As the leaves will soon begin to change and we enter a new season, it is a great time to sit back and reflect on where we are in life. If the summer I’ve experienced is any indication of positive changes, my reflections will be amazing.
For those of you who haven’t met Dave yet, allow me to gush about my new husband just a little bit! As I mentioned, he has been working for Sanford Medical for 22 years, currently in the Sanford Hospital Cardiac Care Unit. In addition to his full-time position, he is attending Northwest Technical College to earn his diploma in HVAC/plumbing . Quite active, Dave enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities: hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, skiing, biking. He truly has a zest for life that is just contagious! We laugh a LOT when we’re together, and it’s been a joy to find a kindred spirit where we both really enjoy each other’s company, a very important building block to a successful marriage!
Looking towards the future, we continue to grow and not just by the size of our family! As I mentioned, Dave is going to school for HVAC/plumbing, but I have also been furthering my own education! I have always been a lifelong learner, and value education and the positive changes it can bring. I have been pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Don’t worry, this does not mean I am moving on from Living Touch Massage! The knowledge and experience I have gained over the years as a bodyworker has inspired me to find additional avenues to help people. As I merge into these new stages of life, my passion to work with people and their wellness will continue to be my focus and delight. Massage will always be part of my inspiration and a core value. As we grow and adjust to the changes throughout life, for me, massage will always be a part of who I am.
A restful night's sleep is often something that can be elusive for many of us. Between 10% and 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. It is believed between 30% and 48% of older adults experience insomnia. Many people simply acclimate to their situation, and live life constantly tired. While this may work for them, we don’t recommend it. Being well rested shouldn’t be unattainable for anyone. We’ve put together a list of some recommendations that we hope will help you get the rest you need so you may live a full, happy, WELL RESTED life!
Put yourself on a sleep schedule
This one seems obvious, but is it something you’ve tried? If so, do you close your eyes once you’re in bed, or do you find yourself scrolling social media?
I think that most parents, especially those with babies or young children, would agree that getting their children on a sleep schedule makes their lives easier. Not only does it help mom and dad get into a routine for themselves to accomplish their parental duties, it is vital if you want to curb those sleepy eyed temper tantrums from the little ones. Implementing a sleep schedule for yourself is doing the same thing, although we hope you’ve learned to manage your emotions a tad more than a toddler! Even so, adults can also get very cranky and short with others when not rested.
Seven hours is the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult. Most people don’t need more than eight hours to be well rested. If you can, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even weekends to reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you find yourself not falling asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Pick up a book, and read a chapter. Listen to some calming music. Anything to help lull you into a sleepy state, and go back to bed. Repeat as needed, but maintain the sleep/wake up schedule you’ve set for yourself.
Pro tip: Cut off all electronic stimulation a half hour before your bedtime.
Monitor what you’re consuming throughout the day
Discomfort from either eating too much OR not having eaten enough could be keeping you awake.
Caffeine, alcohol, and even nicotine can also be major factors too. Stimulants can take hours to wear off, and are likely hindering your sleep, and while alcohol can make you sleepy at first, but when it metabolizes while you’re asleep it can wake you up.
Everyone’s experience will be different based on your history, but pay attention to your body, and make adjustments to see if they have any impact.
Your bedroom. Is it set up for rest?
The space where we sleep has a huge impact on how we sleep. Is your bedroom set up to be a place of rest, or is it chaotic? An ideal set up for your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Any light, or noises (except for white noise) can really mess with your ability to sleep. Our body temperatures naturally drop during sleep. A cooler room will assist in getting you to sleep, and more importantly, STAYING asleep. Light also has the same effect, especially if you’re not a heavy sleeper. Black out curtains can help eliminate as much light as possible. The condition you keep your room in is key as well. We’re not saying that it needs to be completely sterile, with everything in its place. We know that’s not realistic for everyone. However, it is hard to be restful surrounded by chaos. Tidy up your room and give it a try!
Make time for physical activity every day
If you have a job at a desk, or something that doesn’t require much physical exertion, you’re probably mentally tired by the time you get home, but not physically tired. It’s important to get your body moving. Sleep is meant to repair our bodies, however, if your body doesn’t need to be repaired from lack of activity, it might be cheating you out of valuable sleep time!
Try getting outside for a little while each day to move your body. It doesn’t have to be major. A half hour in the garden, maybe an hour long walk. Something to trick your body into being physically tired is what you’re looking for.
Are you a bedtime worrier?
If you’re like me, bedtime is when you tend to reflect on the day you just had, and start thinking about the day ahead. If your daily life is busy, you probably find yourself already worrying about tomorrow, and making a to-do list in your head while you're laying down waiting to go to sleep. In my experience, those thoughts can swirl around inside your head for hours on end. Work on those worries and concerns before bed. Keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand. Get them out of your head and onto paper so those thoughts are waiting for you when you wake up, but aren’t swirling around in your head while you try to fall asleep!
You may need some deeper stress management work as well. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety. A worried mind is hard to get to rest. Instead of kicking the can of stress down the road for tomorrow, do yourself a favor and deal with it today.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons that can be preventing you from getting the sleep you need and deserve! Try out a few of our suggestions to see if they could help you out! Just remember that your sleep habits are ingrained within your body, and whatever you try, give it a reasonable amount of time before trying the next thing.
Until our next blog, Take Care!
Mental self-care relates to any activities or routines that can help individuals maintain good mental health and support their well-being. Like any form of self-care, this can take shape in a variety of ways. Some types of mental self-care include mindfulness, self-reflection, setting boundaries, seeking support, engaging in hobbies and interests, getting enough sleep, and practicing self-care rituals routinely.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and without judgment. It can help promote mental self-care through reduced stress, improved concentration, increased self-awareness, and enhanced emotional regulation.
Mindfulness practice can promote overall well-being by increasing positive emotions, such as happiness and gratitude. It can also aid in developing self-compassion by helping create a kind and non-judgmental attitude towards yourself.
Overall, mindfulness practice can help to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-compassion, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being.
As humans, we are wired to crave connection, to create deep lasting bonds; be that with a social circle, or just a social life in general. It is important to keep people around us as a support group or network. It’s part of how we develop as humans, and a tool we can use to manage our mental health state.
When was the last time you nurtured your spirit? We tend to focus a great deal of our energy and time nurturing the physical body through diet and exercise, but our spiritual health is often forgotten, ignored, or pushed to the back of our minds when we need to focus on something else.
What Is Spiritual Self-Care?
Spirituality has different meanings for everybody, usually influenced by the ideologies you grew up with. Many associate spirituality with religion or cultural traditions. Observing rituals, attending religious services or ceremonies, and studying religious texts are types of spiritual self-care for billions of people around the world.
For others, the concept of spirituality is experienced in nature, in personal relationships, or within oneself. It could be through art, music, and dance; anything that is meaningful and kindles a sense of sacredness, even if only felt by the individual.
Spirituality is a personal practice. No matter what path is chosen, they all converge upon something you desire on some level—the need for connection, purpose, and happiness.