The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

A soothing place

Think of someplace very peaceful to you: the beach, a mountain retreat, a happy childhood home…anything that makes you feel good when you imagine yourself at this place.

You can be there alone and just enjoy this special place. You may invite special guests too.

If you could spend time in your special place with someone, who would it be? It could be your spouse, a special friend, or perhaps someone you admire. I have often thought it would be amazing to sit down for a while and have tea with Anne Frank. Here is this courageous young girl who kept love for life and optimism in the face of horrible circumstances. I would just love to sit with her for a while.


March 23, 2010 Posted by | Meditations | , , , | 3 Comments

My Heart Goes Out To You

Dear tired reader,

If you are on your computer reading this because you can’t sleep, my heart goes out to you. I have so been there. I have been challenged with anxiety issues most of my adult life. Over the years I have suffered from social anxiety, regrets, worries about my past, worries about my future, worries about my health, worries about my children, worries about my spouse,  worries about the house, worries about my finances, worries about my parents’ health,  worries about our planet’s health,the problems of our society- you name it, I have probably worried about it. For a couple of years I was on Clonazapam, an anti anxiety drug, just so I could sleep at night.  I have been off this drug for two and a half years now.

Happily, I have enjoyed a very peaceful, centered, and relatively anxious-free state for quite a while now. It hasn’t happened over night but I am doing very well.  This is why I decided to start this blog to help others out there who may be experiencing similar challenges with sleep and anxiety.

For the last few years I have learned some wonderful tools about learning how to deal with change, stress, and anxiety. I am not any kind of a medical, sleep “professional”. I am just a regular person who knows what it is like to not sleep at night due to anxiety. As I develop this site I will continue to offer my support and give you some ideas on dealing with this issue. I know how debilitating anxiety and not getting your sleep can be. If I could I would reach out and take your hand or give you a hug I would.

You will be alright. You are alright now. Believe it.

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Self-empowerment | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Worry Journal

We all worry. So why not worry productively? We can set aside a specific time in our day to “worry”. Get out our journals or a notebook specific for this purpose. On one side of a page write down the worry. On the other side write down something you can do about it. This can by any little action step that moves you closer to a solution to the problem.

That’s it. Then, when your mind starts doing its over thinking, worrying thing, you can remind it that it has already had its time to worry for the day. Tell it to relax.

March 21, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Benefits of Journal Writing, Tips to help insomnia | , , , | 2 Comments

“A Well Spent Day Brings Happy Sleep” – Leonardo Da Vinci

How are we spending our days?

Do we find time to do things that we enjoy, that challenge us, that promote connecting with others? For many years I was a stay at home mom. Although raising young children is rewarding it can be lonely and isolating (at the time I was living in Seattle and the climate probably didn’t help). I think I experienced some of my worst anxiety during those years. I would get myself out by working out at the gym, having lunch with friends, doing playgroups with other moms, joining a bunco group, becoming a Girl Scout leader etc.

We humans need: social interaction, mental stimulation, projects- things to do! We need a sense of purpose.

I think people who are alone a lot may be particularly prone to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. This group may include: stay at home moms, self employed people, any one who works from the home, retired folks, the elderly.

I would encourage anyone who is alone a lot during the day to get out and connect with others, start a project, a new hobby, join a club of some kind, do volunteer work- stay busy.

Then, at bedtime, your mind will think “time for a rest. I have put in a full day.” Good night!

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Quotes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Isometrics: a great tension releaser

I have recently discovered isometrics. Simply, it is tensing a set of muscles and relaxing. I have been practicing it for a couple of weeks now and I’m noticing a firmer body and coincidentally, I have been sleeping much better at night. I don’t do any particular routine. I do exhale when I am tensing and inhale when I release the tension. You can really exercise any muscle group you feel like. It is free, no equipment needed, and you can do it anywhere.

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Physical Exercises | , , , , | 2 Comments

Old fashioned journal writing

This blog encourages and promotes the benefits of journalling as a tool to help us alleviate stress, anxiety, get our minds on something else- and ultimately get a more restful night of sleep.

In this day and age of technology, blogging on the computer, emails, texting etc., there is something to be said for good old fashioned writing with our hands, a nice quality pen, and paper.

I have been a journal writer my whole life. I just love going to the journal shelves at a Barnes and Noble or good quality stationery store and peruse the beautiful journals on display. Some are leather bound and just feel and smell rich… Some have very artsy or inspirational covers. Some are totally blank on the inside. Some are lined or have quotes or guided ideas for your journal entries.

Each journal represents to me something new, a clean fresh slate, new possibilities…  each journal is a journey. Where will it take me?

Enjoy the journey, fellow travelers!

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Benefits of Journal Writing | Leave a comment

To Nurture and be Nurtured

For those of us who feel harried,

For those of us who are under stress,

For those of us who are worried about something,

For those of us who are exhausted and could really, really use a good night’s sleep-

I encourage all of us to really know deep down that we are cared for and supported. We are loved.

What can we do to nurture ourselves?

1. Look at ourselves in the mirror and think and say : ” I love you” to that beautiful person looking back at you.  If this is too difficult we can always find a photo of ourselves as a baby or young child and do the same. Love and hug that innocent child who is still inside of you.

2. Sip on a warm cup of milk or tea or chicken broth.

3. Read something inspiring

4. Eat healthy, wholesome foods. Our bodies really are our temples!

5. Exercise

6. Get outside regularly

7. Reach out to others!

8. Try something new

9. Let ourselves get silly and do something really crazy and outside of our comfort boxes

10. Smile and laugh (even if we don’t think we feel like it)

11. Do at least one action step a day that propels us closer to our dreams and goals.

12. Wear really comfortable clothes

13. Sleep in high quality linens

14. Invest in some nice candles, bath oils, and bubble bath

15. Give yourself some downtime every day

Ways to nurture others (and of course what goes around comes around so you will feel pretty terrific giving to others!)

1. Get in the habit of smiling to everyone you encounter in your day

2. Bless your fellow drivers on the street. We are all keeping each other safe during our commutes.

3. Hug a loved one

4. Listen to another person. Really empathically listen with no agenda of your own

5. Accept another’s viewpoint without judgment even if you don’t agree with it

6. Cook a nourishing meal for your family

7. Don’t take your loved ones or colleagues bad moods personally. Love them and accept them as they are.

8. Be present with others

9. Be gentle

10. Seek to understand

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Self-empowerment | Leave a comment

Floor work with my cat

When I can’t sleep or feel particularly anxious I like to “hit the floor”. My cat always joins me. Cats are great at relaxing. They stretch regularly. Stretching, rolling, and breathing are a wonderful way to get our bodies, nervous systems, and minds relaxed.

No equipment is needed and can be done in the dark even when the rest of the household is asleep.

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Physical Exercises, The Mew Way | 2 Comments

Do something boring. Yawn….

If you find yourself wide awake at night, get up and do something boring.

You can read about something that is difficult or has very little interest for you.

Organize something

Do a puzzle

fake being sleepy. Yawn… (yawn even if you don’t feel like yawning)

Write lists:

try to remember every birthday party you had or you threw for your child- come up with as much detail as possible- theme, did you go out, activities? guests? gifts?

Write down every teacher you or your child has ever had

What is the year make and model of every automobile your family has ever owned? Write it down.

Work on remembering and reciting a text, speech, or poem.

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Tips to help insomnia | Leave a comment

What are you thankful for?

Write down everything you can think of that you are thankful for right now. Do it!

March 15, 2010 Posted by | lists | | 2 Comments