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Rise and Thrive with Applied Mermaid: Diving Deep into ABA while Navigating RBT > BCaBa > BCBA waters

I’m currently sleeping at 9:30 PM each day to fight off a cold one of my kiddos gave me while giving them ABA therapy at work. They clearly had yellow snot but what kid that age doesn’t have some form of snot coming out of their nose that would be alarming enough to have them sent home?

The parent most likely won’t have the means to take care of them because ABA therapy is a place to drop their child off and receive exceptional, concentrated, one on one care from board certified therapists while they go to work and provide for their families.

Hence why we are considered front line workers, or first line responders. Whichever way you would like to see it, anyone going to their job during a pandemic has been risking their health to put others in front of theirs. Particularly those working with patients. And yes, in ABA our clients are our patients in need of quality care and our demographic is typically more vulnerable to colds and flus because many of these children can’t tell you when they are sick and need to stay at home to get the proper rest they need to recover and not infect therapists and other patients in a clinic.

Now, the cop that gave me a citation for speculation of being at fault in a minor car accident with no injuries is really testing his limit on meeting quota day each first of the month!

With going to sleep earlier comes rising much earlier as well. The vastness of dark space and the little noise you can make around 4:30-6:30 AM feels daunting to be up around.

But I finally decided to suck up the anxiety of the dark vastness interacting with my looming thoughts and did all the miscellaneous things that require little effort that would take away about two hours of my morning during sunrise hours.

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Next thing you know the coffee is brewing, the instagram feed is being scrolled through, and it’s 7:00 AM on a Saturday before Easter on an unusually cold morning in Florida on a spring day.

For some reason waking up in darkness seems to make our minds focus on dread, imperfections, and anxiety of unfinished things. Which is why most people are not keen to wake up at this time. But, with that being said the early bird that rises before the sun rays has the advantage of picking at their brain enough to want to focus on the important stuff by the time the light is shining through their windows. Plus, it makes for a spectacular view if you are facing towards the East.

To wake up earlier I recommend setting an alarm and rising an hour earlier than you usually would each day and rewarding yourself with something each morning: a Starbucks coffee, small sweet, etc. Each week implement this change to reflect rising an hour earlier up to your desired wake up time. No particular wake up timer is better than another but studies do show keeping up with a natural nocturnal rhythm of rising with the sun and maintaining 7-9 hours of sleep is best. Some people need more sleep so plan accordingly.

If you would like to take data to keep yourself accountable you can download my 5:45 AM morning streak chart to help you on this challenge.

I hope you can rise and thrive to the occasion of life.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Pastrana

Grad Student + RBT.

Writer & Host of Applied Mermaid: Diving Deep into ABA while Navigating RBT > BCaBa > BCBA waters.