About two months ago, I returned to work full time after becoming a parent. Even though I work from home, the transition has been challenging. Getting back into a rhythm of work plus finding the right childcare, continuing to physically heal and get my strength back, navigating the world of baby development, maintaining friendships, investing in my marriage, continuing to work to find community in our new city, and growing my freelance business can leave me in a spiral of anxiety.
It’s a lot and I sometimes feel like there’s more for me to manage than can fit in my brain at any given time. Sound familiar?
For a few weeks I had a hard time going back to sleep after feeding my daughter in the middle of the night. It was like my mind thought it needed to stay awake to process life changes and solve problems when I really just needed to sleep.
The Hack That Helps Me Sleep Better and Combat Anxiety
Recently I got back into a habit that has really helped me reset my mind before going to bed. This helps me all through the night. I take about three minutes before turning the lights out to jot down the highlights of my day in a little notebook I’ve oh so originally dubbed my “highlights journal.” This does a few things:
It forces me to identify a win from the day. Some days are just hard. Or tiring. Or both! Rather than letting my final thoughts before bed be about how I failed or what frustrated me, I consciously choose to find and focus on a positive moment from the day.
It improves my mood. Thinking about my two to three favorite moments of the day—whether it’s my baby’s new trick, a delicious meal, or a great conversation with a client— is an automatic mood booster.
It keeps me present. As a futuristic thinker, I’m prone to think 6 steps ahead but taking a moment to reflect on the day and write down the highlights reminds me how good this moment is and to to savor it.
So if you’re like me and you find yourself awake at night trying to mentally spin half a dozen plates, give the highlights journal hack a try.