Run, run, run and run! Do you find yourself constantly on the go? Are you falling into bed way after midnight? Are you physically and mentally exhausted? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Unfortunately, this is the case for most moms whether single or not, we are lacking the rest we need. We have busy families, work schedules and social lives that require us to be on the move. Moms are constantly creating and making things happen, to do this we need replenishment through rest. Listen, after creation God rested on the the 7th and he gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest. What does that tell you? Jesus went off to rest, so why do we think we can plow full speed ahead, without time to renew and replenish?
At one point in my life I would go to bed right after I put my daughter to sleep and I was telling another mom this, well she looked at me like I was a creature with 2 heads! She said to me, “But how do you get anything done?” If our priority is the only the ‘doing’ then we can easily find ourselves running on the hamster wheel. In order for us to get the maximum out of life, parenting, and anything else then our bodies and minds need time to rest. Here are my tips on getting the rest you need:
- Be Intentional About Getting Rest: Make resting a priority. Set a time that you want to be in bed and stick to it as closely as possible. If your spiritual, physical and mental health are important to you then treat getting rest as an essential part of your day and not something you squeeze in after 2:00 am.
- Get Organized: Organization believe it or not can have an impact on how much sleep we get.Think about this, the reason you may stay up so late is that you are finishing what is left undone. Now, sometimes no matter what we do we will burn the midnight oil, but this should be the exception not the norm. Creating a list of your to do’s for the day or for the week gives you a snapshot of what needs to be done and an idea of how much time it will take to complete. If you have less unfinished tasks the easier it is to jump in bed on time.
- Unplug and Disengage: Figure out what the main distractions are that are keeping you from getting to bed at a decent hour and get rid of them! Maybe this means turning off the television at 10, shutting the computer down, or make a rule that you won’t look at your phone after a certain hour. Learn how to unplug and disengage yourself from the world so that you can enter into a place of rest without all the stimuli.
- Create a Bedtime Routine: You probably have a bedtime routine for your kids, so why not create one for yourself. Prepare your mind and body for relaxation. What helps you to unwind? Maybe it is a scented bath, soft music, or reading a book. Figure out how you want to rock yourself to sleep every night!
- Create a Restful Space: Create the bedroom oasis that makes you feel comfortable. Your bedroom should be a space that you want to run to after the day is over! If there is clutter surrounding then your transition to sleeping most likely won’t be a smooth one. Think about a place where you had a great night sleep and the recreate that experience!
- Don’t Slack on Exercise and Nutrition: When I exercise I sleep better. Try to get in some form of exercise everyday even if it is walking for 20 minutes, it helps! Also, be careful what you eat or drink before bedtime. Don’t drink a cup of coffee at 6 or 7 and not expect to up at night. Get familiar with what your body needs to function at it’s optimum and it will have a positive effect on how you sleep at night.
- Rest Throughout the Day: This isn’t always easy, but if you are able to squeeze in 15 minutes to just sit down and rest, please do it. Maybe this happens during a lunch break, or if your child has a lesson, whenever you can take a moment to just unwind and rest your body and mind. These little rest periods are so helpful.
- Get the Kids to Bed: I can’t express how crucial it is to our own sleep when our kids, especially little ones have a set bedtime routine. If your kids aren’t in bed on time, you won’t get to bed on time either. Keeping kids on schedule will keep you on schedule.
- Know that There is Always Tomorrow: God willing there is always tomorrow. If you don’t get something finished and it is going to put you way past your bedtime, I suggest letting it go until the next day instead of skimping on your sleep. If you are well rested getting done whatever it is you need to do will seem much easier in the morning.
- Pray Yourself to Sleep: Praying before we go to sleep fills us with a sense of peace and serenity. It allows us to let go of the burdens of the day that have left us weary and give them to Him.
There are seasons in our life where sleep will elude us, especially if you’re a mom to a newborn or little ones. But, those seasons will end and then you can be intentional about getting the rest you need so you can be the best you.