My grandmother used to say, “If you can’t sleep, rest is the next best thing.”
I hear her voice and wisdom often when I’m “supposed to be sleeping” but am feeling anxious, overwhelmed or wired. So, instead of worrying about not sleeping, I rest. Usually, my body relaxes and I fall into slumber.
As a person who teaches others how to stay in balance, I often have to dig deep into my toolbox to make sure I’m practicing what I preach.
While I delight in sleeping eight hours a night, there are times when my schedule somehow gets in the way. Does that ever happen to you? It might be because I’ve said “yes” to some great work opportunities and just happen to have evening activities on my calendar too. Or, perhaps I have to catch up on admin or want to squeeze a workout into the morning before my day begins. Whatever the reason, my shut-eye sometimes suffers.
The first few days of less-than-ideal sleep, my adrenaline, optimism and general good health carries me along. Then, little-by-little the fatigue sets in. Every part of me feels like I need to rest and relax. So, whenever possible, with my grandmother’s words ringing in my ears, I give myself ten minutes to lie down. If that’s not an option, I’ll just sit, close my eyes and breathe. The result? I feel better.
We all know that managing stress is easier when we sleep well, eat mindfully and exercise, but sometimes it’s challenging to do when things get hectic.
The good news is that we can introduce rest and relaxation into our day. Whether you are taking a few minutes to do deep breathing, lying down and closing your eyes, sitting and looking a beautiful image, taking a brief walk, listening to a song you love, meditating, saying a prayer/affirmation or playing with a pet, there are dozens of quick and effective ways to calm the mind, relax the body and rejuvenate the spirit.
What tools can you use today to help keep you centered and in balance?
Remember what my grandmother said. “If you can’t sleep, rest is the next best thing.” She was right.
Coach Marie Elena Rigo