My mind has difficulty completely shutting down so I tend to wake up frequently and very rarely feel rested.
I think a lot of people have this problem and regardless of how much I read before I go to bed, how long my electronics are aways from me, how exhausted I might feel; it really doesn’t matter because a good night’s sleep is a very rare occurance.
Last night was particularly irritating because I couldn’t fall assleep either, which is not typically a problem for me, but I seriously tossed and turned for an hour thinking about who knows what, trying not to crawl out of my own skin.
Then I remembered the one useful tip I ever took from yoga.
(I personally don’t care for yoga and feel very much like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love when she was distracted by building her own yoga room, the entire duration of her meditation…ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I have trouble staying quiet.)
Anyway, this yoga teacher I met during one of my stays in treatment, told me to use this mantra, which sounded like a soothing lullaby, and gently press the tip of my thumb to each one of my fingers as I sung it in my hear or out loud in bed.
Apparently the combination of these two things was supposed to be calming, and one night out of desperation I tried it.
“Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…”
I methodically touched my fingers to one another and continued the verse for a few mintues.
That was all I remember because I fell assleep shortly after!
So that is definitely one trick I have been using to aid with my sleep issues recently, but the method I prefer most often is prayer.
I apologize to God almost daily because I typically fall asleep during my nighttime ritual, but speaking with my higher power is something I have done since I was a little girl.
When I started, sitting next to my Mimi after she read me a bedtime story, I had a standard prayer I said every night; “Now I lay me down to sleep…”
But now I tend to talk to the Lord as a friend, and I find it so calming it puts me to sleep. (FYI, I found out God doesn’t really care when you pray, so sometimes I finish up in the morning, while taking a walk, driving, whenever…)
Perhaps it is because my mind is on happier things…not necessarily worrying about all the aspects of life I normally do in a day, but it is really comforting to confide in someone who I don’t feel is judging me in a negative way, and who accepts my faults as they are.
The reason I bring this up today is to serve as a reminder for me, that on nights when I wake at 3 am and cannot sleep, I do have skills that are positive and might do the trick to cure my insomnia. <—Last night I just spent an hour being annoyed and staring at my ceiling.
But also, and probably more importantly, to combat the New Year’s resolutions I am so sick of hearing about on TV.
Even my beloved Today Show harps on losing weight and exercising more as the best options for NY promises, and of course those are great, but there are other things people can adopt to improve upon, as well, and I feel like we, as a society, lose sight of them this time of year.
I won’t do the cliche New Year’s Resolution post and then recap it at the end of the month, and forget about it the other 11 months of the year, because I am hoping my aspirations stick for the rest of my life.
So instead of a resolution, I prefer to think of these as daily goals, for now, and then hopefully just good habits:
1. Continue improving my relationship with God, since it definitely fell by the way side in the depths of being sick.
2. Be a better family member, friend, and person.
3. Have more patience with people, my animals, and myself.
4. Volunteer more and appreciate the things I was blessed with, rather than being so mopey about things no one really cares about but me (um, poor body image should not be a reason to stay in my house all day and be sad…no, I should be thankful I still have mobility and use of a lot of my organs…)
I want to feel good about myself as a whole person, and a lot of why I was abusing my exterior was because I was not happy with my interior; where true beauty should lie.
I am not going to be one of those people who tells you appearance is not important, because let’s face it, in today’s world, it really doesn’t hurt to be attractive, but that means nothing if you are boring, mean, and miserable.