In our busy lives, rest and sleep are two things we often neglect, so here are my tips on how to make sure you’re getting both of these essentials.
The amount of sleep and rest you need is different for everyone. For me I need 8.5 to 9 hours sleep each night, and I can tell immediately when I haven’t got enough sleep. My concentration lacks, I get stressed more easily, and I generally feel sluggish. I’m always envious when I hear people say they thrive on 6 hours sleep, but I’ve come to accept that I need more rest and to not feel guilty for needing a proper night’s sleep. So for my first tip for:
Make sure you get enough hours sleep.
You probably already know the hours of sleep you need to make you feel your best the next day, but the difficult part is sticking to it. We’re so glued to our screens and to work that we often don’t realise how late it is, and we usually have to get up quite early the next day.
My advice is to set a ‘Go to Sleep’ alarm. For example, if you want to be in bed by 10:30, set your alarm to 9:30, so you can begin a sleep routine – e.g. have a shower, write in a journal, read a few pages of your book, drink a herbal tea, etc. Remember to turn off electronic devices at this time too.
Use candles and essential oils to unwind and ease into sleep.
I find scented candles, diffusers and oils to be one of the most soothing methods to de-stress and switch to Sleep Mode. Growing up, my mother always burned incense, candles and essential oils to help us go to sleep and it’s something I’ve carried with me into my adult years.
My go-to body and home fragrance products to de-stress are by one of my favourite natural brands, The Aromatherapy Co, from their new range Smith & Co. Their Unwind products — abounding with calming lavender, chamomile and cypress essential oils — are amazing at helping your mind and body move into a calm and peaceful state, soothing you to a deep sleep.
Have little routines you can turn to throughout the day to combat stress and help you reset.
This could be things like go for a 20 minute walk, sit at the bench outside work and listen to some music, practice Mindfulness or breathing exercises, or make a tea and cuddle up in bed with your favourite TV show. One of mine is to go outside (whether I’m working from home or at work) and massage the Anxiety essential oil blend by Smith & Co onto my temples or wrists. The calming scent and the motion really helps me to remain present and relax.
Remember to make time to have fun and do things you love.
This is a big one that we forget. Many of us find it difficult to disconnect from the stresses of work and life, and to participate in things that give us pleasure.
Even if you’re busy or feel guilty at the thought of rewarding yourself, make sure you set aside time out of each day (or even a whole day or two in the week) to do things you love and find fun. Treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers, go out for breakfast to your favourite cafe, catch up with a friend who makes you laugh, draw something, bake something delicious, see a movie, go to the beach, go for a hike, read a book in bed. Anything you love to do, do it.
I hope this helps and I’d love to hear your tips for unwinding and having a good night’s sleep too.
The Smith & Co range by The Aromatherapy Co is available in Myer from mid-August this year.