Here’s a post from a couple of years back that might help you if you’re suffering from stress or sleeplessness …

Sleep is in short supply in my house. That’s a relative thing to say, and as I type this I’m remembering all the newborn babies and zombie-fied parents I spent today with, and I know that things could be a hell of a lot worse. Having said that, my oldest two girls are having quite a bit of trouble getting off to dreamland, and something we’re trying at the moment (which, to be honest, works really well sometimes — but not always) is meditation and relaxation.

Relaxation is such a powerful tool for dealing with all sorts of problems, including insomnia, chronic pain, stress and anxiety. But it’s an incredibly difficult skill that has to be practised in order to be mastered. The first few times you try to meditate you’ll find your mind wandering to chores, bills, petty quarrels with family and friends. But if you do it for a while you’ll find that you can stay focused on the meditation for longer and longer periods of time.

But where to begin?

If you’ve never meditated before, I recommend you use a guided meditation or relaxation. Basically get your earphones out and have someone talk you through the process of relaxing. Usually this means they take you through all the parts of your body, from your toes to your head, encouraging and reminding you to relax each body part in turn. For children, I highly recommend Smiling Mind, a not-for-profit group that has free guided mediation podcasts for children in different age groups from 7 to adult.

When I’ve done meditation for myself I’ve used a CD that I got in a book long ago, (A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl – I think you can still get in on Amazon ) But there are a lot of free podcasts and websites out there. Here are some. Note that I haven’t tried any of these:

The Meditation Society of Australia has free “Learn to meditate” podcasts

The “Life Matters” podcast (Radio National ABC) offers several guided meditation podcasts

Another podcast I’ve recently discovered is “Sleep with Me“, which is a strange guy telling long, rambling, boring stories that might distract you from your whirling mind but help you drift off to sleep. It’s helped me in the past, so give it a go!