Taming a Restless Mind
I have been unwell for the past week with a Sinus infection. It has seriously impacted my ability to get a restful night’s sleep. Each morning I have woken feeling as if I’d been out all night. This was not the case however, not during a pandemic and certainly not with two small children to take care of! It took me a long time to realise it (years) but sleep for me is a vital component for my mental health.
The loss of so many hours impacts me greatly. I notice the thoughts coming in… “do more…that’s not enough…you’re working for yourself now you need to keep going’ and so on…
When this happens it takes every ounce of my being to slow myself down. I literally have to take myself by the scruff of the neck and put me sitting on the couch. I remind myself loudly but gently “you are good enough, you don’t need to do more, you need to do less, rest”
I go between doom scrolling to distracting myself with a Netflix binge, anything to avoid what is actually happening!
In that moment now however I listen and agree, I send compassion to that part within who always felt it wasn’t okay to take a break, that ‘doing’ was the only way to be good enough. I now send compassion to that young part but it wasn’t always that way hence why the ‘do more’ thoughts pay a return visit with the hope of igniting an old friends reunion! I know better now so I use all the techniques I have learned, sometimes it may take a little while to kick in but I am glad I can do it.
This negative thinking was always an unconscious process for me but I spent many years making it conscious so I could recognise it and make the gentle changes needed to slow down, just be and heal. This is especially true when you are sick, your body can repair itself but only if you give it the chance to do so.
So this evening I am taking a few gentle steps to improve my self care. They are simple but for me they work. A hot shower before bed instead of the morning. New clean sheets. A herbal night time tea. Music that grounds me. Reminding myself that today is all that matters and as my sleep improves so too shall my energy and outlook.
Never underestimate the power of sleep. Are there any changes you could make?