Most moms think that to get enough sleep, you have to miss out on actual family time.
But that’s not true. In fact, you may think that your daily work and home tasks are actually conspiring to keep you from getting the sleep you need. However, here are 5 S.L.E.E.P.™ tips to help you get sleep and feel rested in the process.
Tip #1: Set A Schedule
This tip is important because a schedule helps your body – and your family – know what to expect.
When your body knows that its “sleep time” is coming, it can develop a rhythm that adjusts with the flow of your day. Over time, the metering out of necessary energy becomes more purposeful and efficient.
When your family knows the purpose for different allotted times, then there a sense of security, safety, and stability develops within each of them.
“External predictability produces internal stability.”
– Dr. Deering
So, this is how you set a schedule: gather data and input from your family members about what each of them needs to do in a given day or week. Establish set times for (a) personal “me time” for each person, (b) work/school work/homework time, (c) mealtimes, (d) family time, (e) “social” time (virtual, if needed), and (f) couple time.
Use this when you plan out your week each week.
Tip #2: Learn To Laugh
This is critical to your sleep because laughter releases natural endorphins that induce feelings of well-being. And when you’re feeling well, you are able to sleep better.
When I was younger, I experienced a lot of trauma. Laughter was not part of my experience or mindset. It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my share of comedy shows. But my fallback outlook was one that was sarcastic in nature.
Over time, especially after I came to terms with my personal spirituality and outlook on life, I began to open up more to seeing “the funny” sides of life and learning to laugh.
“Sarcasm sees only the hurt in life.
Humor sees the hurt but holds hope for change.”
– Dr. Deering
Here are some suggestions for how to incorporate laughter into your daily life:
- Find a “funny boned”-friend.
- Watch a comedy film/show or comedian.
This is most helpful when you may be feeling stressed or strung out or things feel monotonous. Then, it may be time to laugh a little…more.
Tip #3: Enjoy The Engagement (in the “small stuff”)
Enjoying the engagement will help you because carrying the heavy load of motherhood is a lifelong thing. Over the long haul, that kind of burden (a.k.a. the inherent stress of it) can wear on your body, mind, and spirit.
“Busyness can blind you to the moment of memories.”
– Dr. Deering
So, instead of “not sweating the small stuff,” when it comes to your family enjoy the small stuff.
This means you can look for the moments in the day that you’d normally just rush past. Pause to consider them and choose to connect with your family members in them.
It’s critical to remember this when things may be feeling or getting tense. Break up the tension by finding another way to engage.
Tip #4: Emotionally Engage
One way to engage in the small stuff is to pay attention to your emotions in those moments. Doing this is key because being aware of and acknowledging your emotions first will help you accurately tune in to the other person.
“You might lead with your head, but you engage with your heart.”
– Dr. Deering
Here’s what I mean: You can’t effectively connect with family members and expect them to “follow” you/your direction if they have not first experienced you hearing – understanding—them first.
This will help you, especially if you have tweens, teens, or college-aged children.
Tip #5: Prepare For Pivots
Noone can know every detailed situation you will face as a mother. However, what is known are the various stages of life that human beings encounter; from beginning to end.
Knowing those stages can be the starting point of reference for you to begin preparing yourself and your children.
So now you’re probably wondering, “What am I supposed to be preparing for?” Here are some possible areas and ways to prepare:
- For newborn to toddler-aged kids: prepare for how you’ll say “No” and respond to a “No” being said to you.
- For elementary-aged kids: prepare for how you want your child to respond to peer pressure and how you will respond to parental peer pressure.
- For middle- and high school-aged kids: prepare for how you want to hand-over responsibilities.
- For college-aged kids: prepare for the transition from your kids being dependent to independent.
Again, these are some of the key things you can pause to consider and prepare for before they occur.
Regardless of how you choose to use the above 5 S.L.E.E.P.™ Keys, don’t just sit on this new knowledge and forget about it. Put it to good use so you can get get real rest—in your heart, mind, and spirit—which is really what every mom wants, right? Of course!
By the way, if you’re a mom who wants to start the process of getting rest in her heart and mind, check out this Free Chapter of my best-selling book, What Mothers Never Tell Their Daughters, at http://bit.ly/MOMSCHAPTER1
©Dr. Michelle Deering