The Everyday Vacay series continues- How to rest best

 A Word on Wellness

“The foundation of all happiness is health,”
—Leigh Hunt.


Wonderful Wellness at TammyTalk.com - Photo by LyfeFuel on Unsplash

To break free and stay free of ennui, you will learn to make wellness a goal, a habit, and a priority. You will also learn to communicate this commitment to yourself and others by organizing your day to budget time and energy for getting enough sleep, shopping for food, exercising, and practicing self-care.

At the peak of my episode with ennui, I trudged through my days like a zombie. I was too stressed to sleep, my stomach and head ached relentlessly, I was having trouble breathing, and I didn’t know what to do.

Then, in a serendipitous twist of fate, the answer presented itself to me disguised as a phone call from my boss with an unusual teaching assignment. That call changed my life and my work forever. It assured me that I was not alone and introduced me to a world of information and techniques of which I had been unaware.  I learned that I was the rule, not the exception. Thousands maybe millions of others were struggling with the same problems of prosperity, living The Dream and being crushed by the weight of responsibility.

Photo by LyfeFuel on Unsplash
Exterminate ennui

There was an abundance of information and resources to explore, and I was eager to get started. But before I could do anything else, I had to get well. Not just lose weight, get a good night’s sleep, or take a yoga class but systematically make lifestyle changes to promote health and happiness.

I learned that the ability to predict and plan is crucial to pruning ennui from our lives and avoiding “passive stress,” which is a silent but destructive form of stress caused by ignoring a problem in hopes that it will go away. Scheduling sleep, prioritizing exercise, and paying attention to nutrition, produce vibrant, renewable energy that propels us toward our goals and fills our life with excitement and adventure.

So, whether you are inviting inspiration, discovering the communication connection, or organizing to optimize, wellness is the key to living free of ennui. And overall wellness consists of three basic elements: rest, exercise, and nutrition.

Rest is best

Of course, the first element of wellness makes the other two easier. When we are well rested, we are more capable of performing exercise routines, planning meals, and engaging in other healthy activities than when we are operating on minimal sleep and massive amounts of caffeine and/or sugar.

 

Rest to recharge

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties our
health and body together.”
—Thomas Dekker

How to sleep - TammyTalk.com
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

To optimize health and exterminate ennui, we must carve out a minimum of eight hours downtime every night. Allow at least that long to fall asleep and peacefully wake. A well-rested mind sets the stage for inspiration, conversation, and organization. On the other hand, lack of rest makes us cranky, wreaks havoc on our emotions, causes weight gain, and depletes our energy reserves.

Light bright

If you have trouble sleeping, examine your environment.

Light is known to cause insomnia, especially blue light generated by electronics. To darken your environment, you can either turn off and cover all the lights and electronics in your bedroom (we use black electrical tape) or wear a sleep mask, which is also a great alternative for sleep while traveling.

Noise or no

Noise is a double-edged sword where sleep is concerned. Of course, loud, disruptive noises keep us from sleeping, but excessive quiet can be deafening as well. White noise, such as a fan or soft music can provide the right acoustical environment for sleep.

 

Textbook temperature

Ideal sleeping temperature is between 65- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. Being too warm or to cool creates a subtle sleep disturbance that we may not immediately recognize.  So, check the thermostat before bed, make necessary changes, and be sure to have adequate covers.

Early birds and night owls

I am one of those individuals who wakes up at dawn ready to face the day. I rarely linger in bed, since the hours between 5:00 and 11:00 a.m. are the best, most productive of my day. I usually sleep between 6 and 8 hours per night, going to bed at 10:00, drifting to sleep around 11:00, waking around 5:00 and resting/meditating until 6:00.

Not everyone is an early bird, but it is important to know when you rest best and for how long.

·        Are you a night owl who stays up until midnight and sleeps until 8:00 or later?

o   Does that fit into your work/sleep schedule?

·        Do you require more than 8 hours of sleep per night or less?

o   If so, how do you budget time for sleep?

·        Do you prefer to rise before the sun?

o   If so, what time must you go to bed to be fully rested?

 

Jot it down

If there is something on your mind at bedtime, make a list. Write down:

·        disturbing things that happened during the day,

·        things to do the next day,

·        things to remember,

·        things to prepare,

anything that you might worry about during the night. Then keep that list nearby. During those dark hours before dawn, we sometimes get reminders from our subconscious about responsibilities and/or commitments that we have forgotten. By keeping our list near the bed, we can easily add to it, releasing that worry until the next day.

Wake wonderfully

Gentle yoga poses and relaxing herbal teas before bedtime as well as guided meditations can help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

Try to avoid using an alarm to wake whenever possible. The sudden jarring noise triggers the fight or flight response, releases adrenaline into the bloodstream, and abnormally accelerates heart rate.

Instead try sleeping until waking naturally. This is tricky at first, but with a little practice, you can start your day relaxed and refreshed. Try the following process for setting your internal clock.

 

 

The KearceCrafted anti-alarm method: 

·        Set an intention to wake at a desired time.

·        Write that intention down and put it where you see it often.

·        Twenty minutes before bed turn off all electronics.

·        At bedtime, turn off all lights.

·        Go to bed at least 8 hours before time to wake.

·        Practice, practice, practice

Dreamy dawn

Dreams can often be a window into the subconscious. But they must be captured as soon as we wake since they dissipate like smoke by midday.  

Set the stage for dream recall:

·        Before bed, set an intention to remember your dreams.

·        Write that intention down and put it next to your bedside.

·        Prepare to record your dreams with either pen and pad or voice recorder at your bedside.

·        Meditate on that intention for 30 seconds or more before going to sleep.

·        If you wake during the night with a dream memory, write it down immediately.

·        When you wake, take a few moments and try to remember your dreams.

o   Do you remember people?

o   Do you remember a place?

o   What emotions do you feel?

 

Rise and shine

When fully awake, take a few moments to leisurely stretch and gather your thoughts before bounding out of bed full of energy and enthusiasm, ready to face the day. Try to refrain from electronics for the first hour or more of your morning since they are a conduit for stress and anxiety.

How to stop thinking and start sleeping


This has been an excerpt from the Everyday Vacay e-series. Stay tuned next month (July 5 ) for Wonderful Wellness -- Exercise for Energy

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Everyday Vacay at TammyTalk.com

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