Good Rest is to take charge of sleeping patterns, and finding ways to reduce stress. Part IV of the ‘How to Get a Healthier Life’ is about real rest, sleep, and de-stressing. Deliberately, this part comes after:
If you have followed the series, you will already reap the benefits from the 5 minutes tips, and feel on your way to a healthier way of life. An overall effect of the 5 x 5 Success Plan, is less stress, and better sleep. A few extra tips go a long way too. Here – the Good Rest Part IV gives you 5 minute tips to pick and choose from. As with all the 5 x 5 Success Plan tips, you decide which ones suit you and your life.
Good Rest – Sleep
- Take 5 minutes to reset your alarm to the same time every day – yes, even weekends 🙂 ! By going to bed at the same time, and waking up a healthy 7 – 9 hours later, you give yourself a routine, and get real, regular rest. If you keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you will feel much more refreshed and energised than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. This holds true even if you alter your sleep schedule by only an hour or two. Consistency is vitally important.
- If you are at that stage of life and work, where you cannot get enough hours of sleep every night, take 5 – 20 minutes naps or why not the scientifically proven 26 minute NASA nap? A ‘cat’ nap does work and gives you back much-needed bounce, and productivity.
- Take 5 minutes to review your pillows. Experiment with different size pillows, and try placing them not only under the head. A pillow between your knees, when lying on your side can be very good for a restful posture, and also induces sleep. A pillow behind your back prevents ‘rolling’, and therefore puts you in ‘zen’ mode. And – for a bit of extra comfort, why not hug a pillow, and go to sleep feeling cared for and protected. My favourite is a wheat pillow. Not only does it warm up the bed, it can also be placed on aching muscles (from all the exercise:)), helps period pain, or simply as an extra comfort next to you. (see below where to get one)
- Consider a natural sleep inducer. Take 5 minutes, and have a cup of camomile, valerian, or Yogi ‘Good night’ tea (see recommendations below). Drink it in bed slowly, and enjoy the heavy eyelids. Another good sleep inducer is lavender. Get some lavender oil. Put a few drops on your pillow, or wrist and let the aroma send you to la-la land. Another good tip is to count backwards from 100…. Good night!
- The last tip is to try and not go to sleep. Simply enjoy being in bed, and the comfort zone that the bed room should be. Take 5 minute to think about what a good day you have had, and the positive changes you are making to your overall health. You will, of course, be doing the 5 minute tips from the other parts of this series. By addressing all the parts of what wellness stands for, you get into an overall sense of balance. You get real results — in body and mind. It is a knock-on effect. A very real result of eating right, moving more, and proper hydration is that sleep comes naturally, as a ‘thank you for a job well done’. Your reward for looking after yourself during the day, is a full good nights sleep.
Good Rest – Stress Less
- Stress comes from many factors. Learn to differentiate between Stress and Anxiety. Take 5 minutes and read ‘The Difference between Stress and Anxiety’ – an excellent article from Huffington Post / Healthy Living. This will make you understand what stressors are, and which ones may apply to you. Once you get to grips what gets you stressed, you can tackle each element. One by one. Step by step.
- Get organised, and make a ‘To-Do’ list. Multitasking madness leads to many things started, very few finished, and a lot of stress. Take 5 minutes every morning and write your ‘to-do’ list. Time management, prioritization, and doing one thing at a time is a very good way to getting less stressed.
- Recognise that some people stress you out more than others. Take 5 minutes to gently resist stress attacks, and so-called secondhand stress. Set boundaries, so that you can deal with your own life/work stress factors first – before taking on others. You know what your limits are, and will also know who drives you ‘up the wall’ more than others.
- De-clutter your life, and get less stressed as a result. Take 5 minutes to list projects that will bring more organisation into your life. Examples: Rearrange your wardrobe; clean out the fridge; sort out the garage; organise your work place/desk; get an App to help with your finances; prune the garden…etc. You have an idea, I am sure, of those niggling things that add stress by not being done, and one way to tackle this is one project at a time.
Relax… So easy to say, and one of those words that will often increase stress, rather than the opposite. However, if you take 5 minutes to actually look at relaxation techniques and try them out — you will find relief in a busy day!
Finally, and most importantly, you are (by reading this) actively working on getting a healthier life. By being mindful, exercising, eating healthier, drinking more (water!) and sleeping better – you also get less stressed! Go back and read the 5 minute tips from each post in this series, and try one or all. You have begun a journey. It is a big leap forward with lasting, permanent health gains.
Don’t miss Part V of the 5 x 5 Success Plan: How to Get a Healthier Life! Part V is a Bonus post for You – just You! It’s all about essential Me-Time. All the must-have items, and tools that make a real difference to your new and healthier you! Even 5 minutes can make a real visible difference – inside and out!
Follow The GOODista to: Feel, Be and Do GOOD!
Related and Recommended Resources:
- How to Sleep Better – HelpGuide
- How Much Sleep do we Need? – National Sleep Foundation, USA
- Why eating right & exercise is essential for sleep – National Sleep Foundation, USA
- The Power of Napping – The Guardian
- Stress Symptoms, Signs and Causes – HelpGuide
- Time Management Tools & Techniques – MindTools
- How to deal with Secondhand Stress – WikiHow
- 5 Ways to Stress Less – Psych Central
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