The following are entries from “The MANual.” “The MANual” is a guidebook, written with love, to help my boys become the fabulous men that they are destined to be. Please note that it is a work in progress. This is because I am a work in progress too. By writing the manual I am gathering my thoughts and working towards becoming a better mom and a better person. I'm hoping the boys will consider my advice as well. They may roll their eyes now, but long after I am gone, I hope that these words will remind them of how much I love them, how proud I am of them, and what a privelidge it has been to have them in my life.
March 1st: Good Morning: Can You Guess What We Will Be Talking About Tonight?
The Land of Nod
by Robert Louis Stevenson
From Breakfast on through all the day At home among my friends I stay, But every night I go abroad Afar into the land of Nod. All by myself I have to go, With none to tell me what to do-- All alone beside the streams And up the mountain-sides of dreams.
The strangest things are there for me, Both things to eat and things to see, And many frightening sights abroad Till morning in the land of Nod.
Try as I like to find the way, I never can get back by day, Nor can remember plain and clear The curious music that I hear.
March 1st: Good Evening: Lets talk about Sweet Fabulous Blissful Sleep
I have the great honor of helping care for one of the world's most fabulous assets: YOU! Let's face it, you are truly and legitimately awesome. My goals is for you to be as happy and healthy as possible so that all of your dreams can come true. So . . . how to keep you happy and healthy? There are actually tons of different ways, but lets just focus on one at a time. For the next few days, lets talk SLEEP! Tonight, just realize that you are worth it. Set the intention. You deserve a good night's sleep. Plan on giving yourself this gift. Sweet dreams and HUGE hugs!
March 2nd: Good Morning: Laugh Every Day
Everyone has stress in their lives – the right level of stress can even be good for you. A little bit of nervous energy before an exam or athletic event can help keep you be on your toes and motivated to do a good job. Too much stress, however, can result in a plethora of negative physical and mental difficulties – including sleep problems. One of my favorite stress-busters is laughter. It feels good, it reduces stress, and its fun. So take a few moments today for silliness and laughter. Maybe watch a silly video or spend some time laughing with friends. You have your marching orders – off with you – have a great laughter filled day!
March 2nd: Good Evening: Conventional Sleep Wisdom
Life doesn't always stay on schedule – it would probably be pretty boring if it did. Nonetheless, try to keep to a fairly consistent sleep schedule and build yourself a nourishing evening routine. It might include some consideration for the state of your stomach (too hungry, too full, just right) or perhaps even thoughts on how your next dentist appointment will go (what! I'm a mom! I can't help myself). If you do the same few things each night before bed, eventually, your body will take the cue and start getting sleepy as soon as you start. So, tonight, think about how you would like to design your evening routine – maybe even take a test run. Sweet dreams!
March 3rd: Good Morning: Hugs and Snuggles
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
- Virginia Satir
Grab a loved one, a pet, a stuffed animal. Enjoy a few hugs today. I am always happily available for this – even if I'm not right with you – just picture me in your mind – I love you so much that I can give you hugs through time and space whenever you need it – I'm magic like that.
March 3rd: Good Evening: Squirrel Brain Remedy
Let's talk about one of the most dangerous and formidable challenges of our time (cue horror movie music here): SQUIRREL BRAIN! I also sometimes refer to it as Monkey-Brain. It is what happens when there are so many thoughts and ideas and worries swirling around in your head that you just can not fall asleep. Somehow, you need to figure out how to put those thoughts away. Take them right out of your brain and set them aside for the night so you can sleep. I recommend journaling or a worry doll (What? You're too manly for a doll – fine – we'll call it a worry dude – or whatever). Before you go to bed, put your thoughts into your journal (or your worry-dude's ear )and then LET THEM GO. Release the monkeys and squirrels out of your brain. The journal or worry-dude will hold onto those ideas for you – they will be waiting for you in the morning if you wish to retrieve them. For now, it is time to sleep. Sweet, fabulous, wonderful sleep!
March 4th: Good Morning: Treat Yourself Right
There are lots of things you can do during the day that will prepare you for a good night's sleep in the evening.
For Your Brain: Be Proactive
Consider the things that keep you up at night. What can you do during the day, so that these thoughts don't haunt you at night.
For Your Body: Hydrate. Nourish. Exercise
I know you do not need to hear a lecture. You know what your body needs, so I'll leave it at that. Hydrate. Nourish. Exercise The End.
March 4th: Good Evening: Burrow In and Surrender to Sleep
Look, I'm not suggesting that you get a pink four poster bed filled with stuffed animals, but I am suggesting that you consider your comfort when it comes time to your bed. Sleep is a time for your mind and body to restore itself. Where you sleep is worth a few extra splurges. So grab an extra pillow (or three) and your favorite blanket and spoil yourself with a seriously comfortable bed. You might also consider some relaxing music or meditation or you could even listen to some Louise Hay (“Good night. Sweet Dreams. You are Very Safe. All is Well.” - Louise Hay; what can I say – it works for me – find out what works for you). Good night!