Sleep Expert: Getting Rest While Navigating a Significant Life Change

Sleep Expert: Getting Rest While Navigating a Significant Life Change

Posted by Wilet Home on

 

Wilet's Sleep Expert Alanna McGinn always has the best resources for helping families overcome their sleep challenges, but we're grateful to her for this particular piece, where she shares a very personal experience of navigating divorce and moving to a new home. For anyone experiencing a significant life transition, we hope you find some ideas for new routines and rituals in Alanna's story. 

 

This past year brought on a lot of change for myself and the kids. Starting a new transition of life including moving and creating a new home is both exciting, scary, and at times utterly exhausting. While navigating the journey of creating this new home for us I made sure to make an effort in my overall wellbeing. I moved my body, sought peaceful moments where I could, focused on eating well, and of course managed healthy sleep as best I could during what was likely one of the most stressful times of my life.

 

I remember moving day as exciting and chaotic. It was really overwhelming at times and the moment the movers put my bed in place I almost started to cry. I was never so happy to see comfort amongst chaos.

 

Because nothing says home like the comfort of your bed.

 

Creating a home where my kids felt safe and secure was my priority. Crawling into a bed that evokes the comfort of home is important but it doesn’t stop there. I was starting of fresh and new in this new home and I wanted my new bedroom to be a reflection of that. So, I began to carve out new comforts and new routines:

 

  1. During a stressful year leading up to our move my night routine had fallen apart. I fell into the TikTok bedtime spiral as it was my coping mechanism to drown out all worrisome thoughts that flooded my mind when I went to bed. Something I guided so many of my clients away from, I found myself doing it also. It was important to me to bring back bedtime and reevaluate my wind down activities. I applied an hour slow down cycle and it looked like this:

 

  • The first 20 minutes I prepared for the next day. I had so much on my mind between work and getting settled my thoughts were jumbling into the next. Taking time each night to write out my to-do-list, actual pen to paper, helped me clear my mind before I went to bed a fall asleep trusting that my next days goals were prepped and ready.
  • The next 20 minutes were all about me. This is where I focused on the usual bedtime hygiene, like changing into my pj’s, brushing my teeth, and practicing my skincare. This girl enjoys her skincare!
  • The last 20 minutes I swapped the mindless TikTok scroll for bringing back my love of reading. When I was younger I would devour books and then life happened coupled with my phone and social media and I stopped reading. It has felt so amazing to bring that back.

 

  1. I was in the midst of completely decluttering my life including my bedroom. If you want to go to bed in a peaceful environment you have to create one and going to bed when your environment is physically chaotic with mess does not bode well for a good night of sleep. I’m a storage queen. Nothing excites me more than finding a place for something that promotes more organization and tidiness. I purged and sorted. Filed away bills and paperwork so I wasn’t staring at it before I went to bed. I kicked technology out and decided against purchasing a TV for the bedroom. It’s not what I wanted to create for my sleep space. I cleared out my night table and even sorted out under the bed. When’s the last time you went through items stuffed under your bed? Ideally, you should only store items under the bed that fall into one simple category and can be easily organized, such as your seasonal clothing or wrapping paper and accessories.

 

  1. I knew the focus couldn’t only be in my bedroom. I also needed to brush off some stress management tools because sleep does not come easy when your stress levels are at an all-time high. Throughout the move and busyness, I stayed connected to my support system. Connection is an important part of bettering your mental health. Reaching out to friends and family for a daytime laugh or a simple check-in was important. I chose to keep those that filled my positive tank full and set up boundaries for the toxic relationships I didn’t need in my life. I also kept my body moving. Daily walks are my personal meditation. It’s something I’ve done since I was a teen. It allows me to organize my thoughts, exposing me to natural light and nature, which is my peaceful calm place. It’s also helps me build a stronger drive for sleep making it easier for me to fall asleep at night.

 

Sleeping well will always be a focus for my family and I continue to strive towards sleeping well for both myself, my family, and my clients. My next goal in managing stress levels to aid in a good night of sleep is to become more creative. Perhaps a painting class, or to finally finish crocheting my blanket!

 

Alanna McGinn is CEO, Founder and Certified Sleep Expert of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. Host of the ‘This Girl Loves Sleep’ Podcast and Sleep Expert on Cityline, Alanna has established the world-wide brand of Good Night Sleep Site as being a #1 sleep resource for families and she and her team of sleep consultants strive in helping families (baby to adults) and corporations overcome their sleep challenges and have well-rested smiles in the morning. You can find out more about Alanna McGinn and how to work with a Good Night Sleep Consultant at goodnightsleepsite.com and follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram and TikTok.

 

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