If, like me, you often wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, try this before you go to bed:
Identify what might preoccupy your mind if you did wake up in the middle of the night (like challenging relationships, unfinished business, politics, heath issues, the holidays, ghosts of the past, the news, an upcoming event, money, food, your inadequacies, ugliness, global warming, animals, conspiracy theories, etc.).
Write down one achievable action for each one.
If you can’t identify an achievable action, acknowledge that the situation is beyond your control.
Go to sleep.
When you wake up, remember that you’ve got plans that won’t work in the middle of the night, so there’s no need for your brain to engage.
If your awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night brain comes up another issue you didn’t anticipate, put it on the list of “Things to Do Tomorrow.”
Go back to sleep.
I hope none of my recent photos keep you up at night.
Here‘s something else you can try if you can’t get back to sleep at night:
You could also focus on gratitude. Sincerely, gratitude always helps.
A week ago Sunday, I attended a wonderful talk by J. Scott Rutan, a highly esteemed writer, teacher, and practitioner of group psychotherapy. During the talk — offered by the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy — Scott handed out a list of healing factors, and invited everybody to rank the healing factors in order.
This was a difficult task, because all of those healing factors are very important. However, I had no difficulty identifying what healing factor I rely on the most: Hope.