As a Mental Health professional sleep is on my agenda with clients everyday. It’s a time when our bodies have the chance to rest, repair and reset. Without it we can be irritable, have poor concentration and more susceptible to illness.
We are currently in the middle of a public health crisis and it is common for some to be experiencing sleep disturbance due to stress and worry about a range of different things. This is completely understandable! A few of colleagues and I have also been having a few restless nights and we have certainly noticed the impact it has had on us.
There are a few ways to help facilitate better sleep. If a poor sleep pattern is a longer term problem for you, perhaps its something you need to discuss with your GP.
Don’t fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.
~ Edmund Vance Cooke
Make Time To Worry
Anxiety management is my favourite health promotion activity in work. One of the tips that I give to clients is ‘make time to worry’. Worrying about a situation can seriously eat up a lot of time and energy. Instead set aside 30mins at the end of the day to let yourself worry. This sounds incredibly odd but setting aside 30mins gives you 23.5hrs in the day to let go of your worries and focus on positive things. Like learning any new skill its takes practice and time, don’t give up on it!
Another tip to help get that worry or anxiety off your chest is writing it down in a journal. Sometimes we don’t have anyone we can confide in with our worries or perhaps feel troubling others with our worries can seem hard during a time of global crisis. It helps offload negative thoughts and anxieties before going to sleep and stores them somewhere other than your head.
I recently downloaded the app HeadSpace as it is free through a wellness scheme at work. There is a number of different courses and meditations on the app. I particularly love the ‘Breathe’ meditation which guides 1 minute of mindful breathing to bring you back to centre. Super easy and can help relax you before you drift off to sleep.
Is your bedroom dark enough? Black out blinds are a great investment and block out light which is especially valuable during these brighter spring mornings.
Set A routine
As we are all spending more time at home it is very important to continue with a good daily routine. Keep a set time for waking up, eating and going to bed. It also helps to get washed and dressed every morning too and not hanging out in pjs. I find it also helps to do something a little different at the weekends, change it up a bit so every day just isn’t the same.
We are limited to time outside of the home but we are allowed an hour a day to exercise- make it count! If you are able, going for a walk or run is brilliant to burn off some energy. You can also tune into Joe Wicks P.E. class or HIIT workouts on youtube, they are fantastic!
I hope you found this little blog helpful. I have been thinking about doing a few more mental health promotion blogs around the current public health crisis. If you think this would be useful please let me know!
In the meantime. Stay safe and look after yourselves,