The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. Breathe”- Japanese Saying


When you are afraid of something, breathe.

When you are angry, breathe.

When you are feeling impatient, breathe.

When you are tense, breathe.

When you are irritated, breathe.

When you are feeling panicked, breathe.

When you are restless, breathe.

When you can’t sleep at night, breathe.

Breathe

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May 10, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Meditations, Physical Exercises, Spirituality, Tips to help insomnia | , , | Leave a comment

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”-Psalm 4:8


If feeling a bit restless when it is time to sleep:

repeat something to yourself that brings peace to you.

Try:

“I AM safe”

“God Loves me”

“I AM love”

“I AM peace”

May 9, 2010 Posted by | Affirmations, anxiety, insomnia, Meditations, Prayers, Self-empowerment, Spirituality, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Setting Ourselves A Deadline: A simple tip for de-stressing and getting better sleep


In today’s hectic world where we feel so electronically “plugged” in all the time with emails, texts, etc….it is easy to keep working past quitting time, at home, in the car, wherever we happen to be. Not officially turning ourselves off can be stressful and affect our sleep at night.

Try setting yourself a deadline where responsibilities from your office or job are done for the day. No more checking emails or making phone calls. You are DONE– you’re calling it a day. The time is up to you. It could be 5:00 pm or 8:00 pm. Just designate a time and then stick with it regularly. The pressure will lift. You will train your mind and body to know when it is quitting time and time to begin unwinding. Unwinding time: time for yourself, friends, family, couple time, glass of wine, bath, nice dinner, tv,  music, reading for pleasure, making love, and finally SLEEP. Ahhhh…..

(This post inspired by article in May 17, 2010 issue of Woman’s World entitled “Rejuvenate by setting a deadline!”, p. 26)

May 9, 2010 Posted by | Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mew Way:To Nap or Not To Nap? Mew says: “nap!”


There is a lot of advice out there for us suggesting that taking naps during the day will affect our sleep at night. I suspect that can be true for some people. I personally love my little “power cat naps”. If I can lie down for 15 to 30 minutes in the afternoon between the hours of 3 to 5 pm, I am much more refreshed and enjoy a nice evening once my second wind kicks in. I do not find this kind of napping affects my night sleep at all.

Perhaps if I napped like my cat Mew does I would have a hard time sleeping at night. He is a cat and he is all about the catnap. As in, the all day catnap. He seems to sleep pretty well at night too so all of that napping is not affecting him much any.

Like most things in life it probably boils down to some moderation and knowing what works best for you. Realistically,we probably don’t want to sleep all afternoon if we want to get to sleep later for the night. I suppose there is some common sense to that.

I do want a good night of sleep- but as of yet, I am not willing to give up my afternoon siesta to get it.  It is exactly 4:23 pm. Mew is curled up in his spot on the corner of the bed. Time for me to join him for our catnap….

May 9, 2010 Posted by | Humor, The Mew Way, Tips to help insomnia | , , | 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

Looking Forward To A Good Night Sleep Tonight


I am looking forward to a good night sleep tonight and this is why:

  1. I am happy
  2. I feel good about my life
  3. My daughter is happy
  4. I am in love with the most wonderful man in the world
  5. I ate a healthy delicious dinner tonight (portabello mushroom sandwiches, couscous with greek olives and feta cheese, and brocoli) with a Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. I am getting ready to go for my evening walk (my Ipod shuffle is charging as I write this)
  7. I am looking forward to Mothers Day tomorrow
  8. I am in The Now

I wish for all of us a good night sleep. Be safe. Be well. Know that you are not alone. You are loved.

Good Night

Debra : )

May 9, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Tryptophan: good for sleep and overcoming shyness


We have heard about tryptophan. It is an amino acid that helps our brains to produce serotonin which helps us to relax and sleep.

Now, it would seem, researchers from McGill University in Canada have discovered that tryptophan also increases self esteem and helps people feel more confident in social situations. This is a great benefit for those of us who are plagued with shyness and anxiety. It just might be worth a try!

Tryptophan is naturally found in milk, cheese, nuts, chicken, and turkey. It can also be found in supplement form.

Resource: May 17, 2010 issue of Woman’s World

May 7, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, insomnia, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment

“Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” -Albert Einstein


Ways to incorporate simplicity and harmony in our lives:

  1. Focus on the good in our lives and let go of the rest
  2. Like Richard Carlson says: Don’t sweat the small stuff…and its all small stuff
  3. Ask: Do we really need that bigger house?
  4. Ask: Do we really need that bigger car?
  5. Ask: Do we really need all that stuff?
  6. Ask: Do we really need to sign our kids up for every extra-curricular sports and activity our community has to offer?
  7. Learn to say no.

I read an article in a recent Ladies Home Journal and they took a survey from people from different professions about what they think it takes to make a marriage work. One lady, a realtor, suggested that couples buy a smaller house rather than stretch themselves financially to get that bigger house. The sentiment was that instead of being stressed and fighting about money, the couple who bought a smaller house with a smaller mortgage could then use their resources to go out for nice dinners together, take vacations, and nurture each other.  That is certainly something to think about.

Parents of our generation tend to keep our kids very busy with after school sports and lessons and weekend soccer games etc. Is all of this busy-ness really good for us? I am not judging (for I have done these things myself). I just encourage us to look at our lives and question.

Simplicity. Harmony. Peace. Balance.  I like the sound of these things. A person living a simple, harmonious, peaceful, and balanced life is probably not a person staying up at night stressed, panicked, and anxious about his or life.

Debra : )

May 6, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ghosts Of Our Past


Many of us who are having a hard time sleeping at night get stuck in an anxious state of fretting about something that happened in the past. Or that we remembered happening in the past. Memory is a subjective thing. What we remember may or may not have happened that way. The point though, is, it was in the past as in NOT NOW. Something from our past does not have to have any power over us or hurt us if we don’t let it.

I spent years worrying about things from my past. I made myself miserable doing this.

Keep in mind that we do not need to think in ways that do not serve us.

  1. We are not victims
  2. All we have is the present. Worry , anger, and regret about the past is a waste of time
  3. When we catch ourselves going back in the past we can take out a tool out of our toolboxes such as meditation and just get in the NOW.
  4. Practice acceptance, forgive, and let it go and surrender

Much peace will fill our lives once we let the past stay where it belongs: in the past.

May 4, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , | Leave a comment