I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. For the past few months, living in quarantine has completely messed up my sleep schedule.
Like if I didn’t have a daily planner to keep track of time I probably would not know what day it is right now.
Since I usually do a new challenge every month, I decided to try this mindfulness challenge I found below to help me sleep better.
Many people tend to confuse the terms mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on “some-thing” while meditation is the practice of focusing on “no-thing.”
What I love about practicing mindfulness is that you can do it virtually anywhere you feel comfortable and the practice is very informal.
One day is never the same as the next so you might start off by taking deep breaths one night and end up tracing the fingers of your hand the next!
There can be so many reasons why people have difficulty sleeping, but one of the main reasons is linked to stressors.
These stressors can be related to work, school, family, or in my case all three.
When you lay down with so much stress on your mind problems such as anxiety, lack of concentration, memory loss, mood changes, and irritability can arise.
Taking the time to thoughtfully acknowledge your breaths, muscle movements, and heartbeat can be so simple yet so relaxing.
These techniques challenged me on new levels to help me alleviate stressors and it all starts with an open mind.
Here are the mindfulness practices that improved my sleeping habits the most!
“Breathe in the color blue, breathe out the color red.”
Photo courtesy of: Popsugar Fitness
I love painting a picture with my breath by using this technique where the color blue symbolizes calm and relaxation and the color red symbolizes stress and tension.
As you inhale allow yourself to feel your chest and belly rising by absorbing all the positive energy in the atmosphere.
Then when you exhale allow your body to release all the negative stressors and thoughts that are stopping you from a peaceful slumber.
It helps to take a pause between inhaling and exhaling. Once you do this a few times I promise you’ll see a noticeable difference.
“Squeeze your muscles in various body parts then relax.”
I like to do this technique with my eyes closed, lights off, and laying down on my back in bed.
Making sure my palms are facing upwards and my legs are stretched out I begin by slowly wiggling my toes.
Next, I roll my ankles in small circles counterclockwise, slightly squeezing my calf muscles and bending my knees.
Then I move up my legs to rotate my hips, squeezing and releasing my glutes.
After that, I make a fist with both of my hands and then release as I shrug my shoulders up and down.
Lastly, I move my head from side to side, attempting to wiggle my ears and release my clenched jaw after scrunching my face muscles and repeat three times.
This may sound like a lot of work but if you take the time to focus on every individual muscle group for a few seconds, you’ll be asleep in no time at all.
“Eat a piece of fruit mindfully, slowly, & thoughtfully.”
This one can be done morning or night just for fun.
Ever get a midnight craving for something sweet but feel too guilty about indulging in dessert?
Try a piece of fruit instead and rather than scarfing it down, first try smelling the sweetness, feeling the texture against your lips, listening to the sound as you chew slowly, and tasting the juices quenching your thirst after every bite.
It might sound a little weird at first but trust me this technique will take your mind off of stress and ready for a restful night of slumber.
Monthly Challenge Mindfulness Calendar
Mindfulness calendar courtesy of Jennifer Alleman, Bullock School.
Did you try any of these mindfulness techniques yet?
Curious to learn more ways to get better rest?
Interested in trying new monthly challenges with me?
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