A mama puts her child down for a nap or tucks her in early when the day has been extra full or the child is especially frazzled. In the early months after my divorce, I felt frazzled a lot. I had an abundance of spare time alone. For so many years, I had been occupied with my own daughter's schedule and needs that this free time felt heavy, empty, unstructured, and endless. Some days I couldn't figure out what to do with myself. I was restless and didn't know how to fill the last few hours of an evening without feeling sad or despondent. I was nervous about my sad moods plunging into depression.
On those nights, I tucked myself in much earlier than ever before. One Friday evening while the SUN WAS STILL SHINING, I pulled back the sheets of my too-big bed and fell asleep. I fought thoughts of being a loser for going to bed at 7:30 at the start of a weekend. I slept nearly 12 hours. Proof, indeed, that my body and spirit needed the rest. I wasn't a loser. I was a mama who made sleep a priority. This rest formed a new self-care habit that would help me feel better and grow stronger.
Now I relish early bed times. I haven't gone to bed at 7:30 in months, but a new rhythm developed, and my sleep schedule is in better balance. More and better sleep helped repair the frayed edges of my heart and mind.
"The juiciest action step for you at any given moment may be to rest. I can’t emphasize this enough. Everything in nature ebbs and flows, and trying to flow without ebbing is a stressful, anxiety-based strategy. Wayfinding magic often needs you to literally fall asleep so it can proceed. The final step in joining up with a horse is to walk away from it. The final step in connecting with anything you’re trying to bring from Imagination into Form is to let go, surrender, totally detach. Napping is one of the most powerful steps in many a Forming. If the impulse to rest or sleep arises, cancel everything and crash."
- Martha Beck