3 Stress-busting Habits to Form Today for Better Sleep, Relationships, and Quality of Life

I don’t know if you had the chance to read one of my most recent blogs where I talked about getting burned out. Honestly, it was a super hard post to share because I felt like I would be failing, and frankly, I hate to fail. I hate to lose period, but that’s a subject for a different email (and probably blog post.)

As a result of that burnout, I decided to institute a few new ground rules for my sanity and thought I would share some of my stress-busting ground rules to help you get through this busy season. These are pretty easy and probably self-explanatory, but if they are so dang easy, how do I struggle to do them?

3 Stress-Busting Habits (and how to implement them in your life) that will improve your sleep, relationships and overall quality of life.

Go To Bed Earlier

 Remember when you were a kid and your parents gave you an early bedtime? Well, that’s because sleep is important to help your brain function better, it helps you form better memories and learn, but it also helps you to recover from your day–including the stress that builds up cortisol in your body. The article I cited talked about chronic sleep deprivation not just impairing your ability to think clearly, but it also says that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to chronic diseases. 

As a relatively “new” mom, I mean, both of my kids (thank God) are weaned and for the most part sleep all night–but that is seriously a topic for another article, I understand what it’s like to live in a chronically sleep-deprived mode. When my babies were babies, I got into the habit of waking up between 2-4 every night to nurse them. As a result, although they don’t need to nurse anymore, my body still wakes up. This is basically a disaster. 

I noticed my sleep quality diminishing even more over the summer as the festival got closer and closer because of all the stress related to planning it, in addition to the daily stress of being a wife, mom and full-time entrepreneur. I would work until I practically passed out, and then wake up between 2-4 and be wide awake thinking about what I needed to do. More often than not, I would end up just getting out of bed frustrated and start working again, after only a couple of hours of rest.

This cycle continued, until the situation I wrote about with burnout. It is unhealthy, dangerous, and frankly wasn’t fun for anyone around me.

That’s why I had to make the commitment to go to bed, EARLIER.

For me, this was and still is being done in baby steps, that’s because the bad sleep habit of 12-1 am bedtime, it doesn’t just change the first night, that’s why I say it takes baby steps. 

Steps to Create an Earlier Bedtime

  1. Turn off the TV, Tablet or Cellphone. Set up a “do not disturb time.” I recently implemented a 10 pm DND on my phone. So far, I’ve only broken it a couple of times, and I actually find a fair amount of pleasure in NOT checking. (Even though social media frowns on this.)
  2. Create a bedtime routine. The recently found my favorite way to “get sleepy.” Now that it’s cooling off, I feel the call of a nice hot bath. (yes, I recognize that some people find bathtubs disgusting, but I also love hot tubs so I guess I enjoy sitting in a tub of water with my own dead skin cells…don’t judge me…I think it’s AWESOME.) I get into the bathtub with some Epsom salts (I usually grab mine at Costco, but I’ve been trying to “automate” more things in my life, so I’m gonna let Amazon do my shopping now!) and lavender essential oils. Since I’m not actually consuming this, I don’t mind that it’s not the super nice named brand kind. Plus, OH MAN,I don’t do just 1-3 drops, I make the bathtub emit lavender. 

I get in the bath with a book (which is a REAL treat after 4 years of baby-rearing). I sit and I read and read until I’m good and pickled. I’m currently reading a great book recommended to me by a student in the Yoga Teacher Training Program. I am loving it, because it’s easy to read, has short chapters (perfect for a busy mom) and it goes into the stories behind the poses–the mythology behind yoga! It’s called Downward Dogs and Warriors. Check it out! (These are affiliate links.)

Believe it or not, my “sit and sit” has lasted me 25 minutes tops. (I’m so hardcore, right?) The combination of the hot bath, lavender and the permission to sit–it is something magical.

  1.  I take sleep supplements. You guys know I love my CBD, that’s why we carry it inside the studio! It’s also why the Gold Members get 10% off their purchases because I want them to experience the wonders of CBD as well. (shameless plug on our memberships right there!) However, Jes Dwyer, our new acupuncturist recently prescribed me some herbs that are pretty wonderful, AND I also tried another new product that has a bunch of natural herbs that seem to really help as well. 

Practice SELF CARE! 

Listen, I get it, a weekly massage may not be in the cards for you, but if it is, SWEET!!! Share with a sister why don’t ya?!?!! 🙂 

(j/k–but no, seriously please!) HA! 

Self care doesn’t mean spending a bunch of money.

Your self care routine could be just spending 5 minutes in the shower, with the hot water running down your back and if you’re feeling super luxurious, throwing in a shower tablet. It could mean that bathtime routine as I mentioned above. on can help you calm down, decompress, and deal with the stresses of your day a little better.  If you’re looking for a guided meditation to help you decompress and practice a little self care, we’ve got that now on Wednesday nights at 7:45 with Merrit.  It’s basically AMAZING, and you should try it.

However, remember, Self Care can also mean just saying “no” to something.

Self care can mean saying no to something extra. 

In a season of craziness, for me, and I’m sure for anyone reading this blog. Guess what, it’s ok to say no. I recently had an entire weekend off and guess what we did. Nothing. It was glorious. I said no to play dates, no to anything that required us to do anything or be anywhere at any specific time. It was basically amazing. Taking care of yourself sometimes means not doing as much.

Practice Gratitude. 

Just in time for the season, and I know this is sorta cheesy. and you probably know by now that I’m not a super cheese person, but this one thing–practicing gratitude has been a game-changer for me. 

I always thought I was a pretty grateful person, but it wasn’t until I started mentally making lists of all the things that I was thankful for, that I started to truly relax and be “ok” with where I am RIGHT NOW. 

Wherever you are right now, surely you can make a list of at least 3 things you’re grateful for. 

Start listing them out, even small things like I’m so glad that I have some clean clothes and a roof over my head. Before you know it, you will likely have quite a list.  Here’s the secret sauce, each time you read over it, something happens. It is like a tiny fire ignites inside you that burns up all the crap that is holding you down. Re-reading your gratitude list, (or just going back to that list in thought) will do WONDERS for your mental state, which then helps to reduce stress.  

Go ahead, try it! Oh, and we just scheduled a gratitude yoga for November 15th, so mark your calendars.

Ok, so those are my top 3 stress-busting tips for you this week. 

 What are some of your stress-busting tips? What are things that you do to help manage the demands of a busy life?  Let me know because this mama needs help, and who knows, maybe this can become a semi-regular post!

(this blog post does contain affiliate links)