As Winter draws in the nights get longer, the days get colder and all around us parts of the natural world go into hibernation. Nothing says snuggle down under the duvet and grab a quick forty winks more than a grey winters afternoon, but as nature around us slows down and takes time to regenerate we continue to push ourselves to take on an even busier, fast paced, intensive schedule particularly during the month of December.
This is the time of year when it is reported that stress levels jump, depression spikes and day to day health declines and while a Winter's nap wont solve all your problems it will give you that all important window of time to focus on your own self care and wellbeing in amongst the rush of the season.
Napping may not be something that you will be able to squeeze into everyday, but when the opportunity does arise allow yourself permission to take hold of the moment. Not only will a quick snooze leave you feeling reengergised and refreshed but it will also help reduce stress and increase your feelings of emotional wellness.
GETTING THE TIMING RIGHT
When setting your timer for napping there are two ideal time lengths. The first is 30 minutes as this is just the right amount of time to allow you to grab a quick replenish without entering deep sleep (which is hard and no fun to wake out of). The second is 90 minutes and this is roughly the length of a full sleep cycle meaning you will enter REM sleep and wake up feeling bright and refreshed.
BEFORE YOU START
Find yourself a restful space where you can position your body in such a way that it is comfortable and when relaxed you will be able to drift off to sleep. You may want to use pillows, a snuggly blanket or even a hot water bottle to up the cosy vibes.
For many of us sleeping in the middle of the day may not feel like the most natural of things and it is important to relax your mind into the moment as it is not uncommon for your brain to resist the unusal change to your daily routine.
If you are struggling to find your way to the land of nod there are a couple of ways you could ease yourself into a sense of calm :
1. Focus on your breathing, hold your attention on your inhaling and exhaling. Breathe in for the count of 5, hold for the count of 4 and breathe out for the count of 10. Repeat this process for around fives minutes to allow the chatter of your mind to fade away.
2. Starting with your fingers and toes and slowly moving up the body do a couple of slow, gentle stretches. You should stay lying or sitting down, whichever is the more comfortable position for your upcoming nap.
3. Thoughts, ideas and feelings will creep into your head as you prepare yourself to nap, but it is important to not try and blank them out as this may result in a resistance that makes it hard to relax into sleep. Instead acknowledge these thoughts and then move on, not holding on to anything for a prolonged amount of time before returning all your attention to the inhaling and exhaling of your breathing.
After not too long you should have settled down to enjoy a quick winters nap.
#wintersnap #sleeptherapy #hypnotherapy #hygge
Every month we will be delivering little snippets of therapy news alongside seasonal tips and tricks for the the mind and body, exclusively for our newsletter tribe. So why not get comfy, take some time out from your busy day and enjoy a catch up chatter with us. Take a seat on our therapy couch and allow yourself to breathe, escape and grow.