I’m pretty sure I have already told you guys that I suffer from anxiety. Couple that with being an introvert that would rather stay to themselves and the conversations that I have in my head are non-freaking-stop. I’ve learned to cope with it pretty well (and even have tried out some apps that help) but my anxiety and overthinking usually brings another friend along with them. Hello insomnia. Anxiety and a good nights sleep do not couple well. Some nights it seems like no matter how much I try to relax my mind, I cannot turn the switch off in my brain and go to sleep. I’ve come up with some easy and effective methods to calm myself down, shut the switch off and at least get a couple hours of sleep.
Journal before bed – This helps to get the ideas out of my head. I find that if I write down at least some of the trillion things that I am thinking about, they stay out long enough for me to fall asleep. Journaling also helps me remember things because… mommy brain. I come up with some pretty good content ideas when I can’t sleep. Write it down so it’s out of your head.
Listen to music – And then my focus is on one thing. Music has always been one of the ways I was able to get out of my head. We cosleep (unfortunately LOL) so I’m not in the bed doing any late night karaoke. But singing along in my head helps zero in on one thought.
Read until you’re asleep – That probably sounds bad. And I’ll admit I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. But I used to love reading. I’m able to block everything out around me. Just like listening to music it helps my thoughts zero in on a specific thing so I’m not thinking about 8297008980420 other things.
Meditation and Relaxation – This method actually takes a lot more effort for me. Calming myself down is a process. Since meditation involves actively focusing on one thing I have to actually WORK to make this work. But coupled with deep breathing it not only calms my mind but my entire body.
No caffeine a few hours before bed – My insomnia in my 20s used to be WAY worse than it is now. I quickly found out that caffeine any time after 6 is my enemy. I cut out the red bull (I know, don’t judge me) and I make sure to limit my soda/coffee intake. If you already have problems getting to sleep on your own you don’t need any assistance.
These are only a few ideas that help me but when researching I’m sure you can find a ton of other ideas. Aromatherapy, essential oils and weighted blankets are all things I have heard great reviews on but have not tried myself. I do recommend trying out a few different methods and seeing what works for you. Everybody is different, and every night is different. Some nights I can write and go to sleep and some nights I have to try 3 different methods before I am able to calm myself down. Anxiety and a good nights sleep don’t often go hand and hand but it doesn’t have to be crippling. And of course, if you feel like it’s something you cannot manage alone then you should definitely seek professional help.
Do you suffer from anxiety or insomnia? What are some things that help you get to sleep?
You probably read the title and was like girl, what?! Listen, I’ve learned from the internet it’s not just me. January literally feels like the longest month ever. We wait all this time for the new year to roll around and then the first month of the new year feels like a whole year in itself. Despite all of that, January was good to me. All 82508432 days of it. I learned some important things and I got some really great takeaways. As someone with few resolutions, self improvement is really the most important aspect of growth for me and I’m happy the first year of 2019 showed up.
*This was originally posted in June 2014 and featured on my old blog =)*
Believe it or not my post today was inspired by last nights dose of ratchet reality TV. I’m pretty sure everyone is familiar with #LHHATL whether you watch the show or not and honestly it’s not the only show that puts an extreme lack of self-love in full view for the world to see. Reality TV constantly puts women (and sometimes men) in the forefront to be …. embarrassed (for lack of a better word). As I sat and watched all I could think about is how Mimi is too daggone old to be so dependent on the love of another person that’s she’s completely blinded to them taking advantage of her.
In my later teenage years I really struggled with loving myself. I was never really equipped with that kind of thing growing up and that’s not to discredit my upbringing at all because I was for the most part extremely happy (and I also believe generational patterns and cycles have a lot to do with things like this). But I was never taught the value of self. My first real relationship where someone “loved” me was even more damaging to me in terms of self-esteem and self-confidence. I honestly felt like at 18 years old I NEEDED to be accepted by this person who did nothing but tear me down in soooo many ways, disguising it as love. And I continued to portray the happy girl on the outside so that no one would catch wind of my insecurities.
Thankfully and (I honestly feel like) by the grace of God I met my boyfriend (who was of course a friend back then). He became a person I felt completely comfortable in confiding in and in the beginning of our friendship he taught me so much about loving me first. I truly believe that God can send you people to convey messages that you might not be hearing so clearly directly from Him. I could be completely wrong but either way our friendship was my saving grace. Leaving my old relationship I spent months and months working on me and building myself back up to a point where I felt like it was OK to just be me. I began focusing on my dreams and my own aspirations and it was a completely different feeling not needing someone to validate or confirm my emotions.
In any case, I said all of that to say to be successful in anything in life it starts with yourself. Validation and confirmation from another person will only take you so far. I feel more equipped now than I ever have before to love other people because I trust myself to know the limits of that love. I trust myself to be an amazing mother and teach my son the value of himself so that he never feels the need to seek other peoples idea of his worth. And I know for a fact I’ll mess up. There’s no such thing as a perfect human-being but I’m glad I have an amazing support system to pick up where I lack. And I don’t depend on or need them, but it’s nice to have them there.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about loving yourself?