Have you ever laid down to clear your mind and take a nap, but the exact opposite happens?
Your mind floods with problems and overdue tasks? You could fight these thoughts with meditation. But what if you leaned into this stress? Since this moment is so good at spotting problems, perhaps it’s the best time to audit them?
This is where the “Worry Nap” comes in.
Here’s how it works:
Lay down to take a nap. Place your phone/computer/tablet/calendar ON the bed right next to you, close your eyes and try to sleep.
Every time you start to worry about a task you need to complete, open your eyes and grab your device. Open your calendar app and document that task as a calendar entry on Sunday. Don’t worry about a realistic time range or picking the right time of day (that will come in later).
Set your device down, close your eyes, and try to sleep again. Repeat the calendaring step every time you worry about something. Try to go to sleep again and keep repeating this loop.
You never actually take a real nap. This exercise is just to empty all of the worries out of your head. After you have entered a big stack of worries onto your calendar, sit up and look at that Sunday list. Start dragging and dropping those tasks across the days/weeks ahead. Adjust the length of each calendar entry to allow enough time to realistically complete each task.
Don’t get us wrong;
Meditation and deep breathing exercises are critical to stress management.
This “Worry Nap” exercise is NOT designed to replace those practices. It’s just an effective tactic to alleviate worries that are piling up and dedicate space for desperately needed time management.