Separation and divorce are considered to be one of life’s biggest challenges. The incredible stress placed on the body due to an over-active mind can be immense. We can be so caught up in the logistics of how to get it all done: legal, logistical, parenting, financial that by the time our head hits the pillow, we simply can’t turn it off.
Repetitive thoughts send a constant stream of messages to our body that reinforce a response pattern. You are worried, for example, about your finances. Here’s a good one, this happens to many newly separated and divorced couples. You have had to dip into your 401K or other retirement plan early and will have to pay a penalty for taking them out before you have come of age and you don’t know exactly how much you will have to pay. Or, you haven’t received your child support or spousal support check on time and the amount of money in your account is getting low. These lingering worrisome thoughts come at you with regularity. The response of the mind is to send our a fight or flight message to the body that cranks up our blood pressure, blood sugar levels and decreases our immune system among other things.
This is priming our body for a response that requires an alert state; clearly contrasting our desire to sleep as our body is resting in bed. One of the biggest challenges is that even though we want to sleep, we can’t seem to get out of this state of anxiety. So here are several tips to help begin to create a state of being within the body that supports rest.
- Exercise. You’ve heard this plenty in our culture. Exercise is important; however, you may not have always associated it with being important for a good night’s sleep. A good workout, a walk in nature, or incorporating a simple routine of stretching/yoga before bed can really allow the muscles in your body to relax and override the freak out messages your overactive mind is sending them. For some fabulous yoga for beginners, I recommend www.myyogaworks.com (No longer available). For $15/ month you can subscribe to an unreal number of online yoga classes. The beginning classes are fabulous and there is a wonderful 10 minute pre-bedtime yoga routine.
- Hot baths or a hot shower. If you have a bath or have access to a bath or hot tub, make time for a 5-10 minute hot soak. This can be tremendously therapeutic. Soaking in water is very nurturing and healing. It can calm the mind and body immensely. It takes us out of our regular element of moving through air and can in a sense trick or shake up the mind by simply being within a different medium. Many psychic advisors recommend placing ½ cup of good non-iodized salt in the water to help diffuse the psychic energy coming at you during this intense time of divorce. If you don’t have a bath, try a really nice hot shower and scrub down with a salt scrub. Add in a conscious mental practice of intending that you are releasing all negative energy and creating a body and mind filled with peace, calm, and clarity and you harness a very powerful combination that will assist in your rest.
- Listen to either guided imagery or audio brain wave technology that drives the brain into a delta state. Here are two of my favorite audio sources: Health journeys.com and Brainsync.com. Health Journeys offers around 10 audio products related to sleep and uses lovely music laced with really wonderful guided imagery and supportive affirmations. Brainsync.com uses the brain wave technology to quickly assist you in moving into a delta state of relaxation. You can learn more on this site about the delta brainwave state and also peruse her audios by brainwave state. She also offers a variety of really great guided imagery audios that additionally use brain wave technology that may be of interest during this time of transition. You will need to use stereo headphones for the brainwave audios. I put both the audios from Health Journeys and from Brainsync on my iPhone since you can download these in MP3 format. I then put my phone on airplane mode and allow my body to rest while I fall asleep listening.
Also great to remember here is that besides night time rest, you can also take a nap! Napping can give you just the little dose of rest you need to make it through the day. I’ve had clients get creative, and mind you, mostly due to my suggestion, as I am a complete nap hound. I’ve slept in the seat of my car in the front, packed in a pillow and blanket and stretched across the back seat, and of course, the nap on the couch or bed. I use my phone and set a timer for anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how much time I have available.
Having a rested body and mind will allow you to calmly approach your divorce or separation with more clarity. In beginning to create a new life while dissolving your old one, one has to establish a strong vessel that can hold the joy, love and freedom that you desire. Creating a strong vessel is done mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Yes, it’s important to remember all of the things you need when you go to a divorce attorney. Yes, it’s important that you wear nice clothes when you show up in court, but equally important is how you eat, how you think, and how you sleep!
Margaret, Yin-care®’s Mother Rising