I, personally, really like having a collection of books on my bedside table or my ‘night stand’. I think it’s a great tool for when you can’t sleep and let’s be honest, I think there’s quite a few of us that are struggling to sleep during this time. Instead of reaching for your phone, grab a book. The light from our phones can actually keep us more awake. It triggers the part of our brain that tells us when it is day or night and could potentially make it harder for you to drop off. So whether you can’t get to sleep, or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t switch your brain off, these are some of my favourite books to relax my mind and ready my brain for slumber.
1. Notes on a Nervous Planet
I’ve mentioned this book before in a blog post (about how to survive January) but I have found that keeping this book next to my bed is the perfect solution for easing my anxious mind. Sometimes, I can have a great day, totally anxiety free (for the most part) but then, when my head hits my pillow -BAM! Oh there you are, anxiety. All of a sudden, I have irrational thoughts rattling around in my head. “What would I do if someone broke in right now?”, “Is Olivia still breathing? Maybe she choked on her bed sheet because I didn’t put it on right?”, “Does Steven get mad at me for not keeping the house tidy enough?”, “Should I have a full time career? Do people think I’m lazy?”, “Maybe I need liposuction”, “What if lock down never ends?”, “Am I doing enough? Am I good enough?”. It can get loud. Especially recently. But when I reach for this book, it’s a huge reminder that I am human. I am flawed but that’s okay because so is everyone else. And what about the bigger problems in the world? Well, we all worry about those too but at the end of the day. If it’s not in your control, there’s no point worrying about it. This book just helps me feel less alone when it comes to my irrational thoughts and brings some quietness to the noise.
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
A classic! I keep this by my bed because sometimes you just want to escape, right? Sometimes you just want to live in a different world for a while. To help me wind down before bed, I like reading a chapter or two just to transport me to another world but also another time. A time where I am 8 or 9 years old reading this book for the first time and really believing in magic. I think we could all use a little belief in magic right now, don’t you?
3. Happy Mum Happy Baby
I love this book! I started reading this while I was pregnant with Olivia and I am so glad I did. I love Giovanna’s outlook on motherhood and I find it so helpful to have it by my bed so when I question my mothering and “Am I a good enough Mum?” or “Why am I so burnt out?” I can pick this up and remind myself. As a Mum, you need to take care of you before ANYTHING. Seriously. You cannot care for your children, your partner, your work or your house if you haven’t taken care of you first. You need to be happy and healthy on the inside in order to be happy and healthy on the outside. Your kids need a happy, well-looked-after Mum who will then be able to take care of them. Not a Mum who is stressed, tired and burnt out yelling at them because she’s at the end of her tether with everything! So this book really does preach what it says on the tin.
4. The Little Book of Hygge
Now, this one is a little different. This is one I like to read when my mind is in ‘to-do-list mode’. When I’m thinking of everything I have to do tomorrow in what order not forgetting this and that. This book is a gentle reminder that it doesn’t matter if I forget to dust the TV unit or don’t have dinner ready for when Steven comes through the door. It matters that we talk at the dinner table to each other about our day and be thankful for the food on the table. It matters that I soak up every cuddle before bedtime and take pleasure in the simple every day things.
This is also a great one to read first thing in the morning to start the day off in a good mindset.
5. A Dream Dictionary
There are hundreds of different dream dictionaries on the market but this one is one my Grandmother gave to me when I was about 12. I am a frequent dreamer. I mean, every night, I have at least 3 dreams and they’re always wacky, disturbing or very vivid. I love looking up things that appear in my dream in a dream dictionary. More often than not, I find my dreams are reflecting an aspect of my life or the mess that is my mind. It’s so helpful to observe these reflections so you can give them some proper attention and get to the root of what’s bothering you or be thankful for things that you may have taken for granted.
Let me know what some of your books are that you like to keep by your bed! Just FYI and in case you’re wondering, I also keep: photo booth pictures from my best friend’s wedding (because they make me happy), Roary (my microwavable dinosaur), body moisturiser, hand cream, a tiny Buddha and tissues beside my bed. Also, how cute are these bed sheets? They’re my favourite!