There seems to be a common thread in this pandemic, and it has a lot to do with the quality of sleep that people have been getting. It seems like so many people on social media platforms have been complaining about their sleep hygiene being trash throughout the pandemic. It seems worse among mothers or primary caretakers single or married. I’m right there with you. Even worse is that I have been struggling with sleep since before the pandemic.
It was 11:28 p.m yesterday when I finally got a moment to pause. It is a little more frequent than I would like to admit. Some days, bedtime goes on for longer than planned, and given that I share a 450 square foot apartment with two children, I make sure to tidy up the apartment every night, while the girls sleep. It is so easy for things to pile up, that I make sure I do a little every day, especially folding the never ending laundry situation. It makes me want to cry some days.
This week started with me being in a little bit of a rut. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions, but somehow, I have always been the person who can push through even in the midst of a difficult time. I sat down on my yoga mat, crossed my legs and turned on my Goodful Meditation. I needed everything to stop. I needed my mind to pause for a few minutes so I did a 10 minute guided meditation for sleep.
This is a difficult time for everyone, but it is especially hard on parents. We’re about to hit the one year mark, and I am so grateful I am making it through, nonetheless, this pandemic has truly been the ultimate test of mental health for so many people. I laid on the floor, uncurled my eyebrows, unclenched my jaw, and relaxed my shoulders in an attempt to release the stress of the days, weeks, and the past year, just so that I can make it to bed.
Here are three things that are helping me achieve better sleep.
This week was a tough one. After the nation watched the events that unfolded on Capitol Hill, I think a lot of us feel further trauma of being reminded on a national level that some lives possess more value than others. I digress.
Right now, I would like to be somewhere in the mountains or in a quiet town to just decompress and to center my spirit. Unfortunately, since so many of the activities that I would like to engage in with my girls are closed, I am going to stay local and take some time to engage in these five activities.
Take warm baths
Nothing feels better and more soothing than hot water surrounding my skin. Lately, I’ve found baths to be the best thing for my fibromyalgia and my mind, so I am going to carve out time every night this weekend to take a bath with candlelights and maybe some wine.
Catch up on my reading
I am going to try to get through as much of Tonya Sonya Renee’s The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love. As I am on a journey of radical self love and not merely a compromising self-acceptance, I look forward to catching up on Miss Taylor has to teach. We all could use the boldness of authentic self-love.
I haven’t journaled in a while, but whatever I have lost in my own personal journal has been invested into Breathe by Bre. I want to get back to journaling again. There is a beautiful sense of release that journaling gives me. I want to lay it out there with pen and paper, rather than ruminate on things that simply live in my mind for free.
Catching Up on TV Shows
I will be stuck catching up on the fourth time rewatching Monk, which to me is the all time best detective show ever. Murder mystery is my thing, so while I take care of all my household chores I watch to my heart’s content. That’s about the only time that I can watch or rather listen to any TV shows. 90 Day Fiancé has also become a new favorite and I plan on watching all the spin-offs.
I look forward to catching up on some well needed sleep this weekend and let others take on the responsibility of childcare for a change. Let’s see if I succeed. I want to give myself the gift of sleep and float away.
What are your plans for the weekend? On Saturday, I plan on dropping my kids to Nana’s house. It’s part of the self-care that I have needed so badly and a gift for finishing my bachelor’s degree. I am so happy and relieved.
I submitted my last paper on Wednesday at 11:15 p.m. and I took a moment to exhale. I felt like I had been holding my breathe for a little over two years and now, I can finally breathe again.
I thought about the moment when I would walk across the podium with my daughters watching me. COVID-19 has taken that moment away, but I know my accomplishment is not diminished.
Now that I have come to the end of this journey, there are a few things I look forward to:
• Reading a book for pleasure
• Doing more meditation + yoga
• Not constantly feeling anxious about homework deadlines
There are so many mothers out there working, taking care of their children and home, and doing their best to finish degrees. You are amazing! You are diligent! You are strong and you are more capable than you know.
Walk into the weekend giving yourself some well deserved self care, because I sure will.