I ordered a weighted blanket the other day; it’s making its way toward my front porch as I write this. It’s a gray color. The drab, dreary kind of gray…the rainy day gray that just refuses to clear up. Even though it’s admittedly a melancholic color (and matches the heaviness of our current events lately), that weighted blanket serves as a sparkle and glimmer of the possibility for a good, solid night’s rest. That simple phrase has the ability to light a new kind of hope in my consciousness. Sleep?! Yes, please.
These past few months have been unique, to say the least, and I haven’t been sleeping the way my body needs. I know I am not alone. My mom tribe has been verifying the constant feelings of unease, indecision, and worst yet, helplessness. My brain and body are a cellphone (iPhone 11, thank you very much), but lately, my charge only fills to fifty percent. I can’t open all my apps for fear that the battery will run out before the day is over. I am on power reserve, and that needs to change; I am grasping at straws to find any solution to feel charged enough to take on the new day. Rather, I will be grasping a new, weighted blanket, not straws.
Scientifically speaking, weighted blankets have been shown to help calm anxiousness, ease tension, and (here’s the deal maker for me)– improve restless sleep!! How can this be!? Moreover, how have I not taken the plunge earlier in my life and tried one out? Well, perhaps I haven’t been this stressed out. Ever. Never. At this point, I don’t feel as though I have much to lose, other than the cost of the blanket itself (and I definitely used an Amazon deal for it anyway!) I am tired of letting the weight of the world’s problems cause me sleepless nights (pun intended).
A weighted blanket offers similar benefits as deep pressure therapy, but at home. There’s no getting vulnerable with a stranger, no uncomfortable worry about hurting someone’s feelings if I don’t return for another service; it’s just me and a blanket, literally, and at the fraction of the cost of person-to-person therapeutic massage.
Weighted blankets have been successfully used with autistic children/adults, people who struggle with ADHD, anxiety, insomnia, osteoarthritis, and chronic pain. As a general rule, weighted blankets are typically about 5-10% of a person’s weight (any heavier than that and the benefits dwindle). The blankets create a calm-inducing feeling for all kinds of people suffering from sleep disorders, and apparently, mine included. The weighted blanket that is making its way to my doorstep is another chance to care for myself the way only I can.
Self-care 101: You cannot care for others if you are too drained to care for yourself.
This month’s post came as a struggle for me. I grappled with the topic for this month’s post because it seems like my brain never shuts off; it’s constantly reeling and reloading reruns of thoughts and decisions that should have been taken care of months ago; thoughts that keep circling like sharks waiting for the newbie surfer to fall off her surfboard. Today, I refuse to be that newbie.
Through this weighted blanket, I am recognizing that I need to try something new to take care of myself (haha, no, not surfing). Today’s current event issues won’t be solved tomorrow, that much is clear. It’s become a game of endurance and stamina, and I need fully charged batteries to compete.
The heaviness of what’s going on in my community, in our nation, heck- worldwide– that heaviness can only be changed with a new attitude and approach. I am hoping with each night I am able to use a new mantra and put all my problems away for a while, recharge and wake up refreshed; ready to tackle whatever it may be (just no murder hornets, for the love of all that’s good).
I am going to use the heaviness of today’s current events and put all that weight into my blanket (symbolically speaking)… deep, slow breath in. Deep breath out. Again in. Ouuuuuut. In. Ouuuuttttt. I am going to promise to care for myself and in turn, will be able to care for others on a full charge, and not let the weight of the world cause me any more sleepless nights.
Looking for more self-care tips? Check out this post.