How are you sleeping at night? This is one of the first questions I ask when working with an individual. Quality of sleep is often a great revealer of the level of stress or sadness in a person’s life. Stress, fear, and sadness all impact our sleep cycles so it’s important to pay attention to this area of our lives. Your quality and length of sleep at night will impact your health and ability to navigate stressful situations during the day.
Here are three ideas about how to create a new nightly routine to help your sleep become deeper so that your stress and sadness can become smaller.
1. Try bedtime yoga. - A good bedtime yoga routine can help you slow down . This change will not happen overnight, but in time this regular practice will begin to signal to your mind and body that it is time to rest. Yoga with Adrienne has a great free option if you are looking for a place to start. (Always remember to check with your doctor before making major changes to your physical routines).
2. Create a gratitude journal. - Before you turn off the lights write down a few things that happened during your day for which you are grateful. Taking note of both small things (like receiving a funny text from a co-worker) and larger moments (like booking your dream vacation) can help develop a sense of gratitude. Ending your day with a moment of gratitude can help you enter into more peaceful rest.
3. Schedule your worry. - Instead of worrying right before you go to bed (because it may wake you up in the middle of the night) try before you go to bed pull out your planner or calendar app and schedule 5 to 10 minutes of worry for tomorrow. When that time arrives the next day then give yourself permission to lean into the worry, the “what ifs,” and the stress. Feel free to write out your worries during that brief period of time. When the timer goes off then make sure you move on to the next item on your schedule for the day. Saving time for worry until tomorrow will help you sleep tonight.
These are just a few tips of how your might improve your nightly routine. If these ideas are helpful or if you would like to talk more about your stress and sadness with a counselor, then please contact Jessica to schedule a free 15-minute consultation to help you create a new routine for success.