Exercise - walking in the fresh air gives a fresh perspective.
For sleep - My IC gave me a copy of a CD is sleep hypnosis on it, you could probably find something on iTunes for this as well. I used to play the CD when I went to bed and put it on repeat and it really helped and my bedroom was close enough to the kids so they got to listen to it too so it was win win. It was essentially about the fact that I deserved to get sleep and rest and forget about the world for enough time to drift off into natural sleep. I don't find the need to use it now but it was really helpful in the first year or so.
Finding and listening to empowering songs/music also helped too music was a real therapy tool for me.
Loud, angry music in the car. Not peaceful, but metal/punk have helped me externalize my anger in an appropriate way since I was a kid, so I don't hold it inside.
I read a while back about how sensory integration therapy strategies help folks, autistic primarily, calm their bodies and minds. One type of therapy involves applying pressure to the body...the sensory part of the pressure is calming. So I started putting a pillow on top of my head as I fall asleep to add pressure. It does help some.
My other suggestion is more faith based, I read my bible and pray before I go to sleep. I also play my favorite worship music before bed especially on the nights that I'm not at peace or hurting more than usual.
Yoga helps too, but I'm too undisciplined to do it on my own. During class, though, it's a form of active meditation.
However, sleep is still elusive. I haven't fully found a way to calm my overactive mind. Well, yes, I do know the solution--I have to get my life under better control--but that's still a work in progress.
I shall be taking up walking. I'll get my outside time outs, and help improve my health. I really need to leave the nicotine alone.
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
ETA: I treated reducing stress as a part-time job, actually. It kept me sane. I did some journaling but counting my blessings was really the thing that helped me get out of bed some days. Exercise and just noticing how I was feeling without JUDGING how I was feeling was pretty crucial.
take care of yourself!
[This message edited by WeepingBuddhist at 3:26 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]
Total mental escape was HUGE for me, especially at first. I absolutely could NOT get my brain to stop obsessing about everything A related. And the constant obsessing was exhausting and sooo depressing. On a whim I starting watching the first season of Game of Thrones. Ahh! Escape at last. For that 45 mins per episode, my mind was so involved in that universe and those characters, that it was forced to take a break from my real life drama. It broke the cycle for me, and that was what I needed.
For sleep, I use an app on my iphone called Relax Melodies. If you can't find that one there are many others. You can choose sounds like rain, waves, crickets etc. It really helps me fall asleep when the *silence* is too loud.
Wishing you the peace you seek.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~ Anais Nin
I can't recommend enough taking a bath with either Epsom salt or magnesium flakes. It may sound crazy, but it will relax all of your muscles and help you really wind down. Add some magnesium lotion or oil afterwards and you'll sleep like a baby.
I also ate very, very light in those initial months. Very little (or no) sugar and carbs, except from fruit. I found that eating certain foods, like asparagus, helped elevate my mood.
I have a dog, so I was walking several miles everyday anyway. I've had a busy season at work, and was unable to really work out other than that. But now that things are winding down, I'm thinking of adding yoga.
I had a playlist of songs as well that helped me relax and just be sad when I needed to.
I was in pretty bad shape for the first several months. I'd say I was in a depression and possibly suicidal for about 6 months at least. But just staying consistent with all of the above got me through it.
Hope this helps!
I just read this yesterday and am thinking about trying it out...
[This message edited by norabird at 10:24 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)]
Lavender is a calming scent. Peppermint is soothing.
I've been doing a lot of reading on mindfulness. Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart" has been a great help for me in starting down the mindfulness path.
Ground yourself in the moment and make note of your surroundings. Pay attention to your body and how it reacts to the world around you. Feel the Earth under your feet, the sun on your face, the wind as it brushes through your hair and over your skin. Breath from your core, slowly and deeply. Feel the muscles contract and extend. Tighten and loosen. Be still and breath as you feel the tension release. It takes time and a little practice, but it works for me every time.
"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana
I also got a prescription for some light sleeping pills. I would ONLY take one on a non-work night, when I didn't have the kids, so I didn't take them often. BUT..just having that solid nights sleep about every 2 weeks? Did me wonders. You can think much more clearly when you are getting enough sleep.
WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.
I have a sound machine too and like to have it on the rain noise.
"'Cause there's a side to you that I never knew, never knew.
All the things you'd say, they were never true, never true "
Set Fire to the Rain