In one of my recent blog posts, I asked the question; are you too stressed? Underlying stress doesn’t feel good and it presents itself in a whole host of ways. For example, when I’m stressed, nighttime becomes my brain’s overthinking playground.
When I’m stressed, or I’ve got something on my mind, it’s not uncommon for me to wake up in the night in a blind panic. I’ll toss and turn and struggle to get back to sleep, my heart will be racing and my half switched-off brain will think the world has ended. Come morning, I’ll look back at that complete overreaction with a sense of confusion, shrug, and move on with my day.
It’s important to mention, too, that I sleep really well. So, I can only imagine how people who get this night in, night out feel about it. Here are my tips on how to overcome the monster in your mind.
If something you can’t solve immediately is whirring around in your mind, there’s a tendency to mope around. By ‘something you can’t solve immediately’ I mean something like a negative person in your life or a job you’re not enjoying.
If it’s your job you don’t like, the moping starts as soon as you get in from work and completely obliterates all enjoyment out of your life. Whilst I don’t advocate staying in a job you don’t like, I do appreciate that you can’t just leave. Equally, if the person in your life who is grinding your gears happens to be a family member, then the process of walking away becomes a little more tumultuous.
Add enjoyment into every day so you have less time to ruminate. Whether it’s an evening out, a hobby, or even just a job you’ve been meaning to get done in your house, give your day a meaning beyond the monotony of your whirring brain. Keeping your mind active will help you feel sleepy come bedtime and stop you from overthinking.
Be Physically Active
I know that exercise is the last thing anybody wants to do when they’re feeling a bit down in the dumps. I don’t, however, have to tell you how good it is for you. There’s no time to think about your issues when you’re having to concentrate on a trainer shouting instructions at you. I’ll admit, when I’m stressed, exercise is the first thing out the window, but, if you do want to see some quick, short-term changes, I’d recommend it.
Be Goal Minded
When you’re stressed, it’s typically because something in your life is not where you need it to be. I find it really useful to ask myself the question; how do I get to where I want to be? There are thousands of books written on this exact subject, so if you’re struggling to take your own advice, take some advice and motivation from these. I’m currently reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and it’s a really good read.
Have A Bath & Bed Routine
Everybody who knows me knows I’m the biggest advocate for baths. If you’re feeling anxious as bedtime approaches, there’s nothing better. Although I like bath oils, there’s something about being surrounded by bubbles that I love. I usually use Radox Feel Relaxed Bubble Bath paired with Neal’s Yard Lavender Bath Salts – they work really well together – the bath salts also last ages compared to the Foaming Bath which is AMAZING but it goes quite quickly and is too expensive for an everyday treat.
I do talk about Neal’s Yard quite a lot (it’s one of my favourites), but they do the very best products to aid sleep (and trust me, I’ve tried them all). This isn’t my every-night routine, but here’s what I do when I need to chill my brain out a bit:
- Take my make-up off with the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm (this never changes).
- Slather the Neal’s Yard Beauty Sleep Body Butter all over me.
- Use the Beauty Sleep Concentrate Serum. It’s really lightweight and smells like happy sleep.
- Use a pillow spray. I have about four different ones and they’re quite easy to get your hands on nowadays; This Works, Neal’s Yard & Oliver Bonas all do great ones.
Don’t Live In Your Bed
Some people spend all day sitting in bed; they don’t make it properly, they eat in it, they watch TV in it; it becomes more like a sofa/dining table than a place of rest. When you’re feeling anxious throughout the day, it becomes really difficult to sleep when you’re laying on a discarded ham sandwich.
There’s something so relaxing about getting into a nice, well-made, clean bed. Most nights I actually sigh with happiness it feels so good. Don’t neglect your bed and bedroom space. It won’t get rid of the feelings of anxiety but it’ll certainly improve them.
Take A Moment…
This is the most important point of all. Take a moment to establish why you feel the way you do. Bedtime anxiety isn’t just the norm; it’s usually a very clear indication that something is awry in your life. It might just be that you’ve got a big presentation coming up, or something like that (i.e. something that will pass).
It also might be a nightly occurrence. If it is, I would urge you to think about what it is in your life that is causing this. There will always be something; your job, your relationship, your health, your friendships, money troubles etc. Yes, these problems are magnified at night, but you will find that sleep does return to normal (I know this from experience) when you attack these problems head-on.