27 May 2015

6 Ways To Combat Nightly Anxiety


Desperate to find ways to take down my anxiety a notch or two (or ten), I stumbled upon the practice of mindfulness and how people with high stress use this to calm down either at the end of the night or in the early morning.

I will preface this by saying I am also in weekly therapy and have been taking an anti-depressant for the last month and a half or so. However, it can't hurt to start the anti-anxiety process with these habits but I do recommend anyone hesitant about seeking out help to do it! You will feel so much better and have a support system.


Clearing your head at the end of the day can be super difficult, especially when you're so used to stressing over every single thing while trying to go to sleep. It takes me forever (over an hour) to fall asleep usually but lately with the combined efforts of my anxiety medication and doing mindfulness meditation has certainly improved my sleeping habits. It's not at 100% completely, but I find myself falling asleep faster and waking up not a mess of stress and anxiety right at the get-go.

MELATONIN

My doctor recommended melatonin to help encourage restful sleep. I will take this when I'm absolutely ready to go to bed and I keep the bottle right on my nightstand to help remind me to take it. Also, I don't take it every night. The other night I didn't need it at all while another more stressful day I did. There are varying dosages, too. Sometimes all you need is a lower dosage to help promote restful sleep.

READING A GOOD BOOK

I'm actually about to start a new book, although I'm not too sure what yet--any suggestions? I just finished up Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman recently and that was an amazing read. It is best to read good old fashioned paper books instead of an e-reader because a screen tricks our brains into trying to stay awake while paper gets us ready to rest and be calm. Comic books also count as reading, too! Or, if you have glasses that can cancel out blue light or have a e-reader with digital ink then you could read with one in bed.

A CUPPA TEA

Teas with ingredients such as chamomile, lavender, or peppermint are perfect for nighttime and making you sleepy. I'll have a cup while reading or even just relaxing and watching some television. I actually just picked up a lavender plant so I can add it to my own green tea leaves along with a bit of honey. So good!



MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

Like I mentioned earlier, I have two apps: Headspace and Calm. Although I've been using Headspace a lot more than Calm lately. These are apps you can use to get you started in mindfulness, which can be a little difficult at first because your first instinct is going to over think things when you should be relaxing your mind. The apps will keep you on track. I have been using Headspace for over a month now and really enjoy it!


AROMATHERAPY

I don't believe that aromatherapy is the end all, be all for relaxation or claiming it has scientific proof but I still like keeping a travel size bottle of the "Sleep" lotion from Bath & Body Works on my nightstand as well as the nighttime lip repair serum, which they have discontinued (ugh). I also have countless candles dotted across my home that all serve certain purposes (I have candles while I'm cleaning, studying, etc...Does that make me sound crazy?). My favorite "sleepy time" candles usually have scents like pine, woods, jasmine, and musk.


NIGHT TIME YOGA

I have been really focused on bettering my vinyasa, which is a more core intensive yoga that is meant to wake you up but also wanted to try a slower flow yoga meant to help you relax and prepare for sleep. This also goes into mindfulness as bed time yoga typically consists of lotus meditation, savasana, knee hugs, and other twists mostly on your back. Also, it does wonders if you're sore from sleeping in weird positions. Some videos I recommend are by Tara Stiles and PsycheTruth as they are perfect for beginners and intermediate yoga nerds.

I figured I would talk a little bit about my own journey of combating severe anxiety and depression and thought this was a good starting point. I'm definitely not telling you what to do or saying it will absolutely help but I believe it can lead to healthier habits. To be a happy nerd means to be happy both internally and externally! :)

What routine or habits do you have to help you relax at the end of a stressful day? Let me know!

Disclaimer: I was not asked to review any of these apps or products, all opinions are my own.

11 comments:

  1. I think I super needed this post, partially also to remember that other people are dealing with this stuff! I'm a huge advocate for "meditate and read before bed" but I've never thought to try nighttime yoga. I love this post so much!

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  2. Oh I love the yoga. I'm gonna defo check out her videos! Thanks Steph! xx

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  3. I'm terrible because I will watch TV and then try to fall asleep as my mind is racing from what I just watched. Thanks for this tips. I will try them out.

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  4. Same! Or I would leave the TV on because I thought it helped me fall asleep but now I actually use a fan for that "white noise." Sundays are the worst because of Game of Thrones and I will want to immediately hop on the forums to see what everyone else thought about the episode, lol.

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  5. Agreed! Would you say a therapist is a lot of help?

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  6. Yes! I really lucked out by finding an awesome therapist through my family doctor. She's really down to Earth and doesn't try to make everything so "clinical," you know? Also, she's a huge Game of Thrones fan so we talk about that and incorporate it into therapy exercises during sessions haha!

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  7. That sounds awesome! (Especially that Game of Thrones part).

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  8. This is such a wonderful post! I can't tell you how much it means to me to have people talk openly about mental illness. These are all wonderful strategies and resources too. MWAH <3

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  9. Thank you so much! I was hesitant at first to be open about my own mental health troubles but the out pouring from friends and family has really been encouraging.

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  10. Most of my bad anxiety comes at night because of chance of insomnia. Melatonin really helps and if I'm having a horrible night then I take an allergy pill. I sometimes watch shows with subtitles to distract myself and when I become calm, it's easier to clear my mind. I used to read books/manga off my phone too haha I have been wanting to try yoga at night!

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