Welcome if you’ve come over from my devotion published at P31 today. Pause and go read it if you missed it. And if you like to write, be sure and check out my last post and jump in on the carnival fun – you could win a prayer journal. As promised, here’s six practical tips for better rest.
1) Declutter your bedroom. Begin this today – finish it as soon as possible. Work on it section by section this week until you’re done.
What you’re thinking when you nod off affects your sleep, and your mood when you wake up. If you are surrounded by stuff, projects, things that need sewing, things that need cleaning, things that need putting away, things that need giving away, things that belong downstairs, when you lay down you are going to feel like there is so much you still need to do. When you wake you will feel already behind. (Translation: you will feel self-defeated and guilty about resting.) Get that stuff out of your resting space!
2) Strictly limit what comes into your room. This is how you hold the line once you’ve decluttered. Let your bedroom serve a few main purposes: relaxing or sleeping, dressing, and intimacy with your spouse. You may be surprised at how much decluttering can help with that last one. It’s not that you can’t read in bed or wrap a present on the bed sometimes but don’t make your home office in your bedroom. Or set up your crafting business in your bedroom. If you have no place else in your home to do such things, figure out how to put it all away or out of sight at night. That will signal your brain that creative/work time is over.
3) Pray. Spend sometime unwinding with God. Pray through stressful issues from your day – turning your troubles over to Him. Give Him thanks for blessings from your day – reminding yourself He is good, powerful and trustworthy. This is how you turn laying down to sleep (or a warm bath before bed) into a spiritual discipline. Drift off with your worries released and your mind centered on Him.
4) Keep a notebook by your bed. If to-do type thoughts come to you while you are trying to fall asleep, or trying to pray, jot them down and then let them fall from your mind. The paper will remind you tomorrow. You can also jot down things that come to you as you pray. Or write down a few things you are thankful for from that day to jumpstart your prayer time.
5) Give yourself permission to invest in your rest. Do you like it dark? Get lined curtains. Put your bedside lamp on a dimmer switch. Sleep better when cool? Invest in a programmable thermostat that automatically makes it cooler at night but brings the temp back up in time to wake. Is it time for a new pillow or mattress? We spend 1/3 of our lives asleep. Think about how quick you are to go buy something you will wear once to a special event!
6) Exercise. As a small little shoe company would say, just do it. What ever time of day works for you. Whatever exercise works for you – even a 15-20 minute brisk walk around the neighborhood works wonders. Just do it several times a week. You will rest better.
So, which of these do you need to do? Got any strategies that help you unwind for rest? Post a comment and be entered to win a copy of my new book It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know (follow the link to preview the first couple chapters or peek inside at Amazon). Tomorrow I’ll announce the winner, post more tips, link to some articles, and share some specific products that help me rest.