Hands up those not sleeping?

Hands up those who just want to sleep?

For me, sleep is just escaping me at the moment – it doesn’t matter how early I go to bed, it doesn’t matter how tired I am, how many times I’ve walked the poor dog, I can feel totally exhausted and STILL not sleep.

During those most intense phase of lockdown I actually felt strangely energised – I had time in abundance. I managed to get stuff done whether it was for our home, my business, myself and I had a real sense of achievement. I felt hugely grateful to our wonderful NHS and all the amazing key workers who were putting themselves on the frontline for us, that too seemed to give me a sense of energy. I enjoyed reading about and witnessing some fantastic acts of kindness which lifted my spirits. I got to know my neighbours better through the weekly clap for carers which during the early weeks, for me, really raised the energy levels. I felt good about shopping locally, supporting local business.

All of these things lifted me through the horrors of Covid 19. Don’t misunderstand me, I also had very dark emotional days where I couldn’t bear the pain & suffering so many were experiencing, at times it drove me to my bed, my face blotchy from crying BUT there was a sense of people pulling together to fight this dreadful thing.

Where are we now?

I personally think we have hit lockdown lethargy. Now reality of the “new normal” is hitting home. We are watching the after effects of the pandemic yet we’re still in it. People are exhausted, I’m taking enquiries from people who have been made redundant, people who are scared about what the future looks like – it’s incredibly sad. I’ve had more enquiries from people who’s mental health has been really affected and they just don’t know where to turn and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

No wonder we’re not sleeping or want to sleep too much! No wonder we’re all feeling a bit worn out. Even our regular TV programs that we’ve escaped with in the past have disappeared and we’re having to watch endless re-runs of everything…..it’s all a bit PANTS!

So what can we do? As with most things it’s about balance and perspective. Yes, the world can feel depressing and uncertain right now BUT that will not always be the case, we need to find the joy!

One of the things I’m doing right now is writing my gratitude diary again. Each night I write the following in my journal (always good to have an excuse to buy a nice new notebook).

  • 3 Successes – these can be anything that you consider to be a success, I managed to get out of my pyjamas today, I managed to go food shopping without having a panic attack. I actually understood my 12 year old’s maths problems? Depending on your type of day will depend how you measure the success.
  • 3 things that brought me joy – chocolate, wine…….dog walk on the beach. Something one of your children said that made you laugh. If it made you smile, it it brought you joy, write it down.
  • 3 things you are grateful for – it can be as simple as “I’m grateful that I have clean drinking water by just turning on a tap” or “I’m grateful that I could be available for my friend having a hard time right now”. Write them down.

If it’s too hard to think of 3 things, start with just the 1 and build up gradually. If you do this every day, you will start to notice a difference in mood, you will start to feel a little more positive and a little less lethargic.

This is not going to solve everything, it might even feel a bit flippant. You will still have rubbish days but it might lessen the number of rubbish days and help you refocus on some of the good stuff out there?

Finally, be kind to yourself.

“This too shall pass.”  It might take some time, there might be some tough days ahead BUT there are also moments of great joy out there in the world if we look for them and they WILL raise our energy levels. Focus on those, avoid the negative stuff where you can and celebrate anything that is worth celebrating. We all need to be hopeful as that is what will keep us moving forward.