Success is Relative
Since I’ve been trying to get back into a good sleeping routine, I’ve been doing a number of unusual practices from herbal supplements to subliminal message YouTube videos to positive affirmations.
I was so desperate for sleep during midterms this past graduate school semester, I would have tried anything. I even asked my doctor for a prescription for Ambien (he said no ugh!) But encouraged me to try more natural ways to control my insomnia. And, if you can suffer through a day feeling exhausted, then his method of creating a deficit of sleep hours actually did work. Although I still wanted that Ambien…
It was hard to be alert or energetic or generally happy when I couldn’t sleep and I was in school, though. So I decided to buy herbal sleep aids from Amazon, where I could see reviews from fellow insomniacs. Honestly, I was looking for something that got positive reviews from meth users or people with chronic anxiety. If it works for them, then it will have to work for me.
I bought a Cortisol Management supplement with Ashwaganda in it and I swear by this formula for sleep now. (Not an affiliate link since I am banned from the Amazon affiliate program for not being a productive earner lol.)
I started watched “healing frequency” videos and I was skeptical about the sketchy subliminal messages before. Especially when they were made by men. It just gave me a bad vibe to put my trust into a white male “healer” who was going to reprogram my subconscious with “safe and effective” messages. Yeah, right! I’m not falling for that again.
But after some tumbling down the rabbit hole of binaural beats and isochronic tones and healing frequencies, I began to create a number of playlists with either soothing music to meditate to or binaural beats combined with ethereal music that just helped me relax. I added some of those dark screen “FALL ASLEEP INSTANTLY” gentle rain and ocean waves vids to my sleeping-specific overnight playlists.
By now I’ve found some amazing videos that are trippy and pastel with anime characters and whimsical copy in the descriptions that have actual “safe and effective” subliminal messages that appeal to my aesthetic and personality. Well… I think they’re safe. And I don’t think they’re made by straight men because they seem less egotistical. Sorry, sexist but true.
People keep telling me words are powerful. It’s true, right? It’s the oldest magic. ✨ There are always so many automatic negative thoughts in my head and I know I can’t really stop those. But saying one daily positive affirmation (and writing it down!) has helped me change my mindset about sleep, my body image, and my overall mood.
I’m not stupid and ugly when I look in the mirror anymore — I am beautiful with moon-kissed skin. I’m proud of my body. I’m patient. I’m creative. I’m ambitious. I make decisions that align with my goals.
Positive affirmations are easy. Use a personal pronoun and say positive things about yourself that will help you on your path to self-improvement. It can’t cure your depression or anxiety, but adding a little bit of good magic to the start of your day can set the tone. Saying positive affirmations in the mirror can stop you from letting the bombardment of unrealistic beauty standards keep your self-esteem down. Telling yourself that you can and will do it and then acting like you already have it will get you there. It’s like fake it until you become it with magic and emoji and smiling and feeling proud of yourself and your accomplishments. Block out the bad with a glittering shield of good.
The Perfect Combination?
I think I’ve found my perfect sleep combination – and a lot of my issues with motivation and procrastination and mood come from sleep issues – so I’ve been on a great trajectory for a healthy sleep schedule by the time school starts again (Jan 26!) Waking up on time after sleeping throughout the night is amazing. I used to have such a bad relationship with sleep, now I don’t feel like it’s ruining my life anymore. Positive affirmations keep me motivated to do the work that I care about, like writing and reading.
Ultimately… I’m not perfectly there yet. Today I woke up perfectly before my alarm went off. Immediately got out of bed to brush my teeth and take care of the cats. I wanted to tidy up the kitchen and get back into bed with my book.
I noticed a giant dead bug on the kitchen floor. 🥲
In a way, this is good. That was an intruder. Either some kind of trap or one of the four kitties got to it first.
But hell naw I do not have a subliminal message for being brave enough to dispose of a NYC freeloader the size of my fist right now.
Despite all my hard work, I’m sitting back here in bed waiting for my boyfriend to wake up so he can get rid of it and maybe he can grab my cold brew while he’s at it while I cower in fear about the fact that I am surrounded by critters that I can’t see or hear. 😭
The funniest part about all of this is that I wanted to be a swamp girl like in Where the Crawdads Sing, but clearly I’m not cut out of that life because I need hippie music to sleep and men to do pest removal for me. :’) Honestly, I probably just want duck bib overalls.
City girl 4ever,
UPDATE: The bug is missing 90 mins later. Pray for me.🙀🙀🙀
UPDATE #2: 3 hours after I woke up… The bug was recovered and disposed of. I have survived to tell the tale. I scooped Pinky to my chest to stop my racing heart. I am safe once again. For now.