Somewhere during the last two years, I forgot how to sleep.
I didn’t forget to sleep. I get 7-8 hours a night. But I started waking up with terrible shoulder and neck pain. It made sitting at my desk torturous. Every yoga practice was focused exclusively on pain relief. Picking up my daughter or the groceries was difficult at best.
During the year before and the year after I had my daughter, I had no choice but to sleep on my side. It was the only comfortable option. Early in my pregnancy, I had to train myself to stay on one side or the other, slowly shifting away from what had been comfortable for years before. Circumstances had changed. So my behavior changed with them.
Lily is now three years old, and I have no more reasons to stay perched on my side while I sleep. In fact, doing so seemed to be the cause of my neck and shoulder pain. I had adapted to a change in circumstances when Lily was a baby, but I failed to re-adapt when circumstances changed again.
Lessons learned (again)
It took extraordinary amounts of discomfort to remember the simple fact that I’m far more comfortable when I sleep on my stomach. So I got rid of the extra pillows, rolled over, and woke up the next morning able to turn my head without wincing. So simple. Why on earth did it take me two years to remember what I already knew?
We’re creatures of habit. Habits make our lives easier and better – take brushing our teeth. Great habit. But when habits stop serving us, they can be hard to let go of even if they’re causing pain.
What’s making you uncomfortable right now? What habits are you hanging on to that no longer serve you? What do you already know that could help you eliminate that pain?
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