Do you ever find yourself laying in bed with your mind racing? It can be about little things. A grocery list, a permission slip for school, lunch money for tomorrow. The list could go on and on. I used to be one of those moms. I used to be that teenager in fact. But along the way I have developed some tricks, or coping mechanisms, that literally help ease my mind. I would like to share them with you today.
It started when I was in my teens. I had the hardest time falling asleep. My body would be exhausted from the day. I was sleepy even, but my mind was far from tired. I remember discussing this with my Pediatrician. I was 14 and a Freshman in high school. He told me something that has always stuck with me. He said “write it down.” Simple thought right? Thinking something that simple couldn’t help, and I was 14 and knew everything, I thought there was no way that he could be right. 15 years later, I am woman enough to admit that he was!
I began keeping a notebook by my bed at night. It wasn’t a journal or a diary. I didn’t record anything profound. I just wrote lists. Lots and lots of lists. And this was the first step towards training my mind to relax at night and learn to go to sleep. I was already keeping a detailed calendar, and that helped to ease my mind about forgetting any projects, homework, and dance practices.
The next thing I started doing was not watching any tv at night. I have gotten away from this the older I get but it is no less as important. In fact I am contemplating getting rid of tv all together in our home but that’s another blog post in itself. But for the younger me, it kept my mind going. So I turned to books instead. I needed to fill that time I was wasting in front of the tv. I would literally drift off reading books. It was a great solution.
The biggest thing that works above all else, is telling myself to turn off my mind. I don’t say it out loud, although you could if you needed to! I get comfortable in bed and ready to go to sleep. I jot anything down I may need to remember (still do that 15 years later) and I start to focus on relaxing from the tensions and demands of the day and tell my brain to stop for the night. It might sound crazy but it works!
This has been on my mind since I have started to notice a lot of these traits developing in my daughter. I want to teach her how to relax and get rest. I want her to value sleep and too understand that our bodies, and our minds, need a reset. And I think a lot of moms can relate to this as well. All of those late night feedings and interrupted sleep patterns.
I encourage you to keep a pen and paper by your bed, turn off the tv, find and easy read, and demand control over your brain. You’ll be on a road to peaceful slumber in no time!
Is a racing mind something you struggle with? I would love to hear how you have coped with it or what works for you!