This phase of life can throw women off their centers... in SO many ways. One of them is through disturbed sleep. This isn't the disturbed sleep when you have a new baby (thank god!!), but it is a sleep that keeps your from feeling rested, one that wakes you up a few times a night with worry, to go to the bathroom, etc. And in a desperate attempt to feel well-rested, I found myself even occasionally taking an Advil PM... just because (the gateway drug to Ambien).
But the past 2 nights I have slept REALLY well. And even though the changes have been SIMPLE, it's taken me a long time to get to this place.
Change #1: Walking the dog after dinner. Even though I've gotten SOME exercise regularly (mostly walks/hikes, occasional yoga or bike ride), it is usually in the morning and then off to the races on the rest of my day. By just adding in a walk after dinner with the dog, I've found it has helped my peace of mind after a busy day and helped me settle into my evening better.
Change #2: Less Stress. Now THIS is a hard one!! Stress is a huge part of this phase of life for me... taking care of immediate family, worrying about aging parents, worrying about my patients, worrying about how to get more time for myself AND pay the bills... But within the past week I've made a decision to cut down one more day of work to have a little more time to myself. This will definitely be a challenge financially, but the decrease in stress is palpable. I've also been doing a lot of self-talk around "letting go" of trying to "fix/save" all of my patients at work. I just care too damn much. I'm starting the process of releasing people to their journey's/choices and focus on caring about myself more. The result, at least for now, LESS STRESS!
Change #3: I saved the hardest one for last. Like many women I know, I've developed a regular red wine habit at the end of the day... for years. What started off as 1 glass, then became 2, and even on occasion, 3, became such a HABIT to release tension at the end of the day, that I just didn't know how I was going to change it. But VERY recently, so I'm brave/foolish for even putting this "out there", I've decided to stop drinking during the week and save it for weekends only. I haven't had any wine for the past 2 nights, and probably not a coincidence, I've slept really well the past 2 nights. Sigh. Starting my day feeling well-rested and full of energy is so huge. But I love my wine SO MUCH, that I still get my weekends :) Wish me luck...