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Even with the best of intentions, stress and anxiety have a way of creeping upon us. Sometimes it’s not even a creep, it’s a full-on, in your face, blatant disrespect of your joyful life.
Anxiety and stress can come from over-working, worrying about something that needs to be let go, and just over-thinking things. And what does this do to our bodies? It puts us in a state of being frazzled. Sleep doesn’t come as easily or naturally because our minds are running the show.
So, whether you’re traveling and stressed, or at home and feeling stressed, here are 5 tips to help you get some rest.
- Breathe. When we’re stressed, we often don’t breathe. Take a moment to focus on your breathing. Count one to ten, with an inhalation and exhalation per each number and if you’re not yet asleep, count ten to one, with an inhalation and exhalation per each number. Chances are you’ll fall asleep somewhere in there, and if not, keep repeating the process, or apply the next step!
- Lavender Oil – As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I take this with me on all trips, and I also have a supply at home. When I’m feeling stressed, I put a few drops on my heart right before I turn off the light to sleep. If I’m feeling extra anxious, I also put some oil on the bottom of my feet. Why I do that is because whether you’re wearing shoes or are barefoot during the day, your feet are sensitive receptacles, picking up energy from where you walk. Lavender oil is calming and an antiseptic so it will calm all the energy you picked up from your day and diffuse some of that anxiety stemming from your feet.
- Melatonin – A natural sleep aid, melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, which regulates our body’s sleep cycles. To assist when needed, there are many Melatonin products on the market you can take as a supplement.
- Focus on the dark. This may sound strange, but focusing on the darkness has helped me numerous times. So when your eyes are closed, you can still see that it’s either light or dark around you, right? If it’s light, get an eye mask, or get under the covers, and this will help.
Step 1 – with your mind, focus on the darkness, imagine it to be as dark as possible.
Step 2 – repeat the word “black” as many times as possible.
When your mind has only one thing to focus on, you will likely drift asleep before you know it!
- Magnesium – I learned about Magnesium when I started going to the chiropractor years ago. It is found in many supplements as a “calm” agent. When I’m feeling crazed, or even if I’m feeling constipated (sorry, TMI?) I take magnesium to help relax my muscles. And it turns out this is great as a sleep aid too! Do you love chocolate? Check out this company Good Day Chocolate! They have a chocolate CALM product with 40mg Magnesium per serving and I take 2 Calm chocolates after my dinner whenever I’ve had a stressful day. And then I get dessert and relaxation in one! Yum and yay!
Bonus tip: Write in a journal before you go to sleep! I’ve actually noticed a difference in my ability to sleep if I don’t write in my journal. Writing can be very therapeutic and just the act of writing out your day or the anxiety you’re feeling is sending the energy to the paper. You may notice you feel complete with your day once it’s been written in your journal.
I’d love to hear about your sleep journey! Do you have additional tips? Please share your comments below!
Until next time, thanks for reading, and Happy Travels!