One of the downsides of this “new normal” is sleep issues. If you weren’t sleeping well before, what’s going on is probably making it worse. And if you were sleeping OK before, insomnia may be becoming a niggling new problem.
This is where a “sleep stack” can really come into its own. Layering different elements to help induce sleep and a calmer, longer night.
No digital devices at least 90 mins before bed
Herbal teas (lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, orange blossom to name four sleep friendly ones)
A good pillow spray
A guided meditation
Lavender oil in the oil burner
Magnesium, or a sleep-centric supplement with 5HTP or GABA, valerian, hops, montmorency cherry, etc – there are loads out there.
Magnesium is a big one, it’s like jojoba for skincare, brilliant but “boring” and often overlooked and – fact – almost all of us are magnesium deficient.
Epsom salts or himalayan salts. What if if you have neither at home? Even sea salt is better than nothing, and salts team up well with eucalyptus, rosemary, orange or pine oil if your spirits need reviving or you’ve had a bit of an up-down day.
Next up are the grounding aromatherapy aids like juniper and sandalwood, while rose and geranium can help soothe an over-alert limbic system and lastly, nature’s sleep hero through the ages – lavender.
This is a wonderful time to have a play creating your own blends (I like layering grapefruit and other citruses to wear as perfume in summer – also fab in a spray bottle for the kitchen or home office, while for working, peppermint is fantastic, it’s great for concentration – like rosemary – and helps clear brain fog/fatigue).
For me, a combo of bath salts or oils, magnesium, a pillow spray and a sleep meditation work well. And a cosy bed in a coolish room – if it’s too warm it’ll boycott drifting off. And a REAL book, not my iPad.
I’m moving soon, to a place with a little garden (about the size of a large rug) and it looks out towards pine trees – my favourite tree. There won’t be many people around, at least not until later in the summer, but the garden soundtrack is cooing wood pigeons, a sound I love.
Last year, I made a vision board. I was sharing a flat to be near my mum and my lovely (lovely and extremely kind) landlord Michel, a business coach, manifested his girlfriend and new house in two short months (his girlfriend happened to be the agent for his dream house so it was a double “hat trick” – so two for the price of one!)
I haven’t manifested my husband yet (I’m brilliant at meeting someone the day before I relocate somewhere) and my two dogs will have to wait (sob) as this new place in May doesn’t accept pets…but, I had added a photo of a kitchen window with countryside views and trees to my vision board and hey presto – that’s what I’ll have from mid May onwards. (And I’m volunteering at the local dog sanctuary when it reopens).
A quick extra note here: I keep getting a very strong message that “we must not waste our days right now”. So if you’ve been furloughed or are trying to adapt to working from home, tune out of this virus – it’ll help a LOT – and see if you can start making plans. I started this about 10 days ago: instead of reacting to the latest cv news…or worrying about stuff…something just shifted and I’m looking to the future.
We mustn’t let fear erase our days – it doesn’t mean we have to “be our best self” now, but we should keep gratitude alive and somehow savour these days, however weird and difficult. I find I cannot turn around a bad day as things/bad news just escalates so I retreat to bed early. And wake up to a new one.
Bad days sandwich themselves between good ones. Things never stay the same, good or bad.
What really matters? Where do you really want to be? And do? With whom? What’s negotiable? And what is 100% not? Before finding this flat I was on the verge of renting a cheaper one, which was also nice, but the owner was so tricky – and greedy – I just called it a day. Who wants to pay rent to a jerk? Bad energy.
Since Monday I’ve been winding down each day with the same question:
What went well today?
If it was a s..t one, it might just be the fact that you are breathing and have a roof over your head and had a lovely morning coffee before the day turned into a shipwreck.
If you’ve had a good day, the ink will be flowing as you keep adding to your WHAT WENT WELL? list.
What went well? is a lovely way to end a day when usually the mind seems so easily to fill itself with “automatic negative thoughts” or ANTS as Dr Daniel Amen (who I got the What Went Well tip from) calls them.
Speaking of good things, these are the BRANDS in this blissful bath line-up (all are Beauty Shortlist winners):
9 SLEEP HELPERS I HAVE USED AND LIKE
Weleda (ultra-natural scents straight from nature)
Dr Teal’s (lavender – super soothing or eucalyptus + mint – really refreshing, and they do many more of these gorgeous bath salts)
Therapie by Michelle Roques-O’Neil (an award-winning knock you out bath to obliterate insomnia)
Tisserand (this bright but decompressing geranium, nutmeg and orange Total De-Stress blend is delightful, cheerful and comforting)
BetterYou (wonderful wind-down magnesium)
Micheline Arcier (her Sommeil sleep oil is divine)
NEOM Organics Real Luxury Bath Foam (starring grounding and relaxing lavender, jasmine & Brazilian rosewood)
Do you have a special sleep ritual particularly, let’s say, for when life is challenging? What seems to work?
Wishing you a restful night!
What went well today?