like, I love just being with people, I get a lot of energy from that. And I just love you know, kind of like we do on the podcast sometimes where maybe meet somebody or you’re talking about something with somebody where you have a similar feeling, it kind of accidentally turns into a stand up routine, you know, where you’re just going down a ridiculous avenue and just having a good time.
I think part of me worries that, like, I want to be one of the people who is awake going down avenues that people create, and having a good time. And so and there’s also I mean, there’s too much energy and music going on. Like I just wouldn’t be able to fall asleep in the first place. But I did think the nap in relation to the Jester complex was perhaps worth bringing up before we wrap up the episode, you know.
Yeah, I can’t say that I share that, like, I would probably be the one pretending to nap while you jestered around because I need breaks from social situations. I just need like a moment sometimes.
Allison Green 32:08
But I would also be very jealous of the person who said they were going to nap and was actually napping, I get so jealous of people who sleep easily because it’s just something that’s been a struggle my whole life. And I also probably wouldn’t be able to sleep well on like a group outing, I think I would just be… it’s like too much stimulation to really turn off my brain successfully.
Christopher Mitchell 32:31
I picture you, perhaps like if you were going to quote unquote nap, just really closing the door, catching your breath, and then giving yourself a chance to run through all the things that you should feel shame for or be embarrassed about that have happened?
Probably, probably, I’d just be like, Oh, man, okay, so I accidentally said this. Now let me do a flow chart of which friends are gonna hate me for the rest of my life? And how likely it is it I need to assume a new identity? And how many people are going to talk about me? And is there going to be like a book or a movie written about my faux pas? It’s probably just gonna be a catastrophizing session as opposed to a nap.
Have you ever focused on one thing that you’ve said or did and then later you work up the courage to bring it up to someone you’re like, Listen, like about what happened before I just want to say… And they’re like, I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.
That happens frequently, where like, I’ll say something. Once I said something like, while I was hanging up the phone with someone and I just felt like it came out wrong. And I like was like wringing my hands about it for like, 20 minutes. And then I like had to call them back and be like, hey, so when I said that, I realized it came out like this. I’m so sorry. And they’re like, I don’t even remember you saying that.
And then you’re embarrassed about the call. You’re like,
Allison Green 33:57
Yeah, you were fine. Yeah, yeah
Christopher Mitchell 34:02
I don’t feel shame about the first thing. But now I called back and they didn’t even remember like…
Yeah, I know. I know. It’s so bad. It’s so bad.
What a complicated mess.
Allison Green 34:14
Okay, well, that’s some nightmare fuel for my next nap. Thank you. Yeah.
Christopher Mitchell 34:19
Well, is there anything else you wanted to chat about as it relates to the nap? Or do you want to give any last minute tips around the nap?
I’m trying to think of anything else I really, really wanted to say and hopefully this was exciting enough that we didn’t just sort of cause mass nappage while listening.
I mean, it maybe it’s like… I do like to listen to podcasts to put me to sleep. So if this has helped you nap, then I hate you. You’re so lucky. Just kidding.
Just kidding mostly.
But yeah, I again will just voice my praise for just like, consider it like an appointment with your bed.
Allison Green 35:00
Just like getting in and just like relaxing and just giving your body a chance to put your muscles in a different orientation… that sounded like way more chiropractor-y than it needed to be. I think it’s just because I’m like sitting on a like exercise ball, like while I’m recording this and my back and abs are like, you suck, we don’t wanna support you anymore, where’s the back of this chair, you stole it!
Moral of the story is I really need to get in shape. But yeah, I like naps, you know, just to stretch out and relax and sort of loosen up any muscles that have gotten wound into tightness from what how you were sitting, because like, I tend to, like contort myself into really horrific ways that I think are soothing my back pain, but are actually just exacerbating everything.
So like lying down is like a chance to be like, oh, oh, this is how my body can feel. This is nice. All right. And from that aspect, I like napping because it’s just a chance to like kind of just let my muscles work out their kinks and kind of unclench a bit. Even if my brain refuses to go anywhere.
Christopher Mitchell 36:17
Yeah, it’s important to realize that like I used to feel like because my mind was racing, that my body was unable to get any of the rest from lying down. But that’s just, it’s actually not the case.
I mean, you can lie there, listen to a podcast for an hour and your mind can be engaged, and you will still get plenty of the rest properties from just lying down. And that’s kind of worth remembering. And the way that I’ve come to think of it over the last 43 minutes or so is just the idea of meditation, when you brought it up was that, you know, it’s not really about how you meditate, it’s about the fact that you take time to try and meditate. And I had all sorts of preconceived notions about meditation that like, if I didn’t get to the fourth ring of enlightenment that I failed myself, but for the most part, you’re just taking a moment to observe your thoughts.
And I’m not sure napping is all that much different. You’re just trying to give a pause for yourself. And if you fall asleep, great, and if not, you still rested with your eyes closed. And that seems valuable to me. And I’m not necessarily someone you probably want to get tips from as it relates to sleep, I do okay for myself in the sleep realm. But sleep for me has always been a big like, I do it begrudgingly, because I need to function as a human being.
But I think I probably reading a few things about napping just from this episode and considering it,hat it could potentially be really valuable. I’m sure as I age and get up in years, that nap is going to be a card that I’m more happy to play.
And quite frankly, like I think with kids and all of that kind of stuff. I don’t really see parents talking too much about the thinking about naps on a philosophical level. Like most people I talked to have kids, they’re like, my child was in the other room. And so I face planted for 12 minutes onto the floor. And I think I napped, but I may have just gone into like a mild 12 minute paralysis.
So you know, I’m sure when I look back on this episode down the line, hopefully, I’ll laugh at myself that I ever thought that naps can be so controlled. But anyways, a fun thought experiment nonetheless. Yeah, I think I’m pretty good to go into wrap up mode. Any other? Yep, tips, tricks, advice of the nap realm? Or shall we do some back patting?
Let’s go ahead and move into the back patting. I don’t know that I can really offer anyone too much in the way of advice that I haven’t already kind of forayed into.
Yeah, same here. And I think also, this is probably one of those topics, like there’s a lot of topics that you know, related to anxiety that I feel like I’ve made a ton of headway on. And that I have, like I can legitimately be like, I was here as far as my anxiety related to this topic. And now I’m here and I’ve come a long way with this. But this is I think, a topic that both neither you or I are nap experts. This is more like a it says much us sort of venting and be like, hey, if anyone in our community on Facebook wants to let us know, the great nap tricks of our time, let us know but perhaps as much venting and learning as anything else.
And actually, sometimes when I will talk to friends or people or even people who just listen to this podcast about the show, I’m like pretty careful to mention that like there are some topics perhaps like this, that I’m just trying to learn more about what I actually feel but I don’t often get 45 minutes to an hour to talk about one thing and so like this idea that I’ve circled in my mind around the nap and meditation and how they’re similar in some way. I didn’t even consider that in some of the notes and things that I wrote in this episode. So it’s as much a process of discovery as anything else in this particular episode for me.
Yeah, I didn’t really fully understand the connection either until kind of verbalizing it here. So that’s kind of nice. If I just think of like, naps as meditation with a potential bonus, as opposed to like a pass fail course. That might be like a little bit of a kinder way to work with my relationship with napping. Yeah.
So what are you patting yourself on the back for, as in the last week or so? Or do you..
Allison Green 40:35
I was gonna ask you first.
Christopher Mitchell 40:36
Cool. Go for it.
Yeah, I’m ready to go on that. So all right, I’m patting myself on the back for making use of my new bike, I bought a… I actually bought a vintage bike, I love cycling, because I feel like when I’m on the bike, I don’t have room to do other things, right. So that’s kind of what I’ve talked before about why I love sports. Like, if I’m cycling, then I know I’m not checking my phone. No, I’m not worried about something else. It’s an activity, which requires all of my attention. And so I love cycling.
And I bought this vintage like 1960s 1970s bike off of an old Italian man, which is in great shape. And I had been putting off putting it to use because there’s a few things I didn’t know a lot about, for example, and this is, you know, I’ll try and keep this brief, so people don’t just turn the show off.
But I was trying to learn about how to utilize down tube shifting. Now, very, very briefly, this is just, it’s more manual shifting of gears, instead of the gears being on your handlebars, and you flipping up and down, it’s on, your actual kind of on the frame of your bike almost.
And, you know, with kind of anxiety or ADHD sometimes, and maybe this is just a human thing to be honest with you. But how sometimes when you have to learn something new, or you know, you’re gonna have to put something into practice, like, I need to know how to do it before I get on this bike, right, because I can’t be riding on the streets of Toronto completely unsure how to shift my bike, but I’ve been putting it off for a little bit.
And then finally, on the weekend, I was like, You know what, I’m just gonna really like give myself space to learn this, and I was able to get pretty comfortable with it pretty quickly. And I finally have a road bike that I can take on big trips, like 50 plus k. So like, I’m gonna ride my bike to my brother’s and to a few other places.
And I’m just excited to finally open that door, because now I’ll learn more about what else I need to know about it, it was almost that first big hurdle. And it was just sitting down in the garage, the apartment garage, just kind of locked up. And I’m happy I took it out for a spin because I’ve opened that door for me to do some learning and I can stop being anxious about the fact that I haven’t put this to use.
Not to mention, I try to really focus on activities that I know have a positive yield for my mental health. And I’m absolutely sure at this point that cycling is one of them. So by opening that door, I’m probably going to promote myself to do more cycling. And so I’m patting myself on the back for not letting that… I kind of think of it as like not letting the dust accumulate in the closet, like you’re so aware of the closet and we’ve done an episode on closets. So listen to that if you want to know more about this. But just kind of dealing with that before that got became an out of control problem where I bought a bike and then left it to gather dust in the garage. And so I’m patting myself on the back for doing that. What are you patting yourself on the back for?
All right, well, I have just been working on having less rigidity about like the kind of person I think I am and what I’m good and bad at so one of the things that I’m doing later this year is my stepmom is really into this like, she goes to this horse ranch in Wyoming where they do like a cattle drive on horseback and stuff and chase a bunch of cattle through the mountains or whatever.
Allison Green 43:48
And it was something I never thought I would say yes to but I said yes to doing it. And I am going to take some horseback riding lessons for it.
Christopher Mitchell 43:59
Allison Green 43:59
Because Yeah, my step mom… just my whole, like my stepmom, my stepsister, they’re very into horseback my stepsister’s coming with us too on this trip.
And normally I would just be like, Oh, that’s not something I’m good at, it’s not something I can learn. You know, I took horse riding lessons when I was younger, but I stopped due to anxiety, because I couldn’t keep the rhythm when I was trotting. Like I have a really bad sense of rhythm and counting, because my brain will go a million miles an hour when I’m only supposed to be counting to four over and over again, basically to like, because you’re supposed to shift your body to sort of like a count of four.
So like, I could never play music or anything, because I can’t just keep counting in my head over and over again. I just like start thinking about something else. And then I can never like lose myself in something.
So anyway, long story short, I used to ride horses and I stopped when I was younger. And so now I don’t think I’ll become like an equestrian by any means, but I’m not being like, well, I can’t ride horses or I won’t. So it’ll just be something different, and I’m fully prepared to like or dislike it, and it doesn’t necessarily…
Christopher Mitchell 45:05
reflect on your character. It’s not going to, yeah…
Allison Green 45:07
Exactly, exactly. And I don’t get some sort of medal for being like, No, I don’t like it or like, No, I can’t do that, you know what I mean?
Like I used to, for some reason, have a very rigid concept of who I am and what I like, and what are my likes and dislikes. And like that doesn’t actually serve me, I don’t actually enjoy things more or less by being like that. So this is like totally out of my comfort zone. And I expect it to be like hard, and I don’t really expect to love it, because it’s just like going to be physically demanding. And I’m really lazy, and I don’t like being physically challenged. So I’m definitely expecting a lot of mental pushback from myself, but I am signed on to do it. And it should be interesting and potentially embarrassing. So that’s cool.
Christopher Mitchell 45:51
Well, you know what, though, like, at least you’re giving yourself a chance to learn something either way, right? Yeah. And I think the biggest struggle of this period, at least for me, has been the way in which time sort of evaporated because I’m doing the same things over and over again.
So yeah, of course, a concept that I’m just you know, totally obsessed with is the idea that when we’re doing new activities, we’re forming new memories, which makes life feel longer. So, right, whether you fall in love with this or not, you’re giving yourself cause to form memories and elongate your life. And it’s gonna be noteworthy either way, right? Like, that’s kind of the way I think about it at this point is like, if you’re putting noteworthy things in your path, something which will be worth remembering, then you’re creating legitimate memories and elongated your life ultimately. I think that’s great.
Allison Green 46:39
As long as I don’t get trampled by a bunch of cattle. I’m pretty sure that’ll shorten my life considerably.
Christopher Mitchell 46:44
That’s true. And this podcast will be in pretty big trouble, because yeah, it will just be me being like, I, you know, there’ll just literally be the intro. I’m Christopher Mitchell. just pause just yeah, and then just nothing.
Allison Green 47:00
And then you just release that.
We don’t have a topic because my co-host is dead.
Christopher Mitchell 47:07
So which turns out complicates things with a podcast. When your co-host gets, you know, trampeled by cattle. I think it’s important that I knock on wood here because I yeah..
Allison Green 47:19
Me as well. I don’t know if this is wood, but knock away anyway.
Christopher Mitchell 47:23
Yeah, it’s like to at least pretty important to me that you don’t.
Allison Green 47:28
Christopher Mitchell 47:29
And all jokes aside, it’s kind of very important to me that you don’t get trampled by cattle.
Allison Green 47:34
Yeah, I’ll do my best. I’m pretty sure they’ll do their best too because I’m pretty sure that would kind of decrease bookings if their guests had a history of getting trampled by cattle.
Christopher Mitchell 47:44
Yeah, that’s true. I’m sure it’s very safe.
I’m pretty sure they know what to do. But yeah.
I think that makes sense to me. Well, I like that idea. I think it should be good fun. I mean, anything that I haven’t done that someone else is doing now, like gives me a fair bit of like, Oh, that sounds good. I’m politely jealous.
But like, you know, when you’re slightly jealous, like in a kind of a nice way where you’re like, I’m, yeah, I’d like to do that. But like, I’m genuinely happy for you. Not the like, shitty vindictive jealousy, where you’re like… This is probably for another episode. But I’ve actually done a good job of eradicating that from my life. For the most part, I don’t regularly look at other people. And I’m like, I would trade my existence for yours. You know, like, if only I could be that.
And that’s largely because I started to listen to more podcasts where people are sharing from the heart and I realize all you know, these people that you create this fanciful existence of, everybody has their own struggles anyways, right? So it’s like, it’s more useful for me to just focus on how to make the most of the life that I have than it is to idolize and yearn for and fantasize this fanciful life that doesn’t even exist for the person that I’m imagining it for. Right. But that’s for another day in another episode probably
Allison Green 48:53
Very true. Indeed. Yes.
Well, that was a nice and short and sweet episode. I think we made some headway. I don’t think I’m going to be taking a nap after this, though.
Christopher Mitchell 49:04
No, absolutely not.
Allison Green 49:05
Not feeling it. I think I need In fact, I think I’m so scared of napping now that I’m going to go make a cup of coffee to make sure that I don’t want to nap today.
Christopher Mitchell 49:14
Yeah, you’re going to have the anti-nap. So for me, it’s it’s a little bit later in the day. So it’s like the nap would be potentially more catastrophic. But um, you know, it wasn’t on my radar. Once I knew I was talking about it today. It just wasn’t on my radar. I just knew that wasn’t gonna be possible for me. And it rarely is.
But I did really enjoy talking with this topic today, actually. And I think I’ve come up with some takeaways.
Allison Green 49:35
It was fun.
Christopher Mitchell 49:35
And hopefully other people have as well. And, you know, either way, however you felt about it. We’ll be back with more next week. And yeah, we hope you enjoyed this one. And we’ll, we’ll catch you soon.
Have a great week, everyone. See you next week.