It used to take me long to fall asleep before bed. My mind would race with different thoughts and ideas, often replaying what happened throughout the day, what I could’ve done better, what I should or shouldn’t have said. Or maybe I’m having one of those nights where my mind stays stuck on life’s worries or what I saw on Instagram before laying my head on my pillow. I’d like to share with you something that has helped me recently to quiet my mind and fall asleep faster.
The Dump List:
Dump all the ideas and thoughts flowing through your mind. Write it down or type it up on your laptop or notes section on your phone. This helps clear your mind and process your thoughts. It helps you see what is worth thinking about and which thought is literally worth ‘dumping’. You can write down 1 word or phrase, you don’t have to go into deep thought about any one subject. Then, number it in order of importance. The next morning when you wake up go over your dump list and focus on the things you numbered that need your focus and tackle them first.
Another option can be to write another dump list when you wake up. The sole purpose of this is to start your day on track. Dump out the bad thoughts that serve you no good and start your day with a fresh mind. Choose what you want to draw your attention towards and hold on to that as you move along through your day. Another helpful tip can be to set that list on your desk and come back to it later to add on to it as thoughts continue to pop up throughout the day.
There is no better feeling than being able to cross off those things and be done with them. If some of the things on your dump list are about your worries, things that need healing, make sure you take the time to schedule in some self-care to heal that wound. Sign up for a yoga class, visit an old friend, or have some ‘me’ time (whatever works for you that’ll get you back to where you need to be mentally and emotionally).
The best thing about this practice is that you get better at it the more you do it. You get better at listening to your inner critic and picking out those thoughts that are self-destructive and dumping them out for good. Esther Hicks said it best: anytime you find yourself feeling down, quickly reach for a better feeling thought.
Also published on Medium.