Has COVID-19 Interruption Interrupted Your Sleep?
"One more thing to think about..." Probably everyone at some point has used this phrasing. What’s this phrase referring to anyways? I’ll answer my own question: never anything good. It’s one more thing to stress over, worry about, or think through.
I don’t know about you, but it feels like COVID-19 isn’t just one more thing to think about. Rather, it’s done a hostile takeover in my brain. Just curious, has it taken over your brain?
COVID-19 has impacted us all
Let’s be honest, it has affected you. Everyone has been impacted in some way. It doesn’t matter your social class or your gender. In many cases, it’s affected the way you do your job, for others, your business has closed, and for some part of the population, a loss of a job.
Perhaps the worst thing of it all is nobody can formulate an educated guess of what the “new normal” might be. I know I didn’t even cover most of the issues going on, but with all that said I have a question for you: has it affected your sleep?
The 1-2 punch of stress and anxiety
For some insomniacs, it probably made it worse. For normal sleepers, perhaps it’s beginning to affect you. In this article, I will cover 2 different outcomes that arise from COVID-19 that have the potential to affect your sleep: stress and anxiety. If you aren’t normally an anxious or stressed person, but this COVID-19 virus has you acting differently, strap in.
Stress is obviously a big category, naturally we won’t be able to talk through all of it, but according to the CDC, here are a few symptoms of stress:1
- Feeling irritation, anger, or in denial
- Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
- Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Having trouble concentrating
So if you fit this category, what are some ways to help you through this difficult season? Super glad you asked!
Talk is optional
If you find talking about the subject increases stress in your heart (emotional heart), stop talking about it. There isn’t an invisible code requiring you to talk about it. Try to write a few subjects on a 3 by 5 card and discuss them with a friend.
Release some endorphins
I think exercise is the cure for almost everything...but seriously instead of turning on the evening news (we’ll get into that later) go for a walk or whatever exercise you enjoy. Exercising releases endorphins, helping you feel better once you’re finished.
Draw from community strength
Be a part of a community of people whether faith-based or a group of friends doing, well, you know, your thing. The fellowship will bring laughter, encouragement, and problem-solving.
Just like stress, anxiety is a big category, so I’ll touch on a few suggestions to help. The Mayo Clinic lists a few of the symptoms:2
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Breathing rapidly
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
What are some things that might help ease your anxiety?
I know, I know, you don’t want to miss anything important. I understand that but what you think, in a sense, is what you become and we all know news is generally negative and doesn’t give a whole or balanced picture. Try it for a couple of weeks, prove me wrong!
Confront your worries
Write out or talk about the specific anxieties in your heart. This can help release the emotion locked inside and will give you freedom from worry. Speaking about worry...Worry always assumes the future will be bleak; you should interview worry and ask it why it makes that assumption. Surely your future hasn’t always been terrible. Perhaps a balance of good and trying times...yes/no? COVID-19 will probably follow a similar path.
Hopefully, these suggestions have given you a new perspective. What are your thoughts? Do you see value in these suggestions?
Do you have any other health conditions besides insomnia?