New rituals I’ve been adding recently for better sleep & more headspace
This might sound weird to you, considering the fact I’m sleep deprived (being a new mom), lately I’ve been struggling to sleep. The combination of waking up at random hours (to feed Maya) with going back to work + other changes that have been going on in my life recently, have been keeping me awake at night. I either struggle to fall asleep or I struggle falling back to sleep after waking up for a night feed. My body is confused, and my mind is over-active. Also, I have less time to process information, thoughts and ideas – so they have all been going to bed with me! Beside the well-known effects lack of sleep has on our body, it’s a big block to our creativity, inspiration and intuition. Sleep is the time when the body has a chance to repair. If that doesn’t happen on a regular basis our energy is weakened, which diminishes our ability to be present. Being present is the key to a joyful, inspiring, creative and thriving life. That’s when you can solve problems, come up with brilliant ideas and attract great things to your life. If you struggle with sleep because it’s low on your priority list, you might want to explore your mindset -- Are you perceiving busyness and hustle as measures for success? If so, consider how this mentality might be hurting your health and wellbeing. And, as much is it might sound counter intuitive to some of you, it also hurts your success. Arianna Huffington talks about the connection between sleep and success in her TED Talk. After few nights in a row of Maya sleeping and I’m fully awake, unable to fall asleep (can you imagine the frustration??) I decided it’s time to take action, by upgrading my bedtime routine.
Here’s what I’ve been doing lately: *Just a little side note, I try to do this routine whenever I can, specially on busier days or when I notice that my mind is extra active. But as a recovered perfectionist, I’ve learned not to get rigid about these kinds of things. Fixation can easily turn healthy habits to unhealthy obsessions. After dinner I have a cup of pukka night time tea with 1 tsp of Calm magnesium powder Then, I take a warm bath with Epsom Salts + few drops of lavender (bathroom lights turned off, candles on). I use this time to either read a book on my Kindle or listen to relaxing music. If I don’t have time for a bath, I’ll take a shower and then massage my body with Tisserand Sleep Better massage & body oil. *Before I pop into the shower / bath I put my phone on night mode + delete social media apps. Once in bed, I listen to a Yoga Nidra Meditation with Jennifer Piercy on the insight timer app. Few more little things I’ve been doing - Because my head is extra busy these days (after all, I have a little human to take care of) I aim to do a ‘brain dump’ journaling session at some point during the day (more like every other day). If you feel overwhelmed or just have a lot going on in your life, I highly recommend trying this method. All you need is a pen & paper and a minimum of 4 minutes. Think of it as downloading documents from your computer to an external hard drive and / or deleting items you no longer wish to keep. You are doing the same for your brain! Simply dump all contents of your mind onto a paper. Spill it all out - stressors, nagging thoughts, annoyances, doubts, fears, etc. Give yourself a minimum of 4 minutes of letting your hand flow and the thoughts come out. Write until you feel like you've released some pressure and then take a deep breath. I’ve also started deleting social media apps (+ other time-consuming apps) from my phone and then downloading them again when I wish to use them. This has been such a big help in creating more headspace and expanding time! (You know how it works, you just want to check something on your phone and before you know it you've been scrolling for 20 minutes!) Instead of using my phone 'to kill time' (e.g. waiting for a dentist’s appointment, waiting for your Uber, etc) I’ve been carrying my Kindle (best purchase of 2019!) with me anywhere and everywhere. I’ve already finished a few books since I’ve got into this habit. Speaking about reading, I’ve recently read Do Less by Kate Northrup -- I highly recommend this book, especially for working women, mothers and both. If you are looking to make a mindset shift around productivity & success this book is a great place to start. I hope you find some of these tips useful! Lots of love, Naama