The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

Let’s Stop Putting Ourselves Down or why I almost didn’t buy that bathing suit


I bought a real pretty two piece bathing suit today at a nearby surf shop. It fits me perfectly and I feel very good in it.  I had put off buying a new suit for this season for weeks because I kept thinking that I wasn’t thin enough yet and hence, did not “deserve” a new bathing suit. Never mind the fact that I take pretty good care of myself by working out regularly and eating well. I am fit and am at a healthy weight. I still have this weight on my, ahem, backside, that I wish was less than it is. It is just how my body is built and if I let it I can be pretty self-conscious in a bikini.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I could choose to focus on my flat toned stomach and arms and tell myself that “Debra, you go out and get a pretty new suit for your beautiful body. You work hard for your  body and you deserve it”. Instead, I almost did not buy this bathing suit today because I was focusing on my perceived “flaws”.

Remember, what we appreciate appreciates. What we focus on grows. It is up to us whether we talk ourselves up or talk ourselves down.

Hopefully we are choosing to be around people who support us and help us to see  our best in ourselves. My partner was that person for me this morning. He said I look great and encouraged me to get that new bathing suit I’ve been wanting.

Perfection is a tough standard to live by. It would be freeing and a great relief to learn how to be easier and gentler on ourselves. I am learning to do that. As a result, I am sleeping better at night. All those years of sleeplessness and anxiety were greatly attributed to that perfect image of myself that I thought I had to attain.

It is no fun to beat yourself up at night and not sleep just because you are being yourself. No, you are not perfect. Nobody is.

The sooner we can accept that, the sooner we can have peace of mind and a more restful night of sleep.

If you are awake with your journal, go ahead and write down all of the many wonderful qualities that you have:

  1. What do you like about your appearance?
  2. What are some of your abilities that you are naturally good at?
  3. What were some of your best subjects at school?
  4. Think of all the compliments people have given you. Write them down.
  5. How have you helped or made the world a brighter place for someone else today?
  6. What are some achievements that you are most proud of?
  7. Think of all the wonderful, miraculous things that your healthy body does for you

Smile, and know that you are wonderful.

(This post inspired by a chapter called “don’t put yourself down” in Richard Carlson’s book: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff With Your Family, p.70)

Debra : )

May 8, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Benefits of Journal Writing, Journal Prompts, journal writing, lists, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment

A word listing activity for when you can’t sleep


In your journals, as fast as you can, write down as many words as you can that:

  1. start with “tr”
  2. start with “ch”
  3. start with “la”
  4. end in “le”
  5. end in “er”
  6. end in “ous”
  7. start with “dr”
  8. end in “ion”
  9. start with “z”
  10. start with “qu”

This exercise ought to tire that monkey mind right out and get you sleepy again.

Good night.

April 29, 2010 Posted by | insomnia, lists, puzzles, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Best Places for…. A listing exercise


Here is an exercise to try with your journal when you can’t sleep. This idea was inspired by the Best Places to Kiss in _____ book series. You can keep writing until you get sleepy again.

Write  a list of:

  1. The Best Places to have coffee with a friend
  2. The Best Places to go on a first date
  3. The Best Places to kiss
  4. The Best places to get engaged
  5. The best places to have a wedding
  6. The best places to go on a honeymoon
  7. The best places to go on a bookstore browse
  8. The Best Places to take a walk
  9. The Best Places to enjoy unspoiled wilderness
  10. The Best Places to window shop
  11. The Best Places to write on your laptop
  12. The Best Places to work out
  13. The Best Places to hide when you want some solitude
  14. The Best Places to party
  15. The Best Places to take your kids out to eat
  16. The best Places to go on date night
  17. The Best places to go to enjoy a water view
  18. The Best places to go to enjoy a mountain view
  19. The best places to go to enjoy a sunrise
  20. The Best places to go to enjoy a sunset
  21. The best places to go on a cruise
  22. The Best places to go when you need a vacation
  23. The best places to go when you need to connect with others
  24. The Best places to go camping
  25. The best places to go running
  26. The best places to go when it is hot and sunny outside
  27. The best places to go when it is rainy outside

You get the idea. Come up with more ideas of your own. Writing lists is always a great journal writing exercise. It is simple and it gets your mind on something else besides your not sleeping… have fun.

April 20, 2010 Posted by | lists | , | Leave a comment

What are you thankful for?


In your journal, write down all of things in your life you are thankful for. This gratitude list can be an ongoing feature in your journal… what we appreciate, appreciates! And, getting in a grateful state helps to get us out of our funky, anxious states of mind into a more positive state.

April 19, 2010 Posted by | lists | , , | Leave a comment

Listing Movies


Making lists in our journals when we can’t sleep is a good mental exercise that will get our minds off our insomnia and hopefully will get us sleepy again.

Here is a listing exercise to try:

Make a list of all movies of a certain genre (ex: all horror movies, all chick flick movies, classics, thrillers etc.) that you can think of

Make a list of your all time favorite movies

Make a list of the worst movies you have ever seen

Make a list of movies that make you cry

Make a list of movies that make you laugh

Make a list of every Oscar winning film that you can think of

April 13, 2010 Posted by | lists | , , , , | Leave a comment

A list of words to make you sleepy


Sometimes doing something kind of mentally challenging will get our minds off our insomnia and back into slumberland.

In your journals, pick a letter of the alphabet and list as many words as you can that start with that letter.

Keep going until you are tapped out and then start a list with another letter. Sooner or later, your mind will grow tired.

Have fun, and good night.

April 12, 2010 Posted by | lists, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”-Abraham Lincoln


What makes you happy? Get out your journal and write down as many things as you can that make you smile, your heart sing, make you want to thank God that you are alive! Do it now.

April 6, 2010 Posted by | lists, Quotes | , , , , | 2 Comments

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

What are you thankful for?


Write down as many things as you can think of that you feel thankful for. What a wonderfully blessed person you are.

February 26, 2010 Posted by | lists | , , | Leave a comment

Write Down Your Worries


Write down everything that is worrying you. The more details, the better. Imagine the absolute worse. When, finished, tear out this page from your journal. Throw it into the trash. Sip your cup of warm milk or tea and breathe. Just be.

February 26, 2010 Posted by | Benefits of Journal Writing, lists, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment