Lie perfectly motionless. Pretend you’re a different person—ideally someone with a less stressful job who guzzles chamomile tea and hasn’t watched the news since 1997.
Realize you have to pee. Regret not doing more Kegels.
Back in bed. Left side? Too itchy. Dust mites! Turn onto stomach. Flip your head over on the pillow a few times. Definitely maybe a herniated disk in your cervical spine. Should’ve gotten that buckwheat pillow.
Grab lavender eye mask and smash it against face to release the calming scent. Nothing. Sprawl out like a crime-scene chalk drawing and stare at the ceiling.
Try to neutralize growing sense of panic with positive self-talk. This is not your fault. It could be worse. At least you don’t have that song stuck in your head again!
Meditate. Breathe in compassion. Breathe out anxiety. Breathe in tranquility. Breathe out despair. Breathe in a random series of questions that can’t be answered right now and definitely don’t need to be. What should I cook for book club next month? Did I charge my Fitbit? What’s the earliest age for a colonoscopy again? Am I being completely honest with myself about liking culottes? Is this about memory loss? Why didn’t I eat more superfoods while I still had the chance?!
Sob quietly into the pillow.
Head to the kitchen. Take out the last piece of carrot cake. Sit on the couch in the dark and turn on that Netflix series you never have time to watch at a reasonable hour. This is nice. Promptly fall asleep.