Goodnight, Mama:: 10 Ways to Beat Stress and Get Sleep

Sleep.

Essential. Necessary. Sometimes difficult.

I don’t have to remind you of how stressful life has been these days. You’re living it; you get it. For many of us, this added stress socially distances us from Mr. Sandman. But, let’s not dwell on viruses, uncertainty and feeling overwhelmed. Instead, let’s figure out what could work best to combat all the stress! Because sleep is so vital, and a good good night’s rest could change how we handle each new day!

Decent Bedtime

While we’re home without concrete wake up times in place, it’s easy to ignore bedtimes. But, having a decent bedtime is an important step toward a restful slumber. Try to stick with your usual bedtime. I try to get to bed by 11 PM. I have plenty of time for a full night’s sleep, even if my kids wake up in the middle of the night or I toss and turn for a bit. It’s all about setting yourself up for the best chance at rest and sticking with a regular bedtime. 

Cut Down on Screen Time

Winding down without screens helps relax your mind and prepare for sleep. The lights and sounds from the T.V. or your phone stimulate your brain and make it difficult to shut down. Give yourself at least a half hour of no screens before bedtime. Emails can wait. Binge watching can be held off until tomorrow. Let your mind chill. 

Free Your Mind

Meditation has become a mainstay for me, and I’m sure it can help you too! Quieting your mind before bed helps drift into sleep more easily. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed as you lay your head down is a surefire way to keep your mind racing all night. Take some deep breaths. Do some light stretching. Let go of the day, and settle your spirit.  

Oil Up!

Essential oils are extremely helpful for creating a peacefully balanced sleep environment. You can find roll-on oil blends or pure oils and oil diffusers online. Filling my diffuser with a blend of lavender, sandalwood and orange works for me {and maybe a little eucalyptus when my sinuses are acting up}. The relaxing scents are refreshing and pleasant without being overwhelming… perfection!

Positive Thoughts

2020 has proven to be a bit much for us all. But, your thoughts dictate much of how the year affects you. Before bed, try focusing on the positives of your day. Made some memories with the kids? Reflect on those. Enjoyed a project you worked on? Caught up with a friend via Zoom? Focus on how the experiences positively affected your day. Let your last thoughts before bed be happy ones. 

Plan Ahead

I’m a planner by nature, so being organized for tomorrow helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed about everything I’ll need to accomplish. I’m sure you’ve got a lot on your daily plate as well, so try jotting down a list for the day to come. That way, it’s no longer on your mind, but on the paper instead. The goal is to clear your mind as much as possible and welcome a tranquil reset. 

Scrub-A-Dub-Dub

Goodnight, Mama:: 10 Ways to Beat Stress and Get Sleep

Enjoy a nice hot bath or shower! Washing off the day is such a great way to prepare for bed. A soak in the tub with some bubble bath and epsom salt or using your favorite exfoliator in the shower will prepare your body for bed and leave you smelling fresh.

Bedtime Stories

I enjoy some light reading before bedtime! Typically, I read a chapter of some kind of self-help book. Right now, I’m reading How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex by C. Nicole Swiner, M.D., a book all about finding balance and taking on only what you can handle. It’s perfect for before bed and a great reminder as to why a good night’s sleep is so vital. A positive message pre-snooze helps create a positive mindset. 

Put Down the Vino

Sacrilege, I know; hear me out. Yes, wine helps promote relaxation. I look forward to a glass or two in the evening, but moderation is the name of the game. A bottle of wine too close to bedtime might end up making you uncomfortably groggy or tipsy and may lead to a hangover feeling in the morning. That’s not helpful for a productive day. Just take it easy, and avoid drinking a couple hours before bed. 

Same Time Tomorrow

I think back to when my first son was born, and I was told that a bedtime routine would be my saving grace. Routine. We all need routine. Yes, our day-to-day routines have been interrupted as of late, but one routine we can control is bedtime. Figure out what works best for you, and make it yours. Tweak it and master it… then rest up! You’ve got big things to do in the morning!

 


For more on how to care for your mental health during Pandemic, check out this resource from our friends at Next Level Urgent Care. 


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