are you one of 73% of Americans who suffer from stress that impacts your mental health?
If so, you might also be one of the 48% of Americans who have trouble sleeping because of it. In other words, you’re not alone.
To help you achieve the healthiest and happiest lifestyle, check out these five ways to beat stress and sleep better.
1. practice healthy habits.
If we’ve learned anything from the FYS Consistency Challenge, it’s this: Practicing a healthy habit—such as drinking a glass of water every morning, taking a brisk walk every afternoon, or meditating every night—will support your mental and physical health.
Try setting small, achievable goals. As you continue to meet these goals, you’ll build momentum for positive thinking and healthier living that will lead to less stress and better sleep.
2. take control of your day.
We all have bad days. But what if there were a good way to avoid repeating the same mistakes we made yesterday, the day before, or the day before that?
What if we created a strategy to eliminate all the things we could do without?
Here’s my advice: Spend 10 minutes writing down everything you don’t want in your day.
Then, prioritize the list from “easiest to achieve” to “hardest to achieve. Once you’re able to check one of the changes off the list, move on to the next.
No, you won’t be able to control everything. But those you can control, you should control.
3. re-evaluate your relationship with caffeine.
Are you one of those people, who, like me, sometimes says they “can’t function” without a cup of coffee first? It’s often said in jest, but we know there’s a little bit of truth behind it, don’t we? The reality is that caffeine is a drug, and it is absolutely addictive.
We already know that caffeine is a stimulant, but just because caffeine doesn’t have the negative stigma that is attached to other drugs doesn’t mean it can’t still be bad for you. As the Alcohol and Drug Foundation points out, caffeine “can delay the timing of your body clock [and] reduce your total sleep time” and has withdrawal symptoms that include “sleepiness” and “bad moods.”
If you’re trying to wean off the bean (or other caffeinated beverages), check out these nine alternatives to coffee (and why you should try them from Healthline.
4. meditate or do yoga.
Have you ever tried to meditate or do yoga? Both are ancient practices that can “help people jump-start a meditation routine and deliver the physical and mental benefits of both practices.”
|Yoga can…||Meditation can…|
|• Improve how quickly you fall asleep
• Improve how deeply you stay asleep
• Improve self-esteem and brain function
• Help with burnout
|• Improve the quality of your sleep
• Improve psychological distress
• Improve your frame of mind
• Start your day better
5. put your phone away.
It’s 10 p.m. and you’re dead tired so you climb into bed. Phone in hand, you’re scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling.
The next thing you know it’s midnight or later, and it’s time to call it quits and catch some Zs.
But as tired as you are, you can’t fall asleep.
Why? First off, you’re stimulated from all the content you’ve just consumed.
Secondly: “Scientific evidence suggests that the blue light emitted from your phone, tablet, computer, and TV impedes your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in your sleep cycle.”
When it’s time for bed, try substituting social media for meditation apps, and consider pre-setting your phone’s alarm clock so you’re not prompted to reach for it before bed.
|Cut off negative influences.
Is your weird Aunt Carol going off about politics on Facebook again?
Block, unfollow, or mute anyone who is eliciting a negative response from you online.
|Say “no” when you’re not feeling it.
Invited to a stressful situation? Don’t be afraid to say no!
When you learn how to shift your focus, you can literally change your life.
You can learn strategies to do so in both our FYS Community and FYS Freestyle plans in our Find Your Strength program.
|Scroll less. Read more.
Read a book in bed—not your phone, tablet, or laptop.
Remember, mindful health practices (such as meditation or yoga) will always be a healthier and happier alternative to mindless scrolling.
If you’re looking for a better night’s sleep, my biggest recommendation is to MOVE. Take a walk, do some stretches, or even try a few jumping jacks during the commercials of your favorite TV show. Physical activity is so good for your mind and your body. You won’t just FEEL better, you’ll SLEEP better too.
Not sure where to start? I can help! Join the FYS Community for access to a strength training plan that you can participate in from your own living room.
hugs + high-fives,