Every night, my client Jenny takes a bath, meditates, gives herself Reiki, climbs into bed, and stares at the ceiling, wide awake. I have been mentoring her privately for months now. She has the tools. So why can’t she get to sleep?
I can relate to Jenny. I know many of you can too. For the first few months of the pandemic, I had what experts now call “coronasomnia.”
For most of us, our lives are not what we wish them to be right now. Our routines are off. We are stuck indoors too often. We socialize too little. We spend too much time on Zoom. We lose track of time. Our fuses are short. We worry. We are hyper sensitive. We are with our families 24/7. Many of us, such as health professionals, are working around the clock. Others, such as small business owners, have completely lost our incomes.
Of course our mental health is suffering. Of course even people who usually sleep well have developed coronasomnia. The pandemic has brought us stress, social isolation, uncertainty, and the loss of life as we knew it (including, for countless people, the loss of loved ones).
In the last few weeks, I have heard “I can’t sleep” uttered over and over again in my private mentoring sessions.
How can we get to sleep?
You have probably tried many of the recommended best practices for better sleep behavior: Dimming the lights and unplugging from technology two hours before you go to bed. Taking a bath. Listening to soothing music. Creating an evening routine will help you wind down from your day and calm your mind. Beacons of Change si-star Madeleine recently shared an excellent video in the Thriving Empath Facebook Group for Women in which the creator of lifestyle brand “Fairyland Cottage” showcases her minimal evening routine.
I am not going to elaborate on practices you can add to your nightly routine, but you can find some advice in my blog post, “14 Balance Practices for a Better Night’s Sleep.”
Today, let’s talk about coronasomnia, and what you should STOP doing and what you should START doing to make it go away.
Are you ready to send coronasomnia packing?
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You lie awake in bed calculating the number of hours till you have to get up. You think about how long you can afford to stay awake and still function in the morning (as if you have any control over it!) You become obsessed and frustrated.
What do you usually do? You try to fight it. You futilely resist being awake as another busy day draws closer.
Has fighting the insomnia ever helped you?
So stop. That’s right. STOP FIGHTING IT!
Resisting insomnia makes it worse. You become anxious. Your thoughts spiral. Even trying to focus on your breath or chant an affirmation can make you more tense until you’re not only dealing with whatever prevented you from sleeping in the first place but also with your own obsession and disappointment.
So what should you do instead?
Give this radical idea a try. Get out of bed. That’s right. Stop fighting, get up, and walk to your living room. Grab your journal and a pen, your favorite book, and a cozy blanket on your way.
Just the movement on its own will help you release some of the tension. Let it go. Let go of the tension. Let go of trying to control the situation. Surrender to the moment. Do not use this time to visit social media or check email. Engage in an activity that you know will help you relax and enjoy the moment (or simply bore you to sleep).
EXPERIMENT with different activities, and choose two or three activities that will become your “go-to” coronasomnia saviors.
The experimental part is really important. For example, you can make a list of possible coronasomnia activities and try them methodically. Take notes. Write done your reaction to each of the practices until you wind up with your top three to use on sleepless nights.
There is no magic cure-all for coronasomnia. Your favorite tool might be different from mine. For example, writing brings me comfort and helps me release stagnant emotions. If you think it might work for you, too you need to try it for yourself.
If I had to choose only three of the practices I have shared with the women I mentor over the last few months, below is what it comes down to.
The top three practices that have helped our beacons improve their sleep
Get your journal out and free write. Let it all out. Write that you’re pissed that you can’t sleep. Write that you’re mad at the coronavirus. Write that you don’t know how you’ll make it through the next day. Don’t make it nice, just write. Turn your frustration over to the divine power through writing.
Please believe me that I am not trying to sell you a class. I am serving you with an opportunity to learn a tool that might turn into a lifetime gift. By charging your body daily with pure, universal energy and creating an alignment with the divine power, you invite balance and harmony into your life, including your sleep.
Unlike meditating, using guided imagery requires some action by your brain. You get to view your own life as an observer and explore possibilities and solutions to specific issues that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. You can’t be busy creating a powerful vision and obsess about your insomnia at the same time. Try it. It works.
You can take a Reiki class with me, or If you’d like to get my guided visualizations bundle for relaxation, harmony, and manifestation (including the “Sweet Dreams” visualization for winding down at night), this link will take you there. Sweet dreams!