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Puddles of Sweat: Fighting Anxiety in the Middle of the Night

It's 3 am and my body decides to wake me up. Once again, I find myself grabbing a different blanket and throwing the pillow cover on the floor.


Another night waking up soaking wet with sweat.


This is the third time this week that I've made my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night so I can wipe off the anxiety that is literally dripping down my back.


How am I supposed to fight anxiety during the day when I can't even find peace at night?


Here are 3 Things I do When Anxiety Controls my Dreams:


1) Pull Out My Phone Or Journal And Begin To Write. It's unfortunate that I am the most creative when I am emotionally disturbed. Maybe though, that is what Paul means when writing his letter to the Roman Church (see Romans 8 here).


Because anxiety is a battle of the mind, even in the middle of the night I need to do things externally that help me process what the mind is suffocating internally.

Some people may hate writing with passion. But our anxiety-relievers are limited in the middle of the night. Scholars promote journaling as an essential weapon for fighting anxiety (source here). So if you find yourself waking up in a puddle of sweat, grab your phone-note-pad or a journal and pen and start to write what you are feeling. Since I am a fan of poetry, I typically write in poem or blog form.


2) Change the battlefield. Sometimes I need to sleep on the couch downstairs when my mind won't slow down. Our bodies grow comfortable when we sleep in the same place over and over again. Anxiety attacks where we are most comfortable. That is why it can be so damaging. I have even contemplated sleeping in the bathtub on nights the couch isn't bringing peace either. If I'm not finding peace or sleep in one area, I will continue to change my environment so my anxiety does not win.

3) Put in headphones and listen to music or watch videos. Sometimes all we need is a good and healthy distraction. If my anxiety is wearing me down and I don't feel motivated to journal or sleep in the tub, I often resort to this tactic because it requires zero energy or movement. Just because my mind isn't tired doesn't mean my body isn't... so sometimes the least movement or actions the better! Usually within 45 minutes my heartbeat slows down and the sweat dries up. Sleep becomes an option again.

 

I hope this was helpful to you. These are three things that help me when my mind won't slow down but my body is aching for rest. If they don't work for you, reach out to me and we can brainstorm some techniques that fit your personality.


As always, let me know how I can pray for you.

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