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by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
I took a major leap of faith to make a big transition into launching my second career as a 50+ single woman. I left a stable music education job, sold my Florida home, and moved to my Kentucky home-state to be in place as my mother’s caregiver (fulfilling a promise I made to my father on his deathbed in 2014).
Now I have the chance to work from home as I pursue my life-long dream of writing, composing music, and creating online products and courses.
Going down the path to my dreams isn’t easy. I’ve had some crazy, unanticipated obstacles. People have disappointed me in ways I never saw coming. I’ve made mistakes. Some things failed entirely. I’ve gotten worn down by the constant juggling of entrepreneurial, caregiver, volunteer, and creative tasks.
My Closest Companions, Fear And Doubt
During the first 18 months of this transition, my closest companions were my overwhelming self-doubt and fear. My tendency toward insomnia escalated dramatically with my nightly battle against anxiety.
The switch from my steady teaching job to being a caregiver and entrepreneur in a new living scenario raised my deepest doubts. This constantly interfered with my sleep patterns and stunted my wisdom to make decisive, appropriate business decisions. I often felt paralyzed with my self-doubt.
In fairness, I’ve battled my self-doubt my entire life. I’m a worrier, a deep thinker, and have tremendous perfectionism and OCD tendencies. But this new chapter of my life tapped into my inner fears more deeply than ever.
Wrestling my negative feelings head-on, I’ve pulled out all the stops to win over them. I’m gratefully making wonderful progress with overcoming insomnia, and with winning over my mental angst.
Read more about how I’m defeating fear and doubt here.
Guard Your Sleep Routine
I’ve discovered the power of a regular routine. I vigilantly guard my night routine. As a deep thinker, it takes effort to stop my mind from swirling. I can’t sleep if I’m thinking!
Early Versus Later
It takes me more than one hour to get to sleep. If I don’t go to sleep early enough, I think all night at the sacrifice of sleep. I’ve learned that going to bed earlier helps me sleep more. If I go to bed late, my mind starts twitching and I end up tossing and turning all night.
Consistency helps train my body and brain to get more rest. As I maintain my early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine, I’m getting more restful sleep. The more I protect my regular sleep and morning routines, the easier it gets for me to relax into sleep. There is power in a regular routine.
Get Outdoors & Move
Regular exercise helps wear me out enough to overpower my mind with pure physical exhaustion. I aim to walk or cycle every afternoon. This helps alleviate the muscle tension from sitting at a computer or piano keyboard all day.
Exercise also refreshes my state of mind, gives me a dose of fresh air, inspires me with the beauty of nature, and often gives me a second wind to keep working after dinner.
In my blog, Why Taking Care of Yourself Is The Best Thing For Others, I share how research has proven that when people take breaks, they refuel creativity and are more productive at work.
Getting outdoors for some quiet reflection, a vigorous walk or bike ride, or participating in an outdoor sport are all ways to give yourself a break from constant mental work or a sedentary lifestyle. Doing so helps balance your emotions, refresh your productivity, and help your body relax.
Shut Things Down
When it’s time for sleep, I must deliberately close down electronics, work, and even social interaction to give myself time to wind down toward rest.
Here are my Top Tips For Winning Over Insomnia:
I highly recommend my recent and current selections, which include;
Living Buddhism magazine
The Wisdom For Creating Happiness & Peace by Daisaku Ikeda
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris
Reaching Beyond by Herbie Hancock
Possibilities by Herbie Hancock
The Book of Doing and Being: Rediscovering Creativity in Life, Love, and Work by Barnet Bain
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Napolean Hill’s Think And Grow Rich
Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change by Michelle Gielan
The One Thing: The surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller (read my blog with more about this book here.)
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
As unoriginal as it sounds, exercise, healthy diet and a steady daily routine do wonders for your overall wellness. One of the best bits of advice I received, was to establish a consistent daily rhythm. Having a morning and evening routine helps set the tone for my day and paves the way for restful sleep at night.
Developing a daily routine while vigilantly training my brain to see my best self has been helping me achieve more as I continue forging my new adventurous path. I plan to keep moving forward toward my dreams as I challenge myself to fulfill my potential.
I hope my strategy for sleep is helpful to you, too. Please let me know in the comments below if it is, or if you have any questions or other topics you’d like me to explore more deeply!
I sincerely pray this content inspires YourCreativeChord!
I’d love to hear from you. It means a lot to me that my content is helpful and empowers you. Please take a moment to let me know your thoughts below!
How To Use Self-Care To Feel Happy
5 Ways To Use Music & Nature For Self-Care
Defeat Fear & Doubt with Your Courage & Capability
How To Deflect Negativity To Become Happier
Believing In The Positive
To Climb Again My Kilimanjaro
9/15/2019 11:58:09 am
More parallels. The battle between anxiety and rest is one I've been in the thick of since I was twelve. Adopting several of these same strategies has made a huge difference in the last few years as I finally (usually) am getting consistent, restful sleep.
9/16/2019 02:09:19 pm
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