11 Ways to Use Mindfulness for Unplugging & Sleeping Well

 

One of the lessons I learned during National Day of Unplugging last weekend was about sleeping. I discovered a better way to enjoy sleeping by turning my smartphone off and allowing myself to wake up without the alarm on Saturday and Sunday. Read my opinion piece on unplugging that was published in the Afro-American Newspaper to learn more.

Landing-Page-Header-SAW-2018

On Sunday evening, I decided to use Sleep Awareness Week (March 11-17) to add several mindful sleep practices to my daily routine. Check out the practices I used below. Since today is the last day of Sleep Awareness Week, consider trying one or more of them.

  1. Place your smartphone and digital devices in your living room, kitchen, or home office. Mute the sound on your phone ringer and notifications. If you can, turn the phone off. Use an alarm clock. Muting the sound on my phone and placing it in my living room really helped.
  2. Give yourself a few hours off from using social media, email or texting in the evenings. Set a curfew. Try 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. I tried a curfew of 11:15 p.m. to 8 a.m. on several days.
  3. Express gratitude for people and experiences. This practice opens my heart.
  4. Say a forgiveness prayer for yourself and others before you go to sleep at night. My forgiveness prayers help me release anger, disappointment, grudges, judgments, thoughts, and stories I have made up about myself and others. They help me clear my mind and cleanse my spirit and heart.
  5. Drink your favorite decaf tea before bed. I love to sprinkle turmeric in hot water or use Trader Joe’s turmeric and ginger tea.
  6. Use your favorite sheets and blankets on your bed. I love my purple sheets and cream blanket.
  7. If you are NOT allergic to scents, smudge yourself and your bedroom or home with a smudge stick to remove any negative energy. I use my smudge stick in the morning and evening.
  8. If you are NOT allergic to scents, burn your favorite incense or candle in your bedroom or home an hour or two before you sleep. You can also use a room freshener with essential oils to spray your bedroom or home. I like to use Mrs. Meyer’s lavender room freshener.
  9. Take an evening shower or bath to relax yourself. Showers are my favorites.
  10. Meditate for a 1, 5, 15, 20 or 30 minutes before going to sleep. Meditation with breathing exercises is a great mindfulness practice that can help you slow down and become aware of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. It can also help you go within and connect to your higher self. I like to practice a short meditation while laying in child’s pose, one of my favorite yoga poses, before going to sleep. Listen to my #ThrivingMindfully Podcast Series for a guided mindfulness meditation. Here’s a guided compassion meditation to open your heart. Check out my Mindful Living podcast playlist for more resources.
  11. Try gentle yoga. Like I mentioned above, child’s pose helps me relax before sleep. Go to YouTube and try my teacher Faith Hunter’s gentle yoga session. Also, do a search for gentle yoga or restorative yoga for beginners on YouTube. Check out Yoga In Bed: 20 Asanas to Do in Pajamas by Edward Vilga, one of my favorite yoga books. Learn more about my journey as a gentle yoga teacher (includes my yoga, reiki, and meditation services) and my yoga-inspired novel, Love’s Troubadours (available on Amazon). My novel tells the story of Karma Francois, a 30-something yoga teacher who is on a self-discovery journey that allows her to heal, forgive, and reinvent her life with art, meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, therapy, yoga, travel, and the support of family and friends.

If you are unable to try these tips today, I encourage you to use Sleep Awareness Week as inspiration for getting more rest in your life in 2018. Try one or more of the tips and let me know what happens in the comment section.

Happy Unplugging and Sleeping!

Photo Credit: National Sleep Foundation

 

Poetry Month Day #24: “Unplug”

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Happy Day #24 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Unplug.”

Unplug

Step back
Take a moment
5 minutes
30 minutes
1 hour
5 hours
A whole day
A weekend
A week
A month or more
To unplug from your digital devices
To unplug from your online life
Rest
Recharge
Do it on a regular basis

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Celebrating Get Real On the Internet Week

Photo Credit: www.realsimple.com
Photo Credit: http://www.realsimple.com

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

This week, I am celebrating “Get Real On the Internet Week” created by Real Simple magazine. I am using this week and several articles from Real Simple‘s January issue to explore how I am going to express my Flowista spirit by incorporating more digital wellness moments into my life this year. The first article I read, “Finding Balance in A Wired World,” asked me if I was addicted to my digital devices.  I was close to saying YES because the month of December was super busy due to Digital Sisterhood Month and then I reminded myself that I did slow down at the end of the month. I used two yoga workshops to slow down and recharge. They helped me settle into reflection mode where I was able to enter a period of stillness that opened the door to some juicy journaling sessions. Looking back, I can honestly say I was close to being addicted to my digital devices. Now that’s not something I want to get close to in 2014.

Would you describe yourself as addicted to your digital devices?

Photo Credit: RealSimple.com
Photo Credit: RealSimple.com

Today, I pulled out a Flowista collage I made while writing my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. Flowista is a Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetype I identified and have used to remind myself to unplug from my digital devices and online activities.

Photo Credit: Ananda's Flowista collage
Photo Credit: Ananda’s Flowista collage

The words and phrases on my Flowista collage are powerful reminders of my intention to be real on the Internet with self-care practices and regular unplugging moments.

Photo Credit: RealSimple.com
Photo Credit: RealSimple.com

Are you celebrating “Get Real On the Internet Week”? How?

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.inddTo learn more about Digital Sisterhood, visit Amazon.com. The book is available for Kindle and as a paperback or hardback book.

My Digital Diet for the Week of April 9

Writing a book is a magical and messy process for me. My blog gives me the space to share how the process impacts me. Last week I came to some conclusions about my time online. I realized I need to set deeper digital boundaries.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - http://www.leighmosley.com

Today I came up with a schedule I think I can live with for the next several months. Here’s my digital diet for the week of April 9.

  • Check my smart phone for email, texts, tweets, and Facebook posts in the evening.
  • Leave my smart phone at home during the work week unless I am meeting someone in person and/or travelling.
  • Post one blog per week on WordPress and Tumblr.
  • Use Pinterest two days a week (no more than 1 hour).
  • Tweet on Twitter on Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays (end tweeting by 9:00 pm).
  • Post on Facebook and Google+ two days a week (that includes Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays).
  • Use Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo when I have photos and videos to upload.

What do you think about my digital diet?

Have you ever unplugged from your tech life, gone on a digital diet, or taken a digital sabbatical?

What did you learn from your experiences?

Any tips?