They say that you can’t live on fresh air and love. Being the anti-social introvert that I am, I have believed that, in the past. But as my anxiety levels grew, as the events of the world piled up on top of me into a weight I could not bear, it was fresh air and love that came to my rescue.
Tackling My Sleep Issues
I am by no means superstitious, and don’t believe in the supernatural. However, the one thing that did help my nightmares were these little Guatemalan Worry Dolls (Muñeca quitapena). They are usually made of coconut sticks, pressed paper and leftover wool/cloth. The dolls are then assembled in traditional Mayan style. The dolls are inspired by a Mayan princess named Ixmucane who received a gift from the god of the sun, giving her the ability to solve any problem we humans could worry about.
Traditionally, these dolls are given to children. The idea is that you would tell them everything about your worries and fears, and then place them under your pillow. You would literally sleep on it, and the next morning you’d wake up with clarity, all your worries being absorbed by these little dolls.
Interestingly, when my family called to check up on me, my family told me to put three coconut sticks under my pillow. My brain suddenly went to these dolls that were lying in some cupboard somewhere, and sure enough, they were made of the sticks too. After two weeks of horrible dreams, I now sleep through the night.
Being the sceptic that I am, I don’t attach anything supernatural to these worry dolls. However, I was taken back to my psychology days in Uni where we studied years on end about the importance of spelling out your worries. More often than not, we build it up in our heads and it turns into this larger than life monster that is no longer based on reality. Spelling it out, talking it through with my partner and my friend who reached out to me as soon as she read my post, it helped.
Of course, also knowing a Mayan Princess has your back helped a great deal.
Category Is: Love
Over the weekend, we were able to go on a walk to a park 5 kilometres from our house. Just being out, taking in the fresh air helped. As an added extra-special bonus, we met up with our family, the sight of whom instantly lifted my spirits like no therapist could. They were nice enough to drive to where I was comfortable, so getting on a local train is a battle I will have to fight another day. But it made me realise just how much of an effect being surrounded by people you love has on your spirit.
Being an introvert, it’s hard for me to sometimes acknowledge that I need people. I have, in the past, prided myself on my ability to be independent, defining that as needing no one. Now I see it as a strength – to build and nurture relationships that help you blossom and grow. So, if there’s one thing I have learnt from lockdown, it’s that you need your family by your side, especially your chosen family who are there for you and support you no matter what. Make time for the people who allow you to let your freak flag fly. It is the best self-care activity you can do.
To my virtual family who has been with me through every move through the globe, through every phase – thank you for always being there for me, for reaching out to me to make sure I’m okay. Thank you for being my allies, my biggest cheerleaders, my friends. I love and appreciate you more than words can say!