In this blog I will share my 10 top tips to sleep better so you can feel less stressed. This is an edit of a previous blog about the connection between sleep and weight. This shows how sleep can impact on more than one aspect of life. But stress and weight are only two aspects lack of sleep effects.
Lack of sleep can contribute to issues like depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease and many more. Having a long-term sleep issue is also said to take 10 years off your life.
I am sure I do not need to point out the link between stress and lack of sleep. They feed each other in a way that can make life difficult. If you haven’t had enough sleep you know how that feels. You are cranky, cannot concentrate and your memory feels foggy.
This might mean that you don’t have the best of days. Your stress levels then increase, you cannot sleep and the cycle continues. If you are ready to break this cycle you need these ….
10 top tips to sleep better so you can feel less stressed.
Switch off all tech, including the TV at least one hour before bed. The light from the screens prevents your body creating melatonin, the sleep hormone. Even if you do drop off with your phone in your hand the quality of your sleep will be poor.
If you must nap, limit it to 30 minutes before 2pm. Napping disrupts your sleep pattern and reduces your ability to sleep at night. If your energy slumps try fresh air or a walk to pick you up.
Stop Clock Watching
If you wake in the night, stay away from the clock. If you keep saying, ‘I wake up at 3am every day’, that is exactly what will happen.
If you want to sleep well start by making sure your mattress is comfortable and have a cool room with warm bedding. Use pillows to support your limbs, if needed and get your neck in neutral with no more than one pillow.
Save bed for two things only
Your bed is for sleeping and time with your partner! Anything else you do in bed gives your brain the message that bed is for things other than sleeping and love making.
Establish a Routine
Try to go to bed and get up at a similar time each day (even at weekends). Your body will get into a flow with the routine and you will find yourself sleeping better.
Watch Out for Caffeine
Have your last caffeinated drink no later than 1pm so the caffeine can leave your body before you need to sleep. Watch out for caffeine hidden in things such as chocolate and painkillers.
Exercise at the Right Time
Exercise is great for sleep as it helps to tire out your body. Do not exercise too close to bedtime as this can disrupt your sleep and make you too awake to nod off.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Do not eat too late in the evening and avoid late evening heavy meals. If your digestive system is working hard it will disrupt your ability to sleep.
Get into the Light at the Right Times
Exposing yourself to daylight early on in the day helps your brain realise that it is morning and time to be awake. In a similar way, getting into the dark helps your brain know it is night and time to sleep.
I hope you have found my 10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed, useful. As with any habit change, don’t try to change everything at once. Choose one or two things to work on first and then introduce the others one-by-one. If you are struggling to get enough sleep, feeling stressed or would like to make a change in any other aspect of your life, please get in touch.
Why learn self-love to feel less stressed you may be wondering! How can self-love help you feel less stressed? The main reason that a lack of self-love contributes to stress is that it reduces what you think you are cable of. If you spend all day berating yourself, you will believe that you are not very good. This will make you push yourself too hard to prove your worth to the world and yourself. It will also increase feelings of overwhelm and make you give up more often.
Low self-love will also affect how you look after yourself. If you don’t love something, you don’t tend to look after it very well. If you are not taking time out for self-care, this can have a massive impact on your stress levels too.
Think, for a moment, about something or someone that you love.
Your children, your partner, your dog or even your car. How do you treat that thing or person? I would imagine that you treat them with respect and kindness. You do things to help them be healthy, happy or even to work well. I sure, you would not put the wrong fuel in your car. Because you want it to work , you make sure you look after it. You care enough about it to do that.
As you can see, there is a strong link between self-care and self-love. One is unlikely to happen without the other. Without good self-care, we are much more likely to become stressed. We are more likely to expect too much of ourselves, not take time out and not do things to look after our bodies and minds.
So, how can we learn self-love to feel less stressed?
Here are my top tips to learn self-love and feel less stressed.
Tip 1 – Be nice to yourself
Your mind believes that inner voice so the more you say negative things, the more you will believe them. Make an effort to be kind to yourself and, if you do slip up, try to challenge any negative thoughts. A good rule of thumb is to speak to yourself in the same way that you’d speak to your best friend. You are with you all the time, so it is more important how you speak to yourself than how anyone else does. Notice, challenge and change your self-talk!
Tip 2 – Stay Focused on You
Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way to lower your self-love. You are a unique person on a unique journey. You are not like anyone else in the world. Notice and praise every step you take in the right direction and leave thoughts of others behind.
Tip 3 – Realise that no-one is perfect
It is okay to make mistakes! We all make them, but it is very easy to end up being critical of ourselves even for the slightest error. We are more critical of ourselves than we ever would be to someone else. Our mind can hear every word we say and will use negative words to create or reinforce a negative belief.
We all make mistakes. Be kind to yourself, accept your mistakes, learn and move on.
Tip 4 – Focus on what you can change
We spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the things in life that we cannot change. Whether it’s moaning about the weather or complaining about queues of traffic. Thinking about these things which are outside your circle of control is a waste of time. It also makes us feel weak and out of control. This can contribute to negative feelings about ourselves. Take a look at each situation and decide what you can do about it. Take any action you can then let go and move on.
Tip 5 – Do something which makes you happy every day
By doing something for yourself every day, you are sending the message to your brain that you matter. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but something that is only for you. It could be a massage or a laze in the bath with some candles. The more you do for yourself, the more you are showing that you care about and, dare I say it, love yourself.
Tip 6 – Celebrate Small Stuff
Most of us are much more likely to berate than praise ourselves. Have you ever got to the end of a working day to find yourself focusing on the 2 things you didn’t tick off your to-do list? You have completely missed praising yourself for the 8 you did tick off.
How different would the day feel if you celebrated every little win you had? From getting the kids off to school on time to finishing that big project. Try keeping a journal where you make a note of all your successes. Look back on this record often to lift your mood and help you feel more self-love.
Tip 7 – Help others
Studies have shown that when we do something good for someone else, it boosts our mood. Helping others fulfils a deep human need that most of us have. We get a boost from the positive feedback we get from the person we helped. But studies show that even anonymous acts of kindness can make us feel good. Try to do one thing every day for someone else and notice how that makes you feel.
Tip 8 – Choose positive friends
Some people suck the life out of us on a daily basis. Nothing is right in their lives or the world in general. It can be exhausting to spend any length of time around them. It can also become all too easy to join in their moaning and get dragged into their world. If you have some people in your life who fit that description avoid them in person and on social media. If you have to see them try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing beforehand. Then avoid moaning about their moaning afterwards.
I hope you have found these tips to learn self-love to feel less stressed useful.
You matter and are worthy of love. Please don’t forget that.
Do you procrastinate? Or as one dictionary definition stated, do you ‘delay or postpone action or put things off?’.
Did you know that procrastination increases your stress levels? In this blog, I share the causes of procrastinating. I also share my top tips to help you stop procrastinating so you can feel less stressed. If you want to stop procrastinating so you can feel less stressed, start by working out which of these affects you. Then try the tip to overcome your procrastinating.
1. You avoid the big jobs
When given a choice between a big or a small task, we will often choose the latter. Completing small tasks gives us a quick hit of dopamine from the success we experience. A big task can feel like a tunnel with no light at the end. This makes us more likely to avoid starting because we cannot see the end.
To overcome this habit, break down a big task into bite size chunks and celebrate each step of success. Get clear about what each step of success will look like so you know when you have reached it.
2. You don’t start tasks which need something from someone else
If a task needs communication or action from someone else it can feel harder to start. We will put it to one side to avoid failure because of someone else not doing their part of the task.
Clearly communicate the deadline to the other person. Make sure you can continue with other important tasks while you are waiting. Use praise to encourage the other participant and keep them on track. If someone keeps getting in the way of you completing your tasks, you might consider finding another person to work with.
3. You avoid complicated tasks
For some tasks, the solution is not immediately clear and requires some investigation. It is all too easy to avoid that task to avoid failure. The inner, critical voice might say ‘what if I cannot handle this or don’t have the knowledge or ability to solve it?’
Break down the task as in point 1 but also do not be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there with a lot more knowledge than you.
4. You get distracted
We have all done it! We have all picked up our phone to add something to our diaries. We have all put that phone down 15 minutes later having no idea what we did in the meantime. The draw of social media, email and other alerts on our phone can be too much for many of us. Every time we read a message, we get an addictive little hit of dopamine which can become very hard to resist.
Leave your phone outside your office and only picking it up when you have a list of tasks to do on it. Also, switch off all the alerts other than those you view as emergency means of contact e.g. texts. Treat email like a letter and have an ‘out of office’ which tells people that you will only check email once or twice a day.
5. You believe you work better with a short deadline
I have so many clients who have said this to me in the past. But it isn’t true. When we do things last minute we are more likely to make mistakes, forget important things and even run out of time. People who procrastinate believe this because when the deadline is near they suddenly take massive action. As a result, they develop the idea that they are better with a short deadline.
Remind yourself that taking time over a task and planning actions produces better results. It allows time for reflection, review and editing before the deadline. Think about what your future self would say about the pressure you have created. Your future self would say, ‘get started now!’
6. You cannot get started
Some people procrastinate part way through a task. Some people cannot get started at all. Not being able to get started at all, gets in the way of everything and leads to a feeling you are failing before you even get started.
If you want to get cracking with something right now, try this technique from The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. When you have a thought to do something, count 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 and do it! This method does not allow your procrastinating mind a chance to argue. You will have started a task (and finished it) before the procrastinating part of you has even got out of bed!
Stop kidding yourself!
As I complete this blog, I know I will want to go back over it again and again and even get someone else to review it too. I feel good knowing I have left myself enough time to do that. It means I am more likely to produce something I am happy with and will help people. The next time you try to kid yourself that you work better with a short deadline or under pressure, be careful. There is no need to punish yourself with self-imposed short deadlines. Putting yourself in this situation over and over again can lead to all sorts of health problems. Stress contributes to or causes 70% of illness in the UK right now and that figure is rising. Do your best today to stop procrastinating so you can feel less stressed It often surprises people that hypnotherapy is a great tool to stop procrastinating. If you are stuck and want to get going, get intouch NOW!
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