Mindfulness, stress reduction and sleep – who doesn’t need help with these things in their busy lives. If we are stressed, tired and not getting enough sleep we make poor food choices, poor decisions and we don’t work efficiently.
Start the day right…. in the morning it can help to have a ‘Ritual’. You may already have one but not call it a Ritual and to me, the main difference is that you might do the same things each morning but you probably do them while thinking about everything else you have to do that day/week or while multitasking with emails and internet. It can really help to start the day calm and energised if you do a few things living ‘in the moment’ and concentrating as well as enjoying what you are doing.
Most mornings this is my Ritual… On waking, drink some water. Go to the loo and splash my face with water. I pull the blinds up to see what kind of a day it is – this morning was a gorgeous golden sunrise, which was a bonus! I then spend a few minutes doing some exercises/stretching, which for me is The Five Tibetan Rites (there is a separate Post on this in Contents). It is easy to do this on automatic but I find it is much more beneficial if I do it with strength and purpose and also paying attention to deep breathing. I end my repetitions with ‘Pose of a Child’ and then a kneeling prayer position ‘Namaste’. Find whatever exercise or stretching you can do and build on it every week – it will stretch and warm up your muscles and joints and help get plenty of oxygen and lymph flowing around your body.
I then wash and dress. Breakfast varies with how I feel but I always love 1 or 2 coffees – black with a 1/4 tsp Coconut oil. This morning I had Paleo pancakes (made with banana, egg and almond butter) with pecan nuts and maple syrup..YUM! That is a treat about once a week, other days I might have a herb omelette, or rice cereal with a banana and coconut milk and sometimes I just have a couple of dates and some walnuts or almonds or a piece of fruit. If you burn a lot of energy and like a cooked breakfast then bacon, quality sausages, eggs, avocado, mushrooms are all good options and better than cereal and toast.
If you can avoid doing anything else while eating and drinking then great – think about what you are eating and enjoy every mouthful, enjoying holding a warm cup of drink in your hands or slowly sip a home-made smoothie while contemplating the health and energy giving ingredients.
When you give yourself this time in the morning to clear your head and energise your body you will start the day feeling good about yourself and composed which lessens the build-up of stress. Some might like to meditate or have a refreshing shower but whatever your own Ritual – be in the moment, mindful of everything you do.
The rest of the day try to be in control of your time management. Only check your emails at set times and restrict input from the News and Social Media. When you start a task try to see it through to completion without distraction or interruption if possible. We are sometimes our own worst enemy when it comes to time management.
Sip Spring Water or Sizzling Minerals throughout the day. Staying hydrated will help your energy and concentration. Try to eat at regular intervals of about 4-5 hours as this gives your digestion time to properly digest your food and absorb the nutrients. If you get hungry between meals it is best to increase the amount of protein and healthy fats you eat and have less Carbohydrates. If a snack is necessary a few nuts and an apple are a good choice. If it is possible to get outside in the fresh air for even a short break or a brisk walk, especially if it is sunny, then do – it will be worth the time in increased energy and a clearer head when you return.
Finish the day right.…. In the evening eat a nourishing meal with the same mindfulness that you had at breakfast. Maybe 1 glass of wine with your meal or some relaxing tea, like Jasmine or Fennel that can also help your digestion. Make a note of what you have to do the next day and then set a time to put your phone or tablet aside for the evening. The screen light can affect the production of Melatonin that helps your body prepare for sleep. Some people are more sensitive than others but it is worth trying and being disciplined over it and sometimes your partner or family will be glad of your attention 😉
For 2 hours before bed it is good to dim the lights and relax as much as possible. Watch entertaining TV rather than anything too serious, listen to music or have a nice warm bath with a handful of Epson Salts added so that the magnesium will be absorbed through your skin and help you to unwind. Try to go to bed about the same time each night as this is another Ritual that will help with quality sleep.
If your mind is too active to sleep then either read a little, listen to some favourite music or use a meditation technique. if you have never done this then try an App like ‘Calm’ or ‘Headspace’. If you are very stressed or have difficulty getting to sleep on a regular basis there are some good herbal supplements that can help. It is best not to take them every night and a good idea to vary what you take. Passiflora, hops, Camomile and Valerian (some people get headaches if they take this regularly for 2-3 weeks) and Jan de Vries Night Essence Drops are good and you should take them about 1-2 hours before bed rather than when you actually are in bed.
Other FREE Meditation Apps that I haven’t personally tried but are rated as good or excellent are,
- Relax Melodies
- Meditation Timer Pro
If you would like a short 7 or 13 minute relaxation during the day try
- Take a Break!