A simple meditation
Lately I've been struggling to feel well rested. Anyone else?
First, it's completely normal to be feeling anxious right now. It's a weird time. It's unfamiliar and it feels threatening. So, trying to sleep after fear hormones and chemicals have been flooding your body throughout the day can be difficult. If you're struggling to fall asleep, or to go back to sleep, here is a simple technique I use to sleep.
It's a mindfulness habit I started when I would put Caleb to bed at night. I would lay with him until he fell asleep, and then I would sneak away to my room. When I started getting interested in meditation, I struggled with finding the time to do it. I thought it might improve my quality of life because so many people I admire have talked about the influence meditation has had on their life. So, I started practicing when I would put Caleb to bed. I knew I had at least 10 minutes I could practice routinely. At first I struggled with maintaining my focus. Then, I started strengthening my patience with myself to stay focused. I ended up falling asleep in his bed every time.
This is how to practice a mindfulness meditation for relaxation.
Get into a comfortable position in bed. However you are most comfortable sleeping, do that. With your eyes closed, take 3 deep breaths. Then, relax into your normal unique breathing rhythm. Just observe it, how it feels, how it happens without you even forcing a thought to make it happen. Then, place your focus on one body part at a time, starting from the tip of your big toe all the way to the top of your head. Take your time with each body part, feeling if you're holding tension there, and without judgement, relax. I imagine the body part and then the space around it. I try to sense the blanket on my skin or the warmth of the body next to me. When I get to my breath, I try to focus my attention on the cool air sensation around my nostrils as I breathe in, and the warmth of the air as it comes out. When I get to my heart I try to visualize it relaxing into a calm rhythm. I visualize sending light and love to it. When I get to my head I try to visualize busy activity calming down. But usually, if I become intensely focused, I rarely make it to my head before I fall asleep.
If it doesn't make you fall asleep, at least you spent a decent amount of time practicing something useful to do every day for your overall well being.