Self Care

Self Care

Self-care has increased in prominence over the past year, with many praising its importance amongst the stresses of everyday life. For many people short on time, self-care can be tricky to fit into their working day. Despite this, no one should have to miss out. Not only is self-care an enjoyable practice to partake in, studies have shown that it can boost mood and alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Follow these tips for fitting in selfcare for when you’re short on time.

Sleep

Although you might think of face masks and pampering when it comes to self-care, the best thing you can do to look after yourself is to have a good night’s rest. Sleep is the most effective and beneficial form of self-care, boosting recovery, promoting a healthy and improved memory; maintaining a healthy weight; sustaining a mental and emotional health and fighting disease. Getting 7-9 hours a night is the best place to start when it comes to self-care- once you’ve nailed your sleeping pattern, you’ll definitely feel more nourished, both physically, mentally and emotionally.

 

Take a bath

Not only is taking a bath wonderfully soothing on your muscles, it can also help to you have a good night’s sleep. The gradual cooling off of your body when you get out of the tub can be great way to send you off to sleep gently, as our bodies naturally cool when we head to bed. Try putting on soothing music whilst you’re in the bath to relax you further. If you’re short on time, maybe switch out the time you might have spent on your phone or watching TV for a dip in the tub. Pin point where you might be wasting your time, and seek to fill this time with activities that benefit you.

 

Cook your favorite food

Emotional self care can come in many forms. Cooking our favorite foods releases a hormone called dopamine which makes us feel good, happy and content. If you’re short on time, prepping your meals at the weekend before your week begins can be a handy way to make sure you eat well and hence, feel good.

 

Read a book

Self-care, both emotional and mental, can also be linked to unwinding for the day. Although many of us are short on time to read a book, try leaving your phone in the other room as you head to bed, and spend the time you would have normally spent online, reading a book. Not only does this decrease the level of blue light exposure, reading can be soothing and relaxing for our minds and stands as a great form of self-care and a handy way to encourage sleep- another form of simple and accessible self-care!

 

Try out exercise

Although exercise might not seem like the most likely candidate for self-care, getting up and moving can be a great way to boost endorphins and increase levels of dopamine, all factors that make us feel good. It’s also great for our health and our minds. Try finding a work out buddy and go from there, emotional self care can consist of spending time with loved ones, combine this with the benefits of working out, and the result will be great!

 

Finding Balance

Finding Balance

Life is all about balance. Despite this, equilibrium can sometimes fall by the wayside as we wade through our busy lives. Stress, lack of sleep and anxiety are all too common emotions of the modern day. To fight this tension; follow this quick, handy guide on how to maintain balance and harmony in your life.

Identify your imbalance and make a conscience decision to sort it..


When looking to achieve harmony and balance in life, it’s important to identify what might be causing it. Take a step back, assess and go from there.

 

Set goals.

Stress can often manifest in feelings of helplessness and a loss of control. To get some harmony back into your life, set yourself realistic goals to achieve each morning. These goals can be on a variety of different topics, from your relationship, through to your job and your personal hobbies. They can also be quite mundane, like cooking a healthy meal or heading out for a run. Make your goals realistic and achievable to avoid feelings of stress.

 

Recognize your achievements.

When your life feels out of balance, it’s important to look back on what you have already achieved, this tends to bring in thoughts of accomplishment and can bring calm to a busy and stressful day.

 

Practice breathing techniques and take a break.


Steady, deep breaths, can trick our bodies into relaxation. If you’re feeling stressed and out of balance, try out some deep breathing and maybe have a 20-minute nap to boost energy levels and clear your mind. On top of deep breathing, another great tip for achieving balance in life is to take a break. Read a book, maybe do some meditation or go on a walk with family and friends, achieving balance and happiness can often be linked to spending time with loved ones.

 

Avoid negativity.

When looking to achieve balance in your life, it’s important to adopt a positive mindset and to be conscience of negative influences in your life, before working to remove them. Achieve balance by doing at least one good deed a day as well as one thing each day that makes you happy!

 

 

Exercise the difference maker

Exercise the difference maker

If you’re either struggling with your sleep patterns or feeling low, then there could be a brilliant activity to partake in to get you feeling yourself once more. Regular exercise has been proven to boost mood, increase energy levels and improve quality of sleep come the evening time. Just twenty minutes each day can aid your health and your rest massively – and a better sleep means a better you.

Here are the top benefits of regular exercise:

1. Boosted mood


Regular exercise has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress. It also boosts your mood by increasing your serotonin levels which work to make us feel happy. Exercise can also produce endorphins, hormones which can create feelings of happiness and block pain receptors!

 

2. Great sleep

Exercise can help you to sleep better. When we exercise, our body temperature rises, and it is believed that the then subsequent drop in temperature when we stop can be a great way to ease our bodies into rest. You can also recreate this process by having a hot bath before bed! Just 150 minutes of exercise a week can increase your sleep quality by 65 per cent!.

 

3. Strong bones and muscles


Exercise is vital for maintaining strong muscles and bones. A good sleep and regular exercise for young people can also help to improve bone density, which can actually help to prevent osteoporosis in later life.

 

4. An increase in energy

Although exercise can be great for making us sleep, it can also give us a boost in energy levels! Although the thought of exercise in the morning can be a painful one, getting up and moving early in the day can set you up for an active lifestyle, boost your mood, get oxygen to your brain and get your blood pumping. Exercise can actually help to relieve fatigue.

 

5. Aids brain health and memory


Got a job interview? Maybe your driving test is coming up? Pack in a few exercises before heading out the door and you will guarantee yourself a boost in brain ability and function. Exercise can also be great for improving memory as it essentially stimulates hormone growth which leads to an increase in brain cells. Couple a work out with a great night sleep and you’re setting yourself up for a good day and a better life.

 

 

Don’t lose sleep traveling

Don’t lose sleep traveling

For many, travel can be a draining experience, usually consisting of early starts, jetlag and the constant issues behind trying to sleep while flying. In order to combat this, check out these top tips on how to beat fatigue while on the move.

1. Drink plenty of fluid.


When traveling, tiredness will most likely cause you to experience a headache, especially upon waking up early to head to the airport. Although tiredness does play a part in this discomfort, dehydration can also be an issue for many travelers. Spending a prolonged period in an reduced oxygen environment massively dehydrates us! The average plane humidity is three times drier than the Sahara Desert! Keep those water levels up, aiming to consume more than one liter during your flight to fight headaches and tired eyes.

 

2. Bring an eye mask and ear plugs.


Although lights are usually dimmed on planes, they can be mightily noisy! In addition to this, there will also be people switching on lights and moving around. Pack an eye mask and some ear plugs if you would like to have a deep sleep.

 

3. Schedule in recovery time

Make sure you have a little window of recovery time upon landing, you don’t want to land after a day long flight to head out water rafting! Just relax for a few hours before thinking of what to do.

 

4. Try some self care


Try out self-care!  We’ve already discussed how planes can be dehydrating, maybe pack a moisture face mask or some cooling pads for your tired eyes.

 

5. Bring a neck pillow

Although they’re not the best for long periods of times, neck pillows can be very handy for allowing you to slip into sleep with ease whilst on the move, attach one to your hand luggage for the flight.

 

6. Avoid fatty foods- pack some healthy snacks!


When we’re tired, our bodies crave fatty, sugary foods, meaning we usually end up sugar crashing half way into the flight and land feeling bloated. Pack lots of fruit snacks and plenty of water to avoid these cravings and sleep better during your journey.

 

7. Stick to the time zone


Make sure you stick to the time zone of the country you land in. No matter how tough it gets, if you can make it through the first day and fall asleep with everyone else, you’ll hopefully wake up in sync with you new location!

 

 8. Avoid caffeine


Although it can be tempting to have lots of caffeine whilst traveling, it’s important to not have too much. Not only does it dehydrate us but it also prevents us from sleeping when we might need to!!

sleep myths

sleep myths

Sleep can definitely seem like a mystery at times. Despite it being a common, everyday activity in our lives, we are all still trying to work out why we sleep, what sleep actually is, and which factors determine or affect our rest.  Along with all the speculation appear plenty of sleep myths, some of which can be both misleading and even detrimental to health.  Take a look below to see some sleep myths debunked once and for all.

Sleep Myth 1)  Alcohol Helps You Sleep

Whilst alcohol certainly causes drowsiness and eventual sleep, the sleep achieved is broken, uncomfortable and low in quality. Alcohol can also cause dehydration, meaning that you tend to wake with a sore head, a dry mouth and a feeling far from rested.

 

Sleep Myth 2)  Daytime Activities Do Not Affect Sleep

Wrong! Daytime activities definitely affect sleep. Activities such as working out late in the evening tend to make it difficult to fall asleep, whilst watching a film late into the early hours can definitely lessen sleep quality due to blue light exposure. Day time activities can have a huge affect on rest and investing in the correct sleep hygiene can make all the difference.

 

Sleep Myth 3)  Certain Foods Put Me to Sleep

Whilst certain foods can definitely help to encourage sleep, there is no specific food that will heavily induce sleep. Whilst foods such as nuts, slow release carbs and warm milk can certainly relax your mind and body for rest, they cannot directly induce sleep. Simply include sleep boosting foods in your diet for a healthy sleep and a better life, they’ll fit well into your sleep hygiene routine.

 

Sleep Myth 4)  You Can Make Up for Lost Sleep

Although it can be tempting to sleep in for longer at the weekend in order to ‘make up’ for sleep lost during the week, studies have actually shown that sleeping longer on your days off can be pretty ineffective. Not only does it make you miss out on daytime activities, sleeping for longer at the weekend will most likely cause ‘social jet lag’, making it pretty difficult for you to start the new week afresh on Monday!

Athletes Need More Sleep

Athletes Need More Sleep

We all know that good sleep is vital for performance, but when it comes to athletes, do they need more rest than usual? Take a look at the science below.

For most people, the average amount of sleep needed tends to be between 7-9 hours, although this does vary with age.

For athletes, the numbers are higher. Similar to how athletes need more calories for their high intensity training, they also need more sleep, around one hour extra each night, pulling the amount up to a recommended average of 10 hours! Athletes are also encouraged to take regular afternoon naps for quick energy boosts in the day, it’s also advised that they head to bed early and wake up early too. So, why all the fuss? How does a lack of sleep affect athletes?
Well, the truth is – athletes are affected massively by just one hour drop in their usual sleep patterns. We need sleep for energy and overall performance, meaning that a decrease in athletes’ sleep leads to poor performance, lack of stamina and energy and general fatigue. The more active the person, the harder fatigue tends to hit.
Leading a busy lifestyle as an athlete can be tricky, especially when it comes to fitting in good sleep.

Check out these athlete sleep tips here.

• Set a schedule! Athletes already lead a regimented lifestyle in terms of training, therefore slotting a sleep routine into the mix seems to work well alongside their other activities. Aiming to fall asleep and get up at same time each day really works to decrease fatigue and fight insomnia.

• Set a schedule! Athletes already lead a regimented lifestyle in terms of training, therefore slotting a sleep routine into the mix seems to work well alongside their other activities. Aiming to fall asleep and get up at same time each day really works to decrease fatigue and fight insomnia.

• Athletes tend to travel a lot for games, tournaments and events, meaning their sleep schedule tends to suffer, which can in turn start to affect their performance. A great way to get around this is to arrive in the location days or even weeks before the actual event, this allows your body to acclimatize to the new surroundings and will really work to shake off jet lag and fatigue.

• Avoid sleep medication. Certain sleep supplements can make waking up a diffiicult and drowsy affair, and if you’re heading to morning training, it can be tough to wake up and get out the door. There are plenty of other ways to encourage sleep, from sleep hygiene through to sleep hypnosis and pillow sprays.

• Reduce caffeine. If you’re coming up to an important event, it’s probably best to start cutting out caffeine a few days prior to ensure that you’re sleeping well and performing at your best.

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