by Megan Coggins, LPC
Have you ever woken up with a racing heart or racing thoughts at some dark hour in the night? Your bed no longer provides the comfort it once did to lull you back to sleep. No amount of sheep counting can get you back to dreamland. Anxiety may be the cause.
It’s Not Just You
If you are experiencing disruption to your sleep and more anxiety than normal right now, you are not alone. Many people are struggling with the unknown of this novel coronavirus. The isolation, financial difficulties, or stress from too much time at home with children and spouses. While we cannot control many of the aspects of what we are facing in this current situation, there are a few steps you can take to help ease anxiety. Leading to sleeping a little better at night.
The isolation many are feeling due to social distancing is creating a void of physical closeness. From lack of hugs, as well as lack of intimacy created through in-person communication.
Connect with Others
One way to help combat this is to connect with people through video chat. This can help you feel connected to loved ones as you communicate about how you are feeling. One thing that may be beneficial for these conversations is to try to bring in some positive topics. For example, “What is one thing you are grateful for today”. Or “What was your latest crazy canned vegetable concoction you created”.
“Humor is a powerful tool for the human spirit.”
By keeping a light-hearted aspect to these conversations you can enable laughter. Humor is a powerful tool for the human spirit. If you don’t have anyone at home with you that can provide a hug, try wrapping yourself in a blanket. You can also try squeezing a pillow to your chest while video-chatting a loved one or watching a movie. This can help stimulate the deep reassuring pressure we get from a hug.
What else can you do with the racing thoughts? Try journaling about your concerns, whether throughout the day or in the middle of the night. Sometimes getting them out of your head can be enough to ease anxiety.
Challenge Your Thinking
Another helpful strategy is to think of “what is” rather than the “what ifs”. By focusing on what is, we often realize that maybe our situation isn’t as bad as we thought.
“This, too, will pass, but for now at least you are resting your physical body by lying down at night.”
For that rapid heart rate, try deep breathing. I know it sounds cliché. However, taking in deep breaths and slowly exhaling will provide much-needed oxygen for that brain. Allowing your brain to think as clearly as it can. Try to get in some physical movement throughout your day. A walk or some yoga can help release the pent-up anxiety you are experiencing.
Anxiety & Physical Rest
Finally, one last helpful piece of advice I once heard regarding sleep. When you are laying in bed unable to sleep, growing anxious and frustrated by your lack of sleep. Remember that you are at least resting your bones. The best gift you can give yourself during those sleepless nights is to not put added pressure on yourself. This, too, will pass, but for now, at least you are resting your physical body by lying down at night.
Start Anxiety Counseling In Hillsboro, OR?
We have counselors in Clackamas and Hillsboro who are ready to help you get started! To begin anxiety treatment follow these simple steps:
- Explore more about our caring counselors in Hillsboro & talented therapists in Clackamas
- Schedule an appointment with your preferred therapist, or reach out to us about questions
- Quiet the anxiety and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep
Other Services at Life Discovery Counseling In Oregon
We have many online therapy options including online anxiety treatment in Oregon. If you live specifically around Clackamas, SE Portland, Hillsboro, or Forest Grove then we can help you at one of our therapy clinics in person. The foundation of our therapy approach is Christian counseling. Adults are not the only ones that can benefit from our services since we offer teen and child counseling as well. Our counselors provide depression treatment, Christian anxiety counseling, trauma therapy and PTSD treatment, codependency therapy, couples counseling, and postpartum counseling. Once you’re ready to start, we’re ready to connect!
ABOUT MEGAN, THE AUTHOR
Megan Coggins is a Licensed Professional Counselor and writes about anxiety, trauma, postpartum and pregnancy issues, and relationships. She is a skilled and caring Christian therapist in Oregon.