I set out this week to write a post on Easter and the delicious mains and sides that you can make to wow your family. I had a title, I had content, I had no motivation to write it. Instead I want to focus on something that has been plaguing me for a while, anxiety. I feel like as soon as I stepped out of my comfort zone to even think about starting my own business this nasty little affliction started to take hold. I will be driving down the road, about to go to bed, or sleeping, and abruptly my heart starts racing and my thoughts go wild.
At first this sudden, alarming change really scared me. It takes me deep into my inner bitch. I am temporarily paralyzed with extremely negative thoughts or, in the case of waking up suddenly, extremely confused and unsettled.
I have found some ways to combat the monster. The first thing I do is take deep breaths. I breathe in (2,3,4) and out (2,3,4) over and over again until my heart stops racing. I read somewhere recently that the deep breaths we naturally take as children are the most restorative but as we grow up and get busy our breaths becomes shorter and actually less helpful to our entire body. So, I think about exactly where my breath is traveling throughout my body as I take it. All the little anxiety pockets it is filling up and bursting. Not only is this a fun, magic school bus-esque visual to take part in, it also makes taking really slow, steady deep breaths a breeze. If I am attempting to go back to sleep I will try to keep my eyes closed for thirty minutes. I swear this is the adult version of counting sheep. If you are ever having trouble sleeping just try to keep your eyes closed for thirty minutes, you’ll be out in no time. If I am up then I try to focus on what is going well (the great meals I made that week, how efficient I am getting in the kitchen, my exciting event coming up). Little things to remind me I am succeeding and quiet the inner bitch.
It is remarkable to me that on nights where I am really disciplined and do not look at my phone, computer, or social media for an hour or two before bed I do not have these creeping terrors. Yet, on nights where I basically fall asleep with my phone in my hand reading emails or messages, I am almost guaranteed to wake up restless. Study after study proves it. Make your bedroom a No Work space. Since I have transitioned mine into a space free of my computer, and instituted a no cell phones after 10pm rule, these anxiety flare ups have diminished drastically.
So what to do with your now free pre-bed time you ask? I have listed some AMAZING options to do instead below:
- Netflix’s Queer Eye, never have I ever fallen so deeply so quickly for a reality TV show. These men and the fabulous subjects of each episode bring endless joy.
- Billions, season 3 just came out and I am catching up on the rest right now. It is epically binge-worthy.
- Jumanji (the new one): Honestly, I didn’t want to love this. I thought it was going to be so stupid or like the old one which terrified me. I was pleasantly surprised with a refreshing comedy.
- A Gentleman in Moscow, I am in the middle of this and try to only read a chapter a night. This is hard to stick to because it is near impossible to put this book down. An incredibly well written piece about a former Count after the bolshevik revolution in Russia who now is on house arrest in a hotel. His witty commentary on life, his captivating story telling, and his interesting comrades keep you engaged and wanting more.
- How to Fight the Presidents: Dry comedic writing at its best. This book is jam packed with interesting facts about each of our Presidents up to Reagan all woven into how they would perform in a fight and how you would defeat them in said fight. Sounds outrageous, is outrageous, buy it now you will not regret it.
- Meditation or a relaxing yoga practice
- A bath with essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus to calm your mind and body.
Do you suffer from sleep anxiety or any other form that grip you with sudden racing heart and mind? If so, try these steps and let me know how they work for you! Also, let me know if you do something to calm yourself down that works well!