5 More Things to Make Your Life and your Sleep Better During COVID-19
Have you been having trouble sleeping, or staying asleep? Many of us are suffering from the disruption of our routines and unfortunately our sleeping habits are suffering as well. Since getting good rest is essential to maintaining our heath, we need to take steps to ensure we get a well earned night's rest. I found some great free resources from audible to help!
Click below for some unique ways to help you drift off...
As promised last week, here are 5 more ways to make your life a little better during COVID-19. These are practical, but a little more interior focused than my last list. As many of us become impatient to return to our “normal” lives, it’s a wonderful time for some introspection. Hopefully you’ll find something in this list that will lift your spirits, allow you peaceful rest and formulate new habits for the future
1) Live Your Values
When we know your values, we understand what motivates and drives us. When we build our lives around our values, we create a life that is meaningful. Finally, when we align our actions with our values - we're being truly authentic. It's a very satisfying and fulfilling way to live.
And living your values could be the single most important thing any of us can do right now.
Here's an exercise you can do:
List your values on a piece of paper or in your journal.
Give each value a score ___ / 10 as to how well you are living that value in your life now (where 0 is not at all and 10 is full-out).
For the scores that are 8 or more - great!
For the scores that are 7 or less out of 10, ask yourself, "How could I express this value more in my life right now?" "What could I do differently or approach differently, so that I feel good about how I live this value in my life?"
For example: You have a value of creativity, but you're only managing to 'go through the motions' right now and your score is 4/10. Ask yourself how you could be more creative during this time - whether it's cooking, gardening, art or writing or helping your kids do something creative, or even watching a documentary about someone creative you admire...
2) Grow Something - Or Get an Indoor Flowering Plant!
There is nothing quite like growing something - whether it's flowers, fruits or vegetables that makes us feel connected to nature. Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow fresh herbs on your windowsill or balcony to cook with!
Get some seeds, (a pot and some soil if needed) and get started.
Many plant nurseries are still open, or you could order seeds etc. online.
Follow the instructions - and remember to see keep and eye on moisture and sun exposure.
If growing something is just too much work, get yourself a spring bulb or succulent (cacti) planter, or you could get an indoor plant like a Spathiphyllum* (Peace Lily) is good for cleaning the air of pollutants (and easy to take care of).
* Be aware that some plants are poisonous to pets - so please check.
3) Send "Real" Snail Mail Letters or Cards
Go old-fashioned. Who doesn't love to receive a lovely card or handwritten letter in the mail! Rediscover the lost art of letter-writing and make someone's day. If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, they will appreciate the gesture even more.
Wondering what to say? Write from the heart! Here are some ideas to get started:
I really appreciate having you in my life because ________.
I love hanging out with you when we ________.
I've realized that you bring ________ to my life.
I hope you’re doing well during this time. Please let me know if I can help!
4) Begin a Meditation Practice
Meditation is a practice that has been proven scientifically to calm us, help us be more creative and be happier (for starters). It's extremely beneficial.
There is a lot to learn about meditation - and it's called a Meditation Practice for a reason. But it's also not as hard as it sounds. You can start with as little as 5 minutes a day - and it's good to build a routine, so you meditate at the same time every day. Get a book on "Meditation for Beginners" or go to Youtube or Google and search for "How to Meditate". Another good place to start is "Metta" or "Loving Kindness" meditation. Search online and you'll have lots of options to choose from.
It helps to have a quiet space without interruptions - which many of us don't have at the moment. And for some people, trying to meditate when anxious can be stressful. If this is the case, listen to a relaxing guided meditation instead
Another idea is to listen to a sleep meditation or "Body Scan Meditation" before going to sleep. I mentioned some meditation apps in my last post, but here they are again:
Headspace is offering a free trial for guided meditations: https://www.headspace.com/register/free-trial
Calm is another wonderful app offering a variety of peaceful guidance with a free trial: https://www.calm.com/freetrial/plans
Pray.com offers a few trial for those who prefer Christian, biblical prayer and meditations: https://www.pray.com/subscribe
5) Start a Journal!
If you've always wanted to journal, now is a good time to start. More than just keeping a record of your day, a journal can help you explore and sift through your feelings and experiences and learn from them. It's a great way to get to know you and a wonderful way to look back at how you’ve grown after a year or two of journaling.
It's great to choose a beautiful notebook, but the most important thing is to just get started. Here are some prompts to get started with:
Today I am feeling _________. I think this is because __________.
One big thing I have learned during this crisis is _________.
I remember the last time I was stuck in the house _________.
One thing that's surprised me recently is _________.
What matters most to me in life is _________.
Describe your ideal day _________.
"A journal is expressive by nature and it contains feelings, emotions, problems, ponderings and it is more reflective on the meaning of life being lived." Lynda Monk
You may find this How to Journal article from the IAJW (International Association for Journal Writing) helpful to get you started.
So, which of the above ideas resonated with you? I started growing herbs to add to my cooking. It’s a live and learn situation right now. I completely singed some mint by leaving it too long in the sun! I’m also pulling out some stationery to send a few notes to friends and family.
You have the skills and power to tackle this situation and you will! Choose to make the best of a difficult situation and no matter what - you'll find a way and you’ll be enriched for the time when we can be together with our loved ones again.
This current and strange COVID-19 situation will end. And when it does, you'll be proud you made the effort to learn something - whether it's about yourself, fresh knowledge, a new skill - and who knows what else!