How Can You Have Restful Sleep Despite Your Circumstances

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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 

Blaming Yourself Is Not The Answer

I’m sure you have heard the phrase forgiveness is for you and not the other person. Sometime after my childhood sexual abuse secret was out, I realized anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and their magnetizing companions were a waste of energy and time.

Nursing school was one of my many signposts that confirmed there was a never way of living. After learning about resilience, I said, “I am resilient. I learned about conditioning my mind (Pavlov) and how to be my best self as possible. I was on my way to self-actualization, and many great people experienced unwanted events as a child. I learned I had a voice, and I could teach people how to be healthy and prevent things from happening to them. I also learned about the devastating effects of stress (anger, guilt, and other potentially toxic emotions if we permit them to linger.

Often, life teaches us theory before experience. Later in my 20’s, I experienced what the world calls survivor’s guilt after learning that many people who experienced childhood sexual abuse turned to external comforters (alcohol, drugs, sex, and others) and were suffering. I felt I accomplished many of my dreams and pondered why me?

Thankfully, life has also brought me full circle in understanding that we go through things to help people find their healing path. Thus, forgiveness serves as a win-win.

I realize again that there is no reason to feel guilty. As a child, I had every right to:

  1. believe what the two family members did was not my fault
  2. believe someone else’s pain is not my fault
  3. experience true love since I knew what love was not.
  4. Succeed in life (to do the things I love without feeling guilty).

There is no reason to imprison ourselves for something someone else did. We become so others can become. People need light to show them the way out of pain (darkness). We don’t need to struggle and keep carrying baggage (pain) into generations.

When we know we have a right to be free and experience love, we do not settle for anything else. We are not better than others. We are living our truth.

Thank you for reading my post!

Make this lifetime great!

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.

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How You Can Regain Your Sense of Self-Worth After An Unwanted Experience

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All of us experience some form of disappointment in our lives. But how do we recover from broken expectations and prevent further damage to our self-worth? 

Here are four steps to help you remember your worth.

  1. You acknowledge the experience for what it is. You don’t need to pretty up the story or tell a different story to achieve inner peace. Many of the emotions (anger, etc.)and feelings (incompetent, etc.) we experience come from denying reality.
  2. Part ways psychologically and physically, if you can. You decide the life you want to live and set the standard for future experiences (relationships, employment, and other areas of your life).
  3. Learn from your experiences. Early on, I chose the student approach to life instead of always seeing myself as the victim. Self-empowerment comes from learning how to navigate life based on what you learn from previous experiences. 
  4. Create moments of stillness to reflect on lessons learned. Throughout my day, I take time to reflect on my experiences. Stillness is not about where you are but achieving inner peace despite where you are. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for quiet moments, but sometimes I can’t wait until the kids go to bed or go outside on the deck to achieve calmness.
  5. Focus on what you learned instead of the person (teacher) who reminded you of something you already knew. What is the message out of your experience that you needed to know?

We can turn broken expectations into opportunities by not taking our experiences personally, separating our worth from experience, setting our life navigation on learning, and creating time to reflect on what we learned and not our teacher.

Thank you for reading my post!

Make this lifetime great!

Timika

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