Hi all!!!! Hope you are doing ok and finding ways to connect with others for support as well as fun. I have heard so many people say they are waking up in the middle of the night, their mind racing and they are having trouble falling back to sleep.
I wanted to share three tools that have helped me get back to sleep. Whether it was marital stress, pregnant hormone sleepless nights, baby brain, having teenagers or menopause, these tools have worked for me. The first one is from my childhood and it still works!!!
1. When you wake up and your mind is off and running lay on your back and close your eyes. Start at your feet. Squeeze only your feet. As hard as you can, hold your breath for a count of 10 (if you can) or 5 and build up. Then release. Move up to just your knees. Isolate and squeeze just your knees. I know it is hard to squeeze just your knees. That is part of the mental challenge, isolating your muscles. Continue isolating each part of your body. Your calves, quads, hamstrings, stomach, chest, hands, bicep, shoulders, neck, face muscles etc. When you have done the whole body part by part then inhale and squeeze the whole body, really tight, hold the breath, count. Release. Do the whole body 3 times. You should be exhausted and relaxed physically. Let yourself drift back to sleep.
2. The second way works for me if I have a specific worry, a worry that has been with me for some time and when it pops in it, likes to take over. I physically get up. Sit on my meditation cushion and do a meditation for 3, 7 or 11 minutes. I am usually ready to easily go back to sleep after that. You can use either of the recent meditations I have shared. The one for the negative mind or the one for the heart. I have used both for middle of the night mental clearing! You will find the negative mind meditation at the end of the yoga class that is attached to this email (we are on day 14 of the practice as of this newsletter). Jump in and join us if you haven’t already.
Do it. Just start! Try to do it everyday!!!! I promise you it is a habit that will serve you for the rest of your life. The meditation for expanding your heart and protection and projection is posted on my Instagram on my IGtv. If you need help finding it please reach out.
3. The third thing that helps me get back to sleep is to write. Keep your journal next to your bed so you don’t have to run around looking for it. Just get it all out on the paper. Everything that is flooding your mind. It doesn’t need to make sense or look good on the paper. Just cough it all up as we say in coaching. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation. Just let it be stream of consciousness. Whew, it will feel good. You will feel so much lighter and ready to drift back off.
Here’s to better sleep. It is so important. It is fundamental for mental health. We need to rest our mind and body so we stay healthy. Sending you all love.
Courtney Gebhart, Life Coach, Kundalini Yoga teacher, and Human Being.