It’s been a while. In that while I have had zero amount of shut eye due to my bionic non-sleeping baby. So I am feeling somewhat lacklustre in fettle. It has got me musing on the subject of sleep, and how important it is to life and being vibrant, healthy and positive.
Maurice has never been a sleeper. While other little ones might enjoy a nap here and there and sleep like the baby who inspired the proverb, he has always eschewed sleeping as an activity worth his while, and preferred jiggling, bouncing, chattering, perhaps a bit of screaming thrown in for good measure as a more hearty way of spending his time. Every night since his birth has been peppered with vocal unhappy wakings every couple of hours, or if we’re particularly lucky, every hour. This was fine for the first three months…and then it became a bit of a drag, particularly as all other babies in the known universe appeared to have grasped the concept except Mo. Which can get a girl down. Lately, perhaps due to his great moving development with crawling and standing, his daytime naps have also diminished to nearly nothing, leaving me dredging energy from the very last reserves of my being, running on fumes until I get to the next gas station.
So yes, sleep…a little-remembered friend of mine. Perhaps we shall meet again one day? Insomnia seems like a gratuitous affliction to me right now, even though I was plagued by it pre-baby quite a lot. But the idea of being able to go to bed at night and have hours and hours of potential sleep stretching out ahead and not take the generous king of slumber up on its offer seems ludicrous to me now (although I very much understand that it is crippling and awful when it occurs).
So, I have been, in my bleary waking hours, trying to find ways of being positive about the lack of sleep, both in body and mind. And here are my ideas:
1. A great way of making the body and head feel less groggy is tapping your fingers around your face, skin and head. Tap tap tap around the temples, the jawline, the third-eye chakra in the centre of your forehead, the scalp. Massage the earlobes and all around the ear. This is a wonderful way of waking up the brain and spirit, and inject a little bit of energy where there may be none left. You’ll actually feel a little bit sparkly and fresh, it’s amazing. Try it.
2. Stretch. Stretch stretch stretch. If you can do some yoga or Pilates in a fluid graceful addition to common-or-garden stretches, then so much the better. For ideas for good stretches, why not download my free app My Pilates Guru which has a stretching section.
3. Walk. Get walking outside, walk tall, get the blood pumping, take deep deep wide breaths filling up the lungs and shaking out the bodily cobwebs. Try and get a bit of leafy greenery for the meditative life-enhancing calming properties of the lovely beautiful colour green (making sure you’re not walking right next to a busy main road will be better for deep breathing purity, and gaze up at trees in the street if gardens or parks are at a minimum…).
4. Try to focus on the positive, even if it’s a small chink of light in the gloom like the fact that it’s not raining, or you had a particularly delicious piece of toast and marmite for breakfast. If you’re feeling rubbish and sleep-deprived it’s east to allow everything to descend into a grump-fest. Try to lift yourself out of a downward direction by smiling, thinking about the things that make you lucky rather than the things you are feeling down about, and tilting your perspective up upwards.
5. Indulge yourself: listen to your favourite anthemic uplifting music, sing your heart out and bounce around with abandon (sing as if no one’s listening and dance as if no one’s watching you should always be your mantra), watch a great (or trashy) tv programme or film, eat your favourite food or drink your favourite drink. Without fail this will perk you up.
Mo, despite clearly not feeling like he needs sleep to survive in this world, is the most happy smiley little man I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with. So he is my little constant reminder that although I may in body be feeling slightly worn out, like a balloon found under the sofa a week after the party has ended, my spirit should always be fully inflated and lifting skywards.
Must go, my little bundle is a callin’
Until the next time folks…..stay happy and well