At the end of a long day we are so full! But in addition to food, we fill our digestive systems with stress and anxiety. Even the most simple daily routines require energy. Add to that the demands of work, family, and home, and the to-do lists seem overwhelming.
Our Western life embraces fullness as a sign of success. The question “How are you?” is often answered with “I am SO busy.” But at the end of a day, when we are tingling with exhaustion and seek to be empty, we often fill ourselves again with sweet treats or other midnight snacks. This makes our digestive systems work harder all night, which can lead to other physical discomforts.
Here are a couple of ideas to build a new nightly practice:
- Wu Ming Qigong energy movements help you relax to make it easier to fall asleep. A simple movement is to bring your hands in “praying” position in front of your chest. Lift your left knee and let your foot fall flat on the floor in gentle, slow marching movements. Don’t stomp! Do this for 3-5 minutes.
- Lay down and slowly become aware of your breath. Let it flow in and out. Imagine the empty space in your chest expanding in and out. With each breath release one more thing on your to-do list until your mind is clear.
- Turn off anything electronic. With your eyelids closed, move your eyes to the right and left, and up and down. Do not strain, but look all the way in each direction.
- Be guilt-free. If you love the promise of a nightly treat, don’t deprive yourself. Maybe you’ll keep on snacking after you consciously breathe or do Qigong! Just be aware of the choice you are making as one that is mindful.