For two weeks after the enhanced community quarantine was implemented, I wasn't sleeping properly. I tried to stick to my usual routine so my body clock wouldn't get messed up, but even that couldn't keep me from randomly waking up at night. And even when I managed to go back to sleep, I didn't feel like I got the kind of rest I needed. Of course, I knew that it probably had something to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, but I couldn't figure it out on my own.
I reached out to Sheila Tan, a licensed meta-coach, for help, and hopefully, if you're going through the same thing, you'll get some answers, too.
If your sleeping patterns have been unusual since the lockdown began, the first thing you should do is to address it (Read: Don't do what I did and ignore it for two weeks, lol).
According to Sheila, this disruption could stem from three things:
FearIf you've been feeling scared, that's completely valid. To deal with it, ask yourself the following questions: What exactly am I afraid of? What are the probabilities of those things happening? What is within my control to change the outcome? What do I need to accept? And what do I need to let go of? Facing your fears and analyzing them from a logical perspective is better than denying their existence.
Stress is the result of mind perceiving danger. Sheila explains, "It would be good to understand what exactly is triggering the feeling of threat. Zeroing down on what the issue is will help you be more logical about it. Sometimes, just dissecting the issue and getting to the root cause will make one realize that it's not a big deal after all. If it is something that you have reason to worry about, then list down what options you have to address them. Taking action no matter how small would be more empowering than just feeling helpless and overwhelmed."
Lack of control
After giving it some thought, this is why I wasn't sleeping the way I used to. I like to be in control of a lot of things and this lockdown took that from me. Sheila says this could be true for most: "When this happens, know that whatever happens outside of ourselves is little compared to the control we have over our own thinking. Our thoughts and emotions are two things only we have control over. So, ask yourself, How do I want to think of this so that it is helpful for me? What other ways can I interpret this so that it is more actionable for me? Whatever emotion you are feeling, look into it. What is the emotion pointing towards? Do they direct you to certain logical actions? Are they leading you to look inwards and process some beliefs in your mind that may need updating? Our beliefs in life are often self-fulfilling prophecies and may not make sense at all. How we're feeling are usual consequences of those embedded thoughts and beliefs."
If you're still having trouble sleeping, Sheila suggests using this time to pause and reflect on your goals or learn things you've been putting off: "However you want to spend your time, choose and allow."
Sheila Tan is a licensed Meta-Coach, Group and Team Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, and Neuro-Semantics Trainer. She holds a diploma in Self-Actualization under International Society of Neuro-Semantics. She owns Altius Coaching and Consulting, where she offers coaching, leadership, and sales trainings. She is co-founder of Flourish Circle, a non-profit organization that offers a community based solution for mental health concerns. You may email her at email@example.com and follow her at @upwithsheila and @Altius.coaching.
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