How Can You Have Restful Sleep Despite Your Circumstances

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sleep is the most fundamental action we can take to achieve mental awareness and balance. When we make restful rejuvenation a priority (superseding our emotions and feelings), we can better deal with life issues.

I didn’t realize individuals who experience childhood sexual abuse were at an increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), having trouble sleeping, or having nightmares until I was in my mid-20’s. What I knew was I loved gazing at the dark-lit sky and hearing the symphony produced by the nighttime creatures. I loved sleep, and sleep loved me. I could fall asleep anywhere and at any time.

My mother helped with setting the foundation of quality sleep. She didn’t make us take naps, and we were in bed most nights by 9 pm. And my mother was an early riser. On occasions when I would wake up to go to the bathroom, she was sound asleep in her bed. In addition, my mother would say things like:

  1. “take control of your dreams.
  2. “You are in control.”
  3. “Children need their sleep.”
  4. “Let the past be the past.”
  5. “Nip things in the bud and “don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.”

During my 20’s and early 30’s, I kept my regular sleep habits and often had trouble staying up past 9 pm unless I was on a date. Thanks to my alignment with my circadian rhythm, I could never read or study all night during my undergraduate and graduate studies. While living in my Saint Louis apartment, I would set my alarm to 1 or 2 a.m. to watch the 4 pm Oprah show I missed, and even then, I couldn’t stay up. 

As you know, our circadian rhythm is our internal process that regulates the sleep/wake cycle. This alignment with nature is something we all have until we believe something can affect how our body is naturally wired. Unfortunately, over the past two years, I forgot about this alignment. 

  1. I took things personally (a big cause of interrupted sleep).
  2. I stressed out about things I couldn’t control and didn’t trust God. 
  3. I forgot the answers to life’s issues often come in the morning after a good night’s rest.
  4. I felt overwhelmed, unsupportive, unappreciated, and alone. In other words, I felt like a victim and attacked.
  5. I made things more than what they were. I saw problems and more problems. My imagination was getting the best of me.

Does anything above sound familiar to you?

I even thought about taking melatonin supplements, but I‘ve never been a big advocate about taking stuff my body already has. When I stopped doing the above things and others, I found my way back to peaceful rest. 

So, what helped to restore me to restful nighttime sleep? And what can help you?

  1. At one time, you didn’t have problems sleeping because of your natural built-in system. Your body releases relaxing chemicals such as melatonin and lowers other chemicals. Your body didn’t change. Your perception changed. When I changed my perception, I returned to restful sleep.
  2. Make restful sleep a priority. Everything else can wait in the morning or later. I incorporated some melatonin-producing foods for a few nights, but the more I slept, the more I wanted restful sleep.
  3. Everything you need, you will have. I remembered how all my needs are always met. So I continued to pray and meditate, retraining my mind to trust in God, nature, and myself to know the right thing to do. God did not change. I did. 
  4. You are not a victim but a student of life. I remembered my student approach to life and started speaking more positively to myself. Although my circumstances were not ideal and what I wanted, there were something to learn about myself. 

Make this lifetime great! You deserve it. Please share if you believe this post can help someone and subscribe to my quarterly empowering newsletters.

Timika 

How Do You Maximize The Foods You Eat For Mental Well-being?

Photo by Jane D. on Pexels.com

There is so much information about eating, not eating, what to eat, what to avoid when to eat, and other suggestions for a healthy body and mind. Although our bodies have a similar structure, each of us requires an individual approach to health maintenance & sustainability. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to achieving and sustaining optimal health. Many organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, have encouraged individuals, specifically those with diabetes, to adopt an individualized approach to eating, doing away with prescribed meal plans and calorie restrictions.

As always, before starting, changing, and ending a meal plan, always consult your health care provider and make sure your health team is aware of your changes. For example, a diagnosis of congestive heart failure may mean fluid restrictions, bone disorders may lead to an increase/decrease in certain minerals, and diabetes may lead to insulin adjustments. 

It’s important to remember that our body works together to obtain overall balance, including mental wellness. The body produces chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin (feel-good chemicals), GABA and melatonin (relaxing chemicals), epinephrine, and norepinephrine (flight or fight responses that rev up heart rate and blood pressure), and others to support the body during life events. Too much or too little body chemicals can send us on a roller coaster of emotions or increase our emotional instability. Some of the foods we eat help our body produce enough body-balancing chemicals i.e. apples and serotonin).

For example, cortisol helps fight infection and tells the liver to produce more blood sugar while slowing down insulin’s effectiveness to turn sugar into food. So then, our blood sugars are high, which can impact our ability to think clearly. 

This is the fourth week of discussing mental wellness during June of 2021, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) awareness month. Please feel free to look at my previous blogs discussing dismantling myths, letting go of expectations, and reevaluating our emotions and feelings over past experiences.

So, how do you maximize the food you eat for mental wellness?

  1. You realize that everything you eat affects your well-being. 
  2. You listen to your body. After eating rich food, those noises you hear may be telling you the food is too rich (sweet) for you. Your headaches may be confirming the food is too salty. 
  3. You trust yourself and your body to lead the way. No one can and will know your body better than you, no matter the affiliations, degrees, and titles. 
  4. You treat knowledge as knowledge and not a matter of fact for you.
  5. You are open and flexible to a new way of doing and thinking. 
  6. You become a student of your health. Research foods using reliable sources and sites (National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and others.)

So, continue to do what you can to achieve and sustain optimal health. You are worth every minute.

If you like the information I shared in this blog, please share and subscribe to my quarterly newsletters on healing from the inside out, health tips, and living out your purpose.

Make this lifetime great!

Timika

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Truth Week 2: Acknowledge Your Emotions

Photo by Luca Paul Dross on Pexels.com

Sometimes, what we need to do the most is often what we don’t want to do. Time in the “darkness” is an opportunity to acknowledge and accept our emotions and feelings instead of pushing them into an already overstuffed container. 

Before COVID-19, I, like many people, was all over the place. Here a school. There a field trip, luncheons, dancing classes for our daughter, sports activities for our son, and other events. I was not maximizing the “space” given to me to sort out years of accumulated emotions and feelings and who I wanted to be. Anger, fear, and resentment were building up in me, and I wasn’t aware of it, mostly because I was not using many of the teachings I learned as a child. 

So when Covid-19 shut down to hit, I saw it as an opportunity to “be still,” currently the third Chapter in my upcoming memoir titled Bent Not Broken. The past year reinforced that emotional cleansing is an everyday necessity for wellness. I also remembered how important self-talk is when we are going through something. 

At an early age, I experienced the power of unhealed emotions. When we don’t deal with our emotions, we increase our chances of projecting our pain on others (i.e., domestic violence, sexual abuse, and others), ourselves (self-sabotage, suicide, or others), or both. The nursing path continued to show me the mental and physical effects of pain and unmanaged stress. During my 20’s, I read more about the relationship between dis-ease and mental and physical symptoms from authors such as Eckhart Tolle, Gary Zukav, Louise Hay, and others.

The only way to achieve the balance our bodies thrive is by going through the darkness. Emotions and feelings notify us something within us needs attention. In other words, you must face your anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and other emotions to get to the other side, which is full of compassion, love, joy, and peace.

This week I will continue to shed light on how facing our emotions and feelings can show us to and through our healing path. Each bodily system works together, permitting us to make the impact we are here to make. Trauma side effects (anxiety, fatigue, heart palpitations, and others) come from a perfectly wired body, all yelling the same thing…..

The same emotions that created the darkness are the same emotions that can lighten your path. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Timika

MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES

P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.