Dealing with stress is a normal part of everyday life and certainly today, more than ever, many of us are connected to the world nearly every waking minute and that everyday pressure can be overwhelming to the point that it keeps our minds overheating and stopping us from sleeping well at night.
From personal experience, that anxiety used to often hit me late at night just before lights out and it was terrible.
I would lie in bed and go over and over in my mind all the things that needed doing the following day. My worries seemed all consuming- I was incapable of parking my thoughts. All night long I watched the clock tick, tossing and turning until my back was excruciatingly painful, managing only an hours sleep each night at around 5am. It was a living nightmare and lasted for about eight months.
I got through my insomnia by listening to my body and changing my pre bed habits and one of those habits was my sleep schedule and most importantly what I wore to bed, but it was also my mind keeping me up that was a problem and that was when my research began into how to deal with anxiety and stress.
Like much in life, if we really want to feel better we have to have a coping mechanism, a way forward that we can have in our toolbox for those days when things don’t go quite according to plan. Here are our great tips, that can really make a huge difference – they did for me!
1. No Phones! Firstly, what time do you put down your phone? – two hours before bed would be great and no phone charging by the bed or using it when you are in bed and even better try keep it in another room when charging it.
A phone free day as part of your weekend –could you do it? it really helps balance the mind!
2. Have a wind down routine for your mind before bed
3. To deal with your thoughts without letting them bog down your sleep, allow yourself fifteen minutes at the beginning of your wind down routine to write a ‘to do’ list and prioritise the list in order of priorities.
Writing things down means you actually feel like you are dealing with them analytically as opposed to emotionally and helps us feel more constructive as opposed to worried and emotional
4. Timetable some time in the day for thinking. It won’t need long but it will prevent you staying up for hours in the middle of the night and you might find some great solutions. I call this my worry time and just fifteen minutes can help straighten the mind. It would be great if you can find a quiet place for this – it could be a walk, a coffee, but it allows you time to think of the problem and how you can find solutions for it in practical ways and after those fifteen minutes are up, it helps those anxious thoughts to calm and settle down , because you know you have dealt with them.
5. THIS IS NOT THE TIME!
Establish in your mind a firm rule that the next time negative thoughts enter your mind, say to yourself “no, this is not the time. My bed is for sleep not worrying.”
When you are in bed there is no time for worrying only sleeping. If you catch yourself worrying throughout the day, remind yourself that you have set aside some time to deal with your worry and not to think about it now and focus your mind on the task in hand and be strict with yourself on postponing thoughts - this way you have developed good healthy habits to move forwards with.
So to recap, some key tricks to help put stress to bed:
Confronting those worries that are keeping you up at night for just a few minutes in the day, will stop them interfering in your night time routine.
Build a strict routine of when you are allowed to think about things – set aside time during the day and don’t deviate.
Being proactive about how you deal with stress will automatically reduce the amount of stress you feel on a daily basis.
And of course..Wearing the familiar softness of Homebody every night will feel comforting and familiar and will calm mind body and soul.