Too Stressed to Sleep


A couple of weeks ago I was planning to write this newsletter about sleep. I often have the conversation with my clients on the importance of creating a relaxing nighttime routine so they are able to get more sleep.


I always remind them that “the day starts the night before.” If we deprive ourselves of vitamin zzzz’s we are likely to crave sugar and caffeine for a quick boost in energy. Lack of sleep contributes to excess stress, excess calories and excess weight.


I know it is not always easy to wind down and get to bed. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been experiencing this firsthand. I almost didn’t write this newsletter because I was feeling like a hypocrite. I have not been walking my talk so why should I bother writing this at all.


Instead of listening to the crazy “you suck” voice in my head, I reached out to a loving a friend and told her what was going on. Why wasn’t I walking my talk? The answer was clear. Just like thousands of other people, I have been stressed out by the government shutdown. My husband has been furloughed and I have been uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the situation.


I have been watching the news late at night, surfing the web looking for answers and numbing out on Facebook. None of these things are part of my usual nighttime routine. I think I have watched more TV news shows in the past 10 days than I have all year.


With no clear end in sight, I realized I needed to make the decision to take care of myself. No amount of news watching is going to change the situation. It is out of our control. What I can change is how I react to it and how I treat myself in times of uncertainty.


I made a decision to focus on self care. As I am often reminded by my friends and mentors, when we feel stressed we need to double our self-care, not numb out and ignore ourselves.


* I started taking more bubble baths.


* I have been practicing more yoga and taking more walks.


* I have reached out to more friends by phone instead of just on Facebook.


* I wrote down my crazy thoughts. Doing a “brain dump” helps me clear the clutter in my mind.


Serenity Oil

* I used more essential oils. The picture to the right is my favorite calming oil. Serenity is a blend of lavender, chamomile, vanilla and other oils. I have been wearing it and diffusing it in the air.


* I made the decision to not watch the late night news. No need to hear the same thing over and over. I am sure we will all know when there is a breakthrough and I feel like it will be very soon.


There is no straight path to ultimate health. We all have detours and need to get back on track from time to time. It is OK. Know that you are not lost in the woods forever. Get curious about why you are making certain choices and reach out if you need support. I know this can be extremely difficult. Many of us like to think we need to be strong and handle everything by ourselves. It takes strength to reach out. We are not meant to do it all alone.


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Michelle's class helped remind me that my own physical and emotional health should be priorities, too.

Justine Fontinell