We’ve had a tough time of getting to sleep lately. Between growing fears for the state of our environment (‘climate anxiety’ reportedly effects four in five young people currently), global political unrest and the endless demands of modern life, the end of the day for many is a perfect storm of worry and dread – often leading to a night of little to no sleep.
We’re well versed in the negative impacts that sleep deprivation can have on our minds and bodies – trouble concentrating, weakened immunity and skin health, mood swings, high blood pressure and low sex drive – which makes learning how to manage our evening anxiety more important than ever. When it comes to treating anxiety there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, so when you are hit with those evenings that keep you on edge, take a moment to work your way through these calming practises.
Learn to be present with whitespace in your day
Allowing yourself time to be mindful, or having some quiet time in your day, can help you decompress and give your mind a moment to process. This ‘whitespace’ time could be a quick yoga session, meditation, walking or drawing – anything that encourages you to switch off from your busy work life and be more present in life. Quietening your mind through meditation and being present can be a hard thing to do, but the benefits of meditation far outweigh the initial unease or frustration that many experience during their first few practises. Guided meditations are a great way to learn how to find this mindfulness every day, so seek out a quiet space and start small, with five to 10 minutes in the afternoon every day until you find your rhythm.
Let it out
Writing down your thoughts, worries, and feelings can make all the difference in how you view and deal with the issues clouding your mind. Anxiety kickstarts adrenaline which affects our minds, making our thoughts race and, more often than not, builds up a catastrophic story that we tell ourselves is true. What writing it down achieves is helping us see in black and white what is genuinely bothering us, and from then on we are more likely to be objective and not just believe everything we feel strongly about in that moment.
And while you’re at it, why not jot-down a gratitude or happy list? Often in these moments it can feel as though nothing is right, but by writing down even the most trivial things that make you happy, or you are grateful for, you give yourself the chance to refocus and remind yourself that there is good in your life. If you’re anxious over the state of our planet, note the positive changes that are happening around the world – no matter how small they may seem in that moment.
Avoid using your phone as a distraction technique in bed
While distraction techniques can be a helpful tool when dealing with anxiety or panic attacks, the blue light emitted from devices hinder sleep. Try reading a book or listening to calming sounds to send you off to sleep. Check in with our RUSSH Book Club members for their literary recommendations.
PHOTOGRAPHY Hannah Scott-Stevenson @ Artboxblack
FASHION Bridie Gilbert
MODEL Isabeli Fontana @ Women Management
HAIR Kota Suizu @ Caren
MAKEUP Rebecca Wordingham @ Saint Luke Artists using Bobbi Brown
MANICURIST Pebbles Aikens @ The Wall Group
SET DESIGN Julia Dias @ Patricia McMahon
PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANTS Michael Rudd and Dave Wade
STYLIST’S ASSISTANTS Alexandra Miles, Archie Grant and Giulia Berretti