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Do’s, Don’t and other resources for boosting your sleep and mental well-being

Guest article from Wellnesscentral.info

You know the feeling: As soon as your head hits the pillow, your mind starts racing. You toss and turn for hours before suddenly realizing you only got a few hours of broken sleep. If you’re a parent, chances are you’re familiar with this sort of scenario — particularly if you are a parent who is struggling to cope with anxiety. The thing is, you need to break the cycle of poor sleep to manage anxiety and your general mental health. Here’s how to start.

Don’t Let Anxiety Keep You From Getting Good Sleep

If you’re a parent living with anxiety, constant worries and fears could be interfering with how well you sleep. To improve your quality of sleep, you may need to address your anxiety first.

  • Talk about your anxieties with others who will understand you to feel a sense of relief. 
  • Take steps to put fears to rest. For instance, invest in a quality home security system.
  • Know that feeling anxious is common for parents, but there are ways to address yours.
  • If you feel especially anxious while laying in bed, try getting more exercise and self-care.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Taking Time for You

If you’re having issues with sleep, you really should be prioritizing your self-care. Self-care during the day can set you up for more relaxing nights.

  • Focusing on self-care could mean keeping a consistent routine or moving more.
  • Staying physically active is actually a good way to destress and improve your sleep.
  • Understand that self-care can be basic, like drinking more water or eating healthy.
  • If you’re a busy parent, staying organized and practicing self-compassion count!

Do Discuss Sleep and Mental Health With Your Doctors

Sometimes you need a little help to manage your mental health and get the sleep you need, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of this. Sleep is too important not to reach out for help when needed.

  • Some indicators that you may have a sleep disorder include oversleeping and snoring.
  • Keeping a sleep journal may make it easier to talk to health providers about your issues.
  • Your doctor may recommend a sleep study or counseling to address your concerns.
  • If you struggle with anxiety, routine counseling can also help you manage mental health.

Finding simple ways to take better care of yourself can do wonders for your sleep. When you get better sleep, you are likely to feel better and have an easier time coping with feelings of anxiety. Look for tactics to soothe your anxiety at home, make self-care a top priority, and be sure to talk with your healthcare providers about your sleep and mental health concerns.

Photo Credit: Pexels

ANXIETY

Time to get help

Having a full on panic attack and feeling like I needed to be sectioned made me seek help from the doctor. Prior to this I had never asked for help as I thought I would be laughed at. But this panic attack had scared me and I realised I was not going to get better without some help. I went to the doctors on my own as I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone else to hear what I had going on in my own head (like the feelings of ‘I need to be sectioned’). The doctor was brilliant and really listened to me (I know they don’t always listen, but normally with mental health they are brilliant). The doctor said that she would refer me for some Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). I was happy to be referred, but she said there would be at least a three month wait. That was a shock, as I needed help then not in three months. I couldn’t imagine how much worse I would be in three months time. So I explained that I could not wait, and she said she would prescribe me some Propranolol. She said I was only to take it if I was going to be doing something where I would get anxious.

I was nervous to take the tablets, as I didn’t know what to expect and I had never expected I would end up on tablets for my mental health.

But that next week we were off to Centre Parcs, and my husband was going to be driving up later as he was working. So me and the girls were going with my Mum. I got up and had some breakfast and took the Propranolol one hour before my Mum was due to pick us up. I felt very nervous about the journey (its only an hour away but a long way for me not knowing where the nearest toilet was). I also felt nervous about taking the tablets. I was on the toilet most of the time waiting for Mum as my anxiety was causing me to need it.

By the time my Mum came I was not feeling good at all. My heart was beating so fast. I believed the tablets were causing me to get worse. I felt like my heart was going to come out of my chest it was beating so fast. The journey was horrendous and we had to keep stopping so my Mum could calm me down. The tablets had made me so much worse.

I never took the Propranolol again!