“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well with serenity and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
People with sleep troubles often say a reason they can’t sleep is because worries about the day gone by or the day coming keep spinning in their brain. To settle the thoughts down try this:
As part of your nightly sleep hygiene put the day to bed in the same way you put yourself to bed.
How do you do that?
Take a paper and pen.
1) Write down one to three of the worries you have left over from the day. Visualize yourself taking those worries out of your brain and actually putting them on the paper. There is nothing you can do about them now. They will keep there until you pick them up again the next day.
2) Write down one to three things you did that day that gave you satisfaction. Anything great or small counts.
3) Write down one to three essential things you will do the next day. The key word here is essential and no more than three. These are things that if you do them, and nothing else all day long, you will be pleased with yourself.
This simple and effective exercise has saved me many a sleepless night. If you are like me, you have a bottomless ‘To Do’ list and worries that range from ‘what mischief will our kids get into next’ to ‘what kind of world are we leaving them’?
By putting our worries to bed for the night we do not deny they exist; we simply acknowledge that the compassionate thing to do is to set aside our burden for the night so that we can rest. By listing just a few essential things that I can do during the day, I have a good shot of feeling fulfilled and pleased by bedtime.
Please let me know in the comments how this works for you or if you have any more ideas for setting aside worries to get a good night’s sleep.