Do you remember the days of childhood, curled up on the couch in a sleepy fog? I’m reminded of it every single day when I watch this little one doze undisturbed for hours at a time.
It taunts me. If only I could Freaky Friday it for a few minutes and leap into her lazy little body. But the bills are waiting, and the dishes and the dreaded grocery store.
I swear that the ability to drift off within minutes has something to do with this Magic Sleep Blanket. It has this effect on every kid who touches it. It doesn’t even seem to matter that it’s too tiny to cover their toes unless they’re curled up in tight a ball.
Maybe it’s the low volume, soothing colors. Or the minky lining. I don’t know, but I wish I could bottle that safe, warm feeling of the perfect napping blanket, don’t you? I’d take it with me to the dentist office, pop open the cork in line at the pharmacy and be whisked away to Dreamland.
You see, I love a good nap. Especially when I’m not supposed to be napping. I love it when the afternoon light streams through the thin curtains reminding me that the world outside is still raging on. It’s even more delicious that way.
But more often than not these days, when I do get the rare opportunity to nap, I lie there awake thinking of all the things I want to be doing. There’s the rub of motherhood – it’s a fine balance between the need for sleep and the desire for some downtime– for some time to nurture creativity and feed my soul. Sometimes the desire to have both just paralyzes me and I lie there doing neither.
But I have a trick to invite sleep. You might want to try it. It’s not a magic blanket. It’s something akin to a mini-meditation. But easier. My uncle, an amazing therapist, taught it to me years ago when I first started my psychology practice. I still use it all the time.
It’s the Game of Five Things.
You lie quietly in your coziest spot, and start by focusing your attention on five things that you can see. Then you move on to five things you can hear. Gently close your eyes as you start to feel more relaxed. Think of five things you can smell. And five things you can feel. Keep cycling through your senses, patiently pulling your mind back to its task when it wanders.
There you go, that’s my therapist’s trick of the day. Try it out if you don’t have a Magic Sleep Blanket of your own.