Whilst the heat of the summer brings with it an abundance of fun, such as picnics, walks and outdoor exercising, it can also mean we struggle to get that much needed sleep. If you’ve been struggling to drift off, Neil has put together his top mindful tips to make sure you get your best nights sleep.
So, first of all, let’s make sure you are giving yourself a fighting chance of nodding off! Here are the basics:
- Gift yourself a screen-free chill down of at least 20 minutes before bedtime.
- Instead of those final weary scrolls on your phone – take a cool mindful shower. Connect with the water, your body, and the act of cleansing. Visualise the challenges of the day dissolving.
- Sit for one minute by the window looking out at the stars, connect to the vast mystery of this life. Even better, stick your head out the window and take some deep mindful breaths in the cooler night air.
- Head to bed, close your eyes and allow the mind to drift.
- If you find yourself fixating on the heat – conjure in the mind’s eye an imaginary scene that is fun and unconnected from the stressors of your life – a holiday trip, or exciting adventure. Allow the mind to create a detailed set of images and follow the scene into dreamland.
If you are still struggling and you’re partial to a little mindfulness, here’s one of my favourite practices that is easy to remember and really helps you relax at bedtime and keep your mind off the heat…
Exercise: The Four Phases of the Breath
- Inhale and exhale naturally through your nose.
- Bring your full attention to the sensations of the breath allowing it to be exactly as it is. There is no need to change it in any way.
- Imagine the breath is a wave moving through your body.
- The breath has four phases that make up its rhythm: Inhalation, Pause, Exhalation, Pause.
- Focus on each of the four in turn noticing how they differ.
- As you continue attending to the four phases of the breath, notice how each whole round of breath is unique.
- Allow yourself to become increasingly curious about the pauses.
- Imagine yourself sinking into the gaps.
Enjoy a more mindful nights rest!