Movement Challenge: Sleep is a Requirement not an option

Disclaimer: this is a place of learning, safety, and hope. Take what you want from the post and forget the rest. Maybe this will help you. Maybe it won’t.

Sleep is often a challenge for me. Since childhood, I’ve experienced vivid dreams and nightmares that feel real. I am a restless sleeper who constantly moves in her sleep, but also likes to curl up and cuddle when in a deep, non-dreaming sleep period.

Thanks to the trauma of my past, I also experience night sweats, night terrors, sleep paralysis, and panic attacks too. And have alter personalities that don’t sleep at night. Some part of me is always awake and take sleep shifts to maintain this routine.

Before moving to Oregon, I never slept more than 3-4 hours at a time. It was restless, light sleep that did not offer any healing or rejuvenation. The healing only happened when I was so tired from lack of sleep that I would pass out and sleep for a day or longer at a time.

After moving to Oregon, I started experiencing deep, REM sleep in between the nightmares and panic attacks that woke me or the alters on night duty up so easily. Eventually, I started sleeping for longer periods of time too. The longer periods were a mix of REM, healing sleep and light, disturbed sleep.

But the difference was remarkable. The more sleep I got, the better I felt overall. Emotional balance was and is easier to attain/maintain. Physical health improved in a variety of ways. Triggers were (and are) easier to manage. Bonus: sound and smell triggers are noted if they wake one or more of us up, but do not impact rest or sleep in a significant way anymore. i.e. I can sleep through them when I feel safe in my home and building.

These days, I really feel it when I don’t get enough sleep. The guilt and increase in symptoms this time of year makes sleep a precious commodity. But I’ve learned some tips that help. Maybe they will help you too

Sleep tips

  1. Feel safe and protected wherever you live.
    1. I cannot stress how important this is because it’s something I am working with in real time (the present)
    2. Because I feel safe in this building and this apartment, the continued noise and sensation disturbances from my upstairs neighbor (exact same ones as from my last two places, but that is another story) don’t interrupt my sleep anymore. I literally sleep through the noise and the vibrations/massage sensations that used to interrupt my downtime and sleep.
  2. Stay hydrated and use the facilities before bed if you can
    1. The two major things that wake me up these days are 1) get thirsty and feel dry lips; 2) have to empty my bladder or bowels because the discomfort wakes me up
  3. Think about memories, feelings, experiences, or stories (includes reading or listening to or watching media) that help you move into a relaxed, safe frame of mind
  4. Do activities that help you feel relaxed and safe or move into a relaxed, safe state of mind
    1. stretching/yoga/gentle movement
    2. bath or shower
    3. mediation or deep breathing
    4. coloring/journaling/cleaning (I like to do dishes sometimes)
    5. Your idea here
  5. Sleep somewhere besides your bed that feels warm/cool, safe, and comfortable
    1. This used to disturb my parents and anyone else whose place where I stayed the night because I would randomly fall asleep in bed and wake up somewhere else in the house
    2. After I moved out, I kept extra pillows and blankets in the living room. Sometimes I had a sofa or comfy chair to sleep on. Other times it was the floor
    3. These days I have a convertible floor chair that folds out into a lounge chair and bed. It has extra pillows and blankets, and I’ve been sleeping there for the past two nights

And as I continue thinking about the movement challenge starting on Sunday, I wonder if sharing photos of my different sleep spaces and “DIY exercise equipment” will be useful or not.

Also wonder if doing a Facebook video or Facebook live to start the challenge will be useful too. Then you all can meet me at the beginning and give me some accountability if I get cold feet 🙂

Thanks for reading.

ADMIN: How can I support this site/blog? Will you publish more posts about writing?

A couple years ago, many valued guests asked these questions and offered their support to help me keep this site running while I was going through difficult personal times with work and family.

p.s. I added this info to to the FAQ too

How to Support This Blog

I was (and still am) so flattered that the guests here reached out that way and promised to let them know as soon as I found a way they could support this site without breaking the following values that make this blog what it is:

  • Keep this site and blog free of advertisements and other types of intrusive campaigns that could compromise guest safety and anonymity
  • Allow me to maintain creative control and ownership of the content shared here to ensure it is useful, factual, and interesting
  • Keep any type of monetization and payment options separate from this site to protect guest safety and anonymity

If you want to make a monetary contribution to support Untangled Connections, please visit this page at Scent Reflections LLC.

Writing & Blogging Posts + Newsletter

The original plan was to have 2 separate newsletters; one for each website and blog.

But I am only human…

and can barely fit in the time to create new content for both sites, work, send out 1 newsletter, and maintain the rest of my life.

If you want to join the Scent Reflections LLC newsletter, you are welcome to do that. A pop up ad appears within seconds of visiting that site.

Why share that now?

I’m working on some handouts and (maybe) an e-book that consolidates information from posts here and other documents I made for friends and family on the fly to share here and at Scent Reflections LLC.

This March’s exclusive newsletter content (you have to visit Scent Reflections LLC to join) will have a free handout with a list of continuing education and writing resources (includes personal reviews and links to websites) that will eventually become part of a larger resource.

And even though it’s part of the exclusive, bonus material for Scent Reflections LLC, I don’t want to exclude my loyal guests here.

That means: any exclusive content related to Writing & Blogging will also be shared here and available for free whether or not you subscribe to the newsletter.

For the rest of the exclusive, bonus content (including aromatherapy recipes, DIY recipes, affirmation cards, etc), you have to subscribe like everyone else.

Thanks for reading

creation and recreation quote

Life Quirks: Movement Challenge starts in 6 days

You don’t have to join in or participate. It’s not something I’ve really shared or done much with before here.

Anonymity is safe and precious, I get that.

Took a lot for me to reveal myself. But it was time and necessary since so many people at work and in Portland, OR know of this site.

As I mentioned before, my life is changing. I am changing. You are changing too. And I promised to do my best to include you all in the changes.

So here goes. Anticipation feels good sometimes. Anticipation laced with fear – not so great.

But here I am. Excited and Scared. Thinking about photos. Planning posts. Considering stories. Making myself vulnerable by going on Facebook Live.

And yes that was real. I’m not sure when or where it will take place. But 1 week from this coming Sunday, I will be on Facebook live recording a video as myself.

I don’t expect anyone to be there.

I feel scared that people will be there.

Moving. Creating. As myself. No makeup. Maybe bald. Maybe with a hat or scarf on. Talking to whoever decides to join or watch later.

And between now and 2 Sundays from now, I will be posting about the different kinds of movement that goes on daily. Not the same posts here as on Scent Reflections. If you want to see what’s going on there, please visit.

But I am remiss in sharing a video with you all. It’s the first one I made and has to do with aromatherapy blending. Since that is not popular here, I didn’t post it right away.

But not sharing it here feels wrong too. Here is the link to the video if you’re interested.

No, I have not forgotten my promise to make a video for you guests too. But I’m struggling with a topic to use for said video.

Being that I respect your choice not to comment often, I didn’t want to put this out there. However, if you do have a video idea and want to share it, please do in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

Aromatherapy: Refresh My Space All-Purpose Cleaner — Scent Reflections LLC

Spring reminds me of fresh starts, new beginnings, and growing things. Plants wake up and start blooming. The air changes. Earth smells fresh. Temperatures (hopefully) start to warm up. People open windows and doors to let fresh air in. And many people feel the urge to start Spring Cleaning. Or may want to clean, but feel anxious about it. Perhaps use cleaning as a coping strategy for anxiety or anxious feelings. Still other people feel the opposite and do everything possible to avoid house cleaning. No matter what emotions or thoughts the spring season brings for you, I hope the following information and recipe help you with your cleaning goals. Anxiety and Cleaning I don’t know about you, but cleaning house does not always feel easy or safe to do. For me, cleaning can be a physical and energetic challenge. The physical actions and smells bring flashbacks and body memories from childhood and adolescence. My muscles lock up and stop working. Or send sharp, stabbing pains in unusual places that send panic attack signals to the rest of me. … Whether you use cleaning to manage your anxiety, avoid cleaning to manage anxiety or fall somewhere in the middle, there are ways to keep your space as clean as you deserve on your terms. Plant based cleaners and DIY recipes are two options.

Aromatherapy: Refresh My Space All-Purpose Cleaner — Scent Reflections LLC

Cleaning as a Coping Strategy or a Coping Challenge?

On Scent Reflections, I shared some of my struggles around housekeeping and house cleaning – and an easy DIY recipe.

For many people, cleaning is enjoyable and something that keeps our home feeling safe. It’s a way to remove dirt, dust, germs, or clutter while also providing movement and exercise. Believe me, if you do it right, cleaning is exercise.

And cleaning is an effective coping strategy to combat anxiety, stress, or anxious feelings. It’s a safe way to release energy, offers an immediate reward and feeling of success when the task if finished, and keeps them busy.

For other people, cleaning is a coping challenge that does the opposite of what I described in the previous two paragraphs.

Or maybe (like me) people fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes. Some parts of cleaning are less stressful/anxiety-provoking while others are more.

In the blog post I share two effective coping strategies from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique and a favorite cleaning recipe. Maybe they can help you with a similar challenge…or maybe not.

Thanks for reading

Self Care Challenge: 1/20/2020 – Aromatherapy Inhaler for Emotional Support & Panic Attacks — Scent Reflections LLC

Action: Smell essential oil blend in the aromatherapy inhaler when I felt triggered, overwhelmed, or distracted at work.

Intention: Use the essential oil blend to bring me back to the present moment when I feel triggered or stressed out.

Reflection: Some people call it a “power pause”. Others call it “mindfulness”. I personally call it a sensory grounding strategy that provides emotional support + cold/flu/allergy prevention by engaging my senses – smell and vision.

Self Care Challenge: 1/20/2020 – Aromatherapy Inhaler for Emotional Support & Panic Attacks — Scent Reflections LLC

I’m doing a Self Care Challenge this week. Come join me at Scent Reflections!

Thanks for reading.

AlterXpressions