Stress that’s entering my dreams

Carefree Christmas tree
The Christmas tree in our town circle.

The past few nights, I’ve had trouble sleeping. I wake up frequently in the night, tossing and turning and not being able to fall back to sleep for at least an hour.

Then I have stress dreams. I realized that’s what they were when in one dream my best friend showed me a beautiful ring that she had been given by her husband. She showed me the price tag of $4,000. I set it carefully back on her desk — and then it disappeared! I kept looking under the desk, through the desk drawers, all through the room, on the carpet. I kept going back to her with new ideas of where to look. Finally, I forced myself to wake up and realized it was a dream.

I have similar dreams where I can’t find something. In one I had two nights in a row, I was looking for a friend chicken place but couldn’t remember the name. I typed in In-N-Out on google maps to get directions to the chicken place. Only in a dream right? It had me driving for hours trying to find the restaurant.

I think it’s the pressure of Christmas vacation coming up including the nine-hour drive we’ll take this week. I absolutely hate driving and I have high anxiety over long car rides. Then there’s the worry that our family will all make it to the house we rented where we’re going to spend the week. The kids and girlfriend’s family are all driving from the Bay Area to Santa Barbara.

Then I worry about getting into the Airbnb house and also worry that the owner ripped us off and I’ve got 12 people to house for Christmas.

Once we make the drive and get settled, I’m sure this anxiety will leave. It helps a bit to write about it, too. The absurdity of my worries and dreams are exposed.

For example, my son’s car is in the shop and I worried about how he and his girlfriend would make it for Christmas. I started googling everything from Amtrak, flights and Greyhound.

I asked my daughter how they were getting down to Santa Barbara. She said “We had a group chat last night and the nine of us have it all figured out.” Of course. They are all adults. They don’t need mommy to fix it. One worry off my list.

Do you think stress is common over the holidays? Or is it a result of being isolated for so long that makes it more stressful this year to gather — and the news of COVID spiking?

25 thoughts on “Stress that’s entering my dreams

  1. All of your worries are understandable, and it’s very normal for them to creep into your dreams! You’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief once you’re all together.

    I think stress is very common this time of year. I also believe this year is worse because we lost out last year due to COVID, so everyone is trying to recreate what we missed.

  2. What you describe, Bluewater, has been my nightlife for the past 30 years! I’ve had periods of respite, of course, but the bad dreams, insomnia, and night-wakings continue to punctuate my week. Hope you can learn some relaxation techniques and sleep hygiene tips so that your episodes are temporary. Merry Christmas!

  3. Oh most definitely common, especially now. I am stressing over Christmas presents and lists, something that should be fun and easy. Hope you all have safe travels!

  4. If you pulled out 10 people over 50 and asked them if they have the same problems, 12.3 of them would say yes. I think stress, an over active mind, and next day anticipation are just one of the pitfalls of aging.

  5. So much stress! And screens and caffeine and stress. And uncertainty and uneasiness and loss of control and stress. Do you know that you really know that God is in control? Do you trust Him to work it out for good? If all your plans go awry, do you know He has a purpose? When we can rest in His will, knowing it will be accomplished and that it is all intentional on His part, then we can rest. I’m still working on it. You know I’ve posted about my struggles with the same thing. But if we can honestly say goodnight to God and trust Him to take the night watch, it does make for more peaceful sleep. I think my interrupted sleep often reveals my incomplete faith. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
    Proverbs 16:9

  6. Beautiful post here Friend. Through the hustle and bustle of life and the desire to do everything, we end up wearing ourselves out. For stress, I recommend a few things. First, start by putting God first, and begin your day with a prayer to God and a heart for God. God is able to orchestrate several things and he can use divine assistance to make our day easier. Second, we need to treat our body like a temple. Energy giving foods are a great resource. Thirdly, we need to take little breaks every now and then to refresh.

    The most important of these is God. When things get tough, we can always reach out to him for help. 
    The Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

    If anyone reading is interested in building a relationship with God, I have a post on that here:

    There is much more to know about God. I post frequently on my blog about topics related to God. You are welcome to follow my blog to keep up with my content. See my blog here: 

    -All the best. May God bless you. 

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