We’re almost through the first two weeks of school…yay! It’s been a bit tough, getting the kids (and myself!) back into our school days routine but we’re starting to find our “new normal.” One of the major things I try to hone is on is making sure they have everything in place for restful sleep. Its so important for their growing bodies and brains. As I was reviewing their schedules, I couldn’t help but think I should be doing the same for myself!
How I feel each day is directly related to how well I sleep. I know this, but I sometimes put it off and skimp on sleep, It eventually catches up to me, and I feel foggy-headed, moody, and not myself. I’m taking steps to prevent this from happening as we head into a new season of school and activities!
It’s important to examine current habits and patterns to consider what needs to change to get the desired results. There are habits I’ve adopted in the past that have worked for me, so I’m adding them back into the rotation. I’m also really looking forward to doing the Whole30 this month. It helps me get on the right track in many ways, with better sleep being an added benefit. Since experiencing wonderful results with my first round in 2013, I try to do it at least a couple times a year as a reset for healthy eating habits and relationship with food. (More on why I’m doing the #SeptemberWhole30 in tomorrow’s post!)
After a busy summer, I’d like to begin fall with a reset mindset, ready for a fresh start. In general I’ve been striving for simplicity in my everyday life, and having routines in place helps everything feel less chaotic. I tend to be unorganized and it doesn’t always feel natural for me to plan so much, but I’m learning that it really does help! It isn’t easy, but nothing worth doing ever is, right?
Today, I want to share 5 things I’m doing to increase the amount of quality sleep I get and reduce stress. Some are old habits I’m reincorporating, and some are new. I would love to hear what works for you, as well…feel free to share below!
- Switching to Decaf in the Afternoon: It’s tempting for me to make or pick up a coffee for “second shift” after I pick up the kids from school. Some days it affects me more than others but its a habit I want to change. I can switch to plain water with lemon, decaf coffee and tea, or my favorite flavors of LaCroix sparkling water instead. Being more hydrated will be a bonus, too!
- Taking Natural Calm: This is a game changer, and I’ve only been taking it consistently for the past few weeks! It’s a magnesium supplement that helps restore healthy magnesium levels and balance calcium intake, which results in natural stress relief. I drink it in between meals or before bed, mixed with hot water. (Click here for more info on how it works!) I like the Raspberry Lemon flavor, and switch to the unflavored unsweetened version when I’m doing the Whole30. Both taste great, very citrus-y. When I take it, I notice a overall calming effect and I fall asleep faster. It also keeps everything moving along regularly, if you know what I mean!
- Limiting Screen Time at Night: I will admit this is difficult for me! I like to catch up on social media and emails after the kids are in bed. But often, a quick scroll through turns into wasting an hour. I am going to make a conscious effort to limit my screen time an hour before bed.
- Journaling and Reading: I’m going to fill the time I usually spend on my phone or computer at night with journaling and/or reading. I enjoy both of these things and don’t do them often enough. I have books I’ve ordered recently that I haven’t even cracked open yet, and this gives me a chance to do that! For me, journaling is also a great way to relax and wind down. I love the journal I got from a workshop at The Gem, a favorite spot for healthy juices and snacks. On each page there are spaces to record health related goals/info, and also includes spaces to record prayers, thoughts, gratitude, and meaningful connections. Its helpful to jot down a few notes each day and it keeps me motivated!
- Earlier bedtime and wake times: Sleep and wake times can vary for everyone, but in our house mornings start early! My goal is to try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Making this happen can be a challenge but I’ve experienced a dramatic difference when I do! Read this article for more on this topic…
I’ve learned that how I manage stress depends a lot on the quantity of quality sleep I’m getting, and how well I’m taking care of myself in general. Sometimes its easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of everyday life and forget to stop and do the things that nourish the mind, body, and soul! By taking time to do this for ourselves, we are better able to serve and give back to others…
Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to share your tips for restful sleep in the comments! xo