Wednesday, 21 May 2014

How to cope with nerves...

Being nervous about a big event in your life is natural whether it's your wedding, a big life change or an important project at work.  Nerves are usually part in parcel of the process. On the run up to my wedding I was definitely nervous or at least 'on alert' I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about all sorts of possible outcomes, the good and the bad.  In fact when ever something 'big' is going in for me it's my sleep that suffers.  
Here's a few tips that I find help me:

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Positive Visualisation- on the run up to the wedding I thought about it a lot I wasn't just nervous about it I was also excited.  I was most worried about walking down the aisle all my friends and family turning round and all eyes on me.  That's approximately 200+ eyes when you break it pressure!  When I was having a 'moment' which for me was usually in the middle of the night I would spend some time making myself visualise the walk down the aisle and seeing it happen and be a success.  I made it vivid and real in my head, it was a full colour movie of me in my dress, arm in arm with my dad, I could hear my entrance song (Damien Rice's Hornblowers Daughter, if you're interested) I could see the happy faces of each person as I walked past each row, I could feel the happiness and I could see the smile on my fiances face when I got to him at the end.  For me it really worked.  I figured if I was spending the time and energy on thinking anyway I may as well make it positive thoughts.  Sometimes I even used it as a way to get to sleep at night. You really can't under estimate positive thinking it really works.  When you feel the negative ones creeping in stop take a breath and work on making them positive.

Notepad and Pen- why is it when the lights are off and all is quiet your brain gets a supercharge of thoughts and the little niggly things pop right into your grey matter and they shine so bright you just lie there mulling it all over in your head?? It's an oldie but a goodie keeping a notepad and pen next to the bed is a good idea.  Jot down those thoughts and release them from the confines of your poor brain.  Take the paper option though as picking up your phone or iPad to write a note is probably going to wake you up more. Especially if you've got Facebook notifications,  15 new emails and a couple of what's apps requiring attention.  The act of scribbling down your thoughts is cathartic which then hopefully means you can get some shut eye.

Smiling Mind App- hard time shutting off? I like to use this guided meditation to help me clear my mind. Keep your headphones next to the bed and pop it on when you really need some help quieting your thoughts.  I like the 5 minute bodyscan and although meditation is not meant to be about sleep I do find it a good tool to actively focus on my body so my brain is way too busy to have all the other thoughts.  It can take practice but is handy to have and you could even do it on the train to work or at lunchtime in your car.

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Lavender pillow spray- I love a spritz of the L'Occitane Lavendar pillow spray or make your own Linen Spray there a great how to over on the 'One Good Thing' blog.  I just love the scent it seems to have an instant calming effect and when I pair it with one of the other methods here it usually helps me on my way.

Getting up for a while to take my mind of it- if all of the above doesn't work I usually get up for a while and do something my book, do some pinning on Pinterest, once I feel I might have satisfied the itch I head back to bed and hope for the best! Try to keep it to about an hour maximum tell yourself 'back to bed by 5am' otherwise you will end up a very tired person if your body clock resets itself to 4am.  

Voice it- during the waking hours try to talk about what's going on in your head with your partner or loved ones. The act of saying something out loud alone can sometimes make you feel so much better. It may be something that seems massive in your head but as soon as you say it out loud it might just not seem as bad.  Whatever's going on for you it's very unlikely that you have to deal with it alone. Get talking and don't forget things that cause a magnitude of worry in the middle of the night are usually much more of a minor problem in the morning. 

Whatever's going on for you I hope you find these tips helpful.  Even if you're  getting your full 8 hours of beauty sleep a night I'm sure there's plenty of opportunity to actively make more positive thoughts in your life or to take out 5 minutes of your day for some recharging and refocusing and most of all some well deserved shut eye!