By KRS Edstrom

Dear KRS,
I am having a horrible time sleeping. It's hard to stop thinking and clear my mind so I can drift off. I've tried everything from a hot bath to sleeping pills. HELP!
Busy, Sleepless Mind

Dear Busy Mind,
It helps to have a wind-down routine that may start 2-3 hours before bedtime. This is a time to turn work off, have a few laughs (talk to friends, for example) and prepare for bed. Do not eat right before bedtime and eliminate caffeine entirely for awhile. Read until your eyelids are so heavy you can barely reach for the light.

Here's one technique I teach:  When you notice that thoughts are running rampant, bring your attention to the most prominent sensation in your body. In other words, where is that thought manifesting in your body? Where is that thought causing tension in your body?  Go to that area and allow it to relax, to let go. Stay with it relentlessly, even as your mind keeps trying to think, worry or obsess. Continue coming back to the tension in your body and practice ways to stop fighting it. Allow it to release.

I weigh 400 pounds and am going through a lifestyle change which includes eating healthier and exercising. How much weight is safe to lose per week. I take a metabolism enhancer "rapid burn." Are these safe and should I continue to take them? Thank you in advance.
400 Pounds & Losing

Dear Losing,
I am so happy to hear you use the term "lifestyle change" rather than "crash diet." You WILL get where you want to go with that approach. The key is to ENJOY THE PROCESS - enjoy what you eat, enjoy your exercise, enjoy life. If you enjoy these things, why would you ever stop?

You also become less impatient about results, because you are not "holding your breath" until your goal is achieved. I say this in response to your concerns of weekly weight loss. I understand how important it is for you to lose the weight, but be careful you don't turn the scale into a god. Instead of focusing on the scale, focus on ways to keep your lifestyle program interesting.

Generally, the more weight you have to lose, the faster you will lose it - which is good news for you. Don't get started on "metabolism enhancers" and other miracle fads. You want to stabilize and heal your system, not get hooked on external substances that artificially alter it. With exercise as your new "metabolic enhancer," your weight will come off naturally and safely. Check in with yourself each day to see if the "inner you" has any complaints. Make any alterations in your program accordingly.

Dear KRS,
I am at a crucial point in my career where it demands much of my time and attention. Things are going well and I am building a great future for my family. However, my wife of 12 years says she and our two children aren't seeing enough of me. When I bring work home so that I can be around more, she complains that I'm not really "there."  The tension of this situation is giving me headaches and making matters worse. What's the solution?
Family vs Work

Dear Family,
It's an interesting but not unfamiliar irony - the very thing you are trying to give your family could actually destroy it. The important thing is that you are taking the situation seriously and catching it early. Too often, I hear the post-divorce lament, "If I had only listened better or done something." 
What your family needs (including you) is quality time. Time that is reserved solely for each other. Talk this over with your wife and designate:
1) A "date night" together once a week. It may be a night out on the town or alone at home (leaving the children with friends or relative). Trade off thinking of ideas.
2) A family night or weekend outing centered around the children. Ask for their input.

Honor these times as you would your most important business meeting. You will be surprised at how powerful an impact this has on you and your family. KRS

KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She offers private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, stress, pain, weight loss. For free soothing guided meditations and more information,
visit Call (323) 851-8623 or email:


Return to the January/February Index page