The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

The Warm Milk Journal Has moved !

Dear Warm Milk Journal Readers,  from now on please go to:

The Warm Milk Journal is the same but I am updating the look, using my own domain name instead of the free WordPress url:

I welcome any feedback and suggestions you have as The Warm Milk Journal evolves.

Thank you,

Debra : )


May 12, 2010 Posted by | The Warm Milk Journal | | Leave a comment

Eating That Elephant One Little Bite At A Time

Vegetarians out there: please pardon this metaphor- but truly, how would you eat an elephant? One little bite at a time. Often we take on way more than we can chew. We get overwhelmed. Stressed. Our brains shut down. The answer? One small bite at a time.

It goes back to those baby steps we have talked about. I figure, so long as I am moving forward and taking some kind of action on my goals, I am going to achieve success. Action is important. If our ideas and goals are solely in our heads, we are dreamers and that’s about it.We don’t, however, want to take on too much at once- put too much  pressure on ourselves- and then have it all backfire because we get overwhelmed, discouraged, and quit.

Like all things in life- there needs to be balance. Small steps or bites, if you will.

I am continually reminding myself of this. The Warm Milk Journal, for instance, is a big project. Starting a new endeavor like this is a lot of work. There is a huge learning curve. There are parts of this project that come easier for me than others. I find the creative side a lot of fun and easier: the writing of the posts, reaching out and helping others, coming up with ideas for the Warm Milk Journal (because this is something I care and feel so passionately about). The more challenging areas for me are more the technical and business end of things that come with writing a blog. There is so much for me to learn and really I have just started. So I tell myself: baby steps, Debra. Small elephant bites.

I think if we enjoy the journey we will be happy with where we end up!

Debra : )

May 10, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal Writing: the benefits of keeping different kinds of journals

The benefits of journal writing are many. The ways to use  journal vary. Here are some ideas.

The Recording Journal: This kind of journal is where you chronicle your daily life. I kept this kind of “dear diary” journal most of my life (starting at about age 10). It is really interesting to look back on some of these journals you wrote as a younger version of yourself. You may find that some things don’t change much and you are still anguishing over the same  issues you did as a teenager (finding the right mate, your weight, etc.) You may also see all of the growth that life experience has given you. That is most satisfying. You may find patterns from your life that can give you some kind of insight for your present life. I look back on many of my journals and just feel thankful for the rich life I have had thus far.

The Travel Journal: This is a kind of recording journal but warrants a special book of its own. There is something truly expansive and wondrous about adventure and visiting new places. Your senses come to life as you take in these new experiences. You are taking photos most likely with your camera- so why not record your experiences in writing as well? It will be a wonderful souvenir of your journeys years from now.

The Gratitude Journal: We mention this kind of journal quite a bit here at The Warm Milk Journal. What we appreciate appreciates. It is hard to stay in a negative state of mind if we are focused on the many things we are blessed with in our life. On a daily basis write down things you are thankful for. I started doing this many years ago on my own and also with the guidance of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude (which is never too far from my bedside) . Giving thanks is a wonderful habit and practice to get into.

The Worry Journal: This is another kind journal that comes up a bit here at The Warm Milk Journal. Many of us are losing sleep at night because our minds just won’t shut off the worries. The idea here is to give our minds a place and time to get all the worries out. List the worries. Then perhaps next to each worry write down a solution for it. This can then get us out of that hopeless feeling state. If our minds go back to worrying, gently remind ourselves that we had our “worry time” for now. We can also remind ourselves in this journal that 99% of what we worry about doesn’t happen. We can also play out the “worst case scenario”: if  what we are worrying about really happened, then what? Write it out. Would it really be as bad as our fearful minds have imagined it? On the top of each page of our worry journals we can write: This Too Shall Pass . Whatever is going on in our lives (good or bad) will pass. Life is dynamic. Is does not stand still. That idea alone has given me much comfort.

The Ideas Journal: You never know when you are going to get inspired and have a terrific idea. It is always a good idea to have a little notebook at hand to write down your ideas. I am using some notebooks  I have kept to develop some business ideas. Some of these ideas are quite good and they would have been lost if I had not jotted them down.

The Spiritual Journal: inspirational quotes, affirmations etc. I believe that journal writing helps us connect to our higher power. I often feel the closest to God when I take some quiet alone time with my journal and write. I sometimes write to God or the universe and ask for guidance. Our intuition and inner voice really comes out with this practice.

The Creative Journal: poetry, doodling, stories, anything fun, wacky. No censoring here. Just let your creative and playful spirit come out. This is a really fun kind of journalling experience. To get inspired, check out any of Sark’s books.

The Dream Journal: This can be fun. Have a journal by your bedside and when you first wake up, write down any dreams that you remember. Our dream world is pretty fascinating. Many  common recurring dreams that we have have been interpreted and it is interesting. There are may books on dreams. One good one  I currently have is the second edition of The Dream Encyclopedia by James R Lewis and Evelyn Dorothy Oliver.

May 9, 2010 Posted by | Benefits of Journal Writing, creative writing, journal writing, Self-empowerment, Spirituality, The Warm Milk Journal, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Who, What, and Why of The Warm Milk Journal

Who am I?

I am a 43 year old mother, second grade teacher, and enthusiast of many passions such as: working out, the beach, the outdoors, yoga, reading, writing, cooking, gardening, and travel. For many years I was challenged with anxiety for a variety of reasons:raising an autistic child, financial and health challenges, living in Seattle’s climate for 15 years, having a people pleaser personality etc.

This anxiety was pretty well contained during my waking hours. At night, however, it was a whole other story. Panic attacks and sleeplessness were common night time experiences. For a few years I was on a low dosage of Clonazapem (an anti anxiety drug) just so I could sleep at night. I have been off this drug almost three years now.

Currently I reside in sunny Florida, am happily employed, sleeping well, and enjoying life. I have worked hard these past few years to learn how to break some old habits of behavior, change negative ways of thinking, and stopped doing things that were no longer serving me. I read many excellent spiritual and self help books, went to empowerment seminars such as Tony Robbins’ Finding the Power Within, and did everything I could to actually put these new life skill tools I learned to use. I am still a work in progress but I can tell you that I have never been happier in my life. I am relatively anxiety free now, very rarely have a panic attack,  am drug free, and only occasionally wake up in the middle of the night (usually because my precious partner is snoring).

Who I am not: It is probably important for me at this point to state that I am not a doctor, therapist, or any kind of medical or mental health professional. Always, of course, seek the advice of your health care professional for any medical condition you have. I am not going to promote or discourage the use of sleep or any other kind of medication. That is between you and your doctor.

What is The Warm Milk Journal?

The Warm Milk Journal is a place for people to visit who are having anxiety and insomnia issues. Here, people will hopefully find a distraction when they can’t sleep, ideas for getting better sleep, ideas to become the most centered and healthiest people we can be,  diversions such as journal prompt ideas to get the mind on something else,  community, and  support.

Why The Warm Milk Journal?

I know what it is like to have anxiety and not be able to get a good night’s sleep. It can be very miserable. When I was in that state I did not feel very good about myself or my life. I feel so good now thanks to some new tools I have learned in recent years. It is my goal to help people and for people to know that they are not alone. There is a good many of us out there with these issues and we can get better and be there for each other.

Debra : )

April 28, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, insomnia, journal writing, Self-empowerment, The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Getting Enough Sleep?- Don’t Sweat It!

Yes, it is miserable to not be getting our sleep. Sometimes I think though that we stress so much about not sleeping that it makes our insomnia even worse. Who has been there lying in your bed and you are just staring at your clock, watching the minutes and hours pass, thinking about how terrible you are going to feel at work the next day…

The best thing we can do for ourselves is not worry about it. Okay, we are not getting our ideal number of hours of sleep tonight but we will be okay. This has taken me a long time to figure out but I really believe the best thing we can do for ourselves is to get our minds off our insomnia.The things we focus on increase. If we are focused on not sleeping we will most likely continue to not sleep. Make sense?

This premise is the main underlying purpose of the Warm Milk Journal. Distraction. Diversion, Centering.  The  goal is getting our minds on something else besides the fact that we are not sleeping.

So the next time you are really stressed about sleeping tell yourself it is okay. This is not a crisis. Get up and read a book, stretch, meditate,  write in your journal,  etc.

April 22, 2010 Posted by | The Warm Milk Journal, Tips to help insomnia | | Leave a comment

The Warm Milk Journal’s Mission

The mission of the Warm Milk Journal Is to be a nurturing, comforting place to visit when you are having a hard time sleeping.

The Warm Milk Journal strives to accomplish this mission specifically by offering:

  1. ideas that promote a good night’s sleep
  2. journal prompts to get you writing and your mind focused on something else besides your insomnia
  3. inspirational articles to encourage good health, peace of mind, and living fulfilling lives

April 21, 2010 Posted by | The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Warm Milk Journal’s Purpose

We all need our sleep.  To lose sleep on a regular basis can be quite miserable and debilitating. Sometimes there are circumstantial reasons we lose sleep such as noisy neighbors, too much light in our rooms, snoring partners,indigestion, etc. Often our insomnia is caused by an anxious state. It is hard to have a restful night when our minds are racing. The main purpose of this blog is to offer ideas to get our minds onto something more positive and peaceful.

I would like to help people live the happiest,centered, and most peaceful lives they can- and in doing so, will sleep soundly at night.

April 11, 2010 Posted by | The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Warm Milk Journal

Let me begin by saying I am not a doctor or a therapist. I am just a regular person who has been challenged with anxiety issues for many years of my life. I have spent many an hour wide awake in bed because of my anxious mind. I know how miserable it can be to not be able to sleep. You are not alone. There are many of us out there.

It is my goal to have the Warm Milk Journal be a place to go so you don’t feel alone. Usually if we are awake in the middle of the night it helps to get our minds on something else for a while instead of obsessing about the fact that we are not asleep.

I am calling this blog a journal because I have found it helpful over the years that when I am in an anxious state of mind, to write things down. I encourage you to have a special notebook or journal available near your bed to aid you on this journey. Many of the posts of this blog will be journal writing guides for you to do until you feel sleepy…

Together, we will explore ways to regain a calm, peaceful, and centered mind. Here’s to getting a good night’s sleep. Zzz…..

February 25, 2010 Posted by | The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment