Many areas of the world are opening up, easing restrictions, and finding new ways to come back together. Pandemic stress was different for everyone, and this major adjustment can add unique stressors too.
Whatever a ‘new normal’ looks like for you, here are three ways to manage stress while navigating the best way to reintegrate for your unique needs. Be soft with yourself — you don’t want to add more stress to your plate while trying not to stress!
Most importantly: know you’re not alone on the journey.
Create a nighttime routine.
Better sleep and less stress starts with a calming routine before your head hits the pillow.
- Read, write in a journal, take a bath, or listen to music to help calm the body down before bedtime.
- Aim to reduce (and eventually remove!) TV from your nighttime routine. A TV in the bedroom confuses the brain into alertness. Remove your TV — and any other clutter — from the bedroom for a more serene space and a restful night’s sleep.
- Make sure the temperature of your room is under 70 degrees – when the temperature is warm, it’s harder to fall and stay asleep!
- Ensure the room is as dark as possible – remove any sources of light, use room-darkening curtains, or even sleep with a sleep mask!
- Balancing your magnesium, boron, and vitamin B6 levels can also help you sleep more soundly — ask me more about this!
What time will you start unwinding? According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should stop using electronic devices, including phones, at least 30 minutes before bed. Start at 30 and then reduce further by increments of 15 minutes until you have 1 hour of screen-free time before bed. (Extra credit: can you get 2 screen-free hours?) You’ll progressively notice better sleep!
Watch sugar and caffeine intake.
Sweets may temporarily squash stress, but sugary foods also cause your energy to spike up and down drastically during the day. Sugar from fruit is OK earlier in the day, but aim to limit sugars, along with caffeine, in the afternoon. Your energy will be more sustained throughout the day, and you’ll sleep better with less stress!
- Start the day with a good quality breakfast that includes a mix of healthy fat, protein, and carbs.
- Pair fruits with nut butters for a protein and healthy fat punch.
- Limit caffeine after lunch.
“Email apnea” is a real problem: Thrive Global reports that 80% of us hold our breath while checking emails. This only increases stress throughout the day and leads to exhaustion.
- Throughout the day, pause and notice your breath.
- Post a note in your workspace that says “breathe.”
- When you catch yourself not breathing: stop, stand, and look at something else while you get your breathing back on track.
- Set a reminder for every 20 minutes to spend 20 seconds looking away from your screen and consciously breathing.
Diet, rest, exercise, and stress reduction all contribute to a healthier life, but the best health advice starts with data. Ready for a routine unique to you? For a more in-depth analysis on fighting stress, fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and migraines, book a free call with me today.