Quick Tip - Handle Stress # 1
One of the main components of stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed. We're overwhelmed by our perception of the load that we carry; the things we have to do, the deadlines that are looming, the things we haven't done yet, or the things we didn't do but wish we had. These thoughts tend to recycle into a never ending story of the same old same, a feedback loop that wakes us at 2am, a not so jolly merry-go-round that really serves no purpose except making us more stressed. We assure anyone that will listen that nothing is really wrong, but for some reason we're not sleeping, or worse, start to dread going to sleep. Maybe there is just too much going on in that head of yours?
One common advice is to write down everything that is on your mind when you do wake at 2am (or 4am, checking how much time there is left until the alarm goes off), and although this is good advice, it is quite a hard thing to do. It is hard because we don't really want to get out bed, or we don't want to disturb our partner by turning the lights on, and if you have ever tried to write in the dark you know what it is like deciphering your unreadable handwriting in the morning. That's me talking from experience here. Great ideas have been lost due to this, I am sure.
So instead, maybe try one of these suggestions instead:
1) At the end of the day before going to bed, write a few short paragraphs reflecting on the day. It doesn't have to be anything big or dramatic, just a few thoughts on how your day was. How did you feel? What did you do, what didn't you do? Did anything happen out of the ordinary? Or just ordinary (which is fine as well). What was the best thing that happen that day? The worst? This way you will see your day more clearly, and most importantly, clear your head. Now it is out, not in there churning around like it has a mind of its own. I find having a full page diary for this purpose works well, that way I can limit myself to how much I will write.
2) Is your deadline looming, or do you have too many projects going on at once? Make a quick list of everything you can think of that is going on, big or small, anything you think you have to do/achieve/create/accomplish/complete. Remember, better out than in. Now with your list, you will need to determine what is your priority task(s). Once you know what is the absolute priority and start working on it, you will soon see what tasks needs to come after and become the next priority etc. My favorite thing to do is to set a timer for each task, maybe 20 min depending on the size of it. If a task takes longer, re-set the timer again. Allow yourself a break after 90 minutes before re-focusing back onto your 20 min task.
3) Make a list of things to tackle for the next day. This way you already know what is going to happen tomorrow, and what you are going to do etc, which means there is no need to wake in the middle of the night to figure it out.
Either way, once the problem/worry/issue is OUT of your head, your perception of it should change, and you can see what it really going on. Your head space should be clearer and you might just get a full nights sleep again!
Disclaimer: Always consult a health professional for any serious health issue and if your sleep problem persists
Susy Egneus -
Founder of Bodyworkz, sharing thoughts, facts and ideas about living a stress free life, and what mobile chair massage is all about!