Goal #5 for me in 2020 is to work more diligently on my health. Too often our health is neglected due to caregiving, or long work hours, or just plain busyness.
~ We want to eat healthy, but planning good meals takes time.
~ We try to get exercise, but when it gets pushed to the end of the day we only want to fall into bed.
~We hope to get enough sleep so our bodies feel rested, but staying up too late and having to get up too early, or being woken up multiple times in the night takes it’s toll.
~We hear a lot about the importance of slowing down, relaxing and prioritizing self-care. But, we either don’t find the time, or we feel guilty about spending the time on ourselves when there are so many needs clamoring for our attention.
Do you fall into any of the scenarios as you think about caring for your health?
I need to work on each of those areas. But I will start the year with working on getting the proper amount of rest that my body needs.
I have been in a rut of waking up after about four or five hours of sleep and not going back to sleep. Sometimes I read, other times I do online searches about topics that come to mind, and still other times I get up to journal or to write a post (like I am doing right now). Or worse than all of the above, sometimes my mind races and I just toss and turn.
I have come up with a list of ideas to help with getting better rest, I hope that you will find these helpful also.
■ Bedtime yoga helps our bodies with relax. Doing relaxing stretching exercises can really help those places where we carry the stress of our days.
■ Journaling before bed can reduce racing thoughts or underlying anxiety. Journaling can also help with getting to sleep. Writing down ideas in a journal, working through issues that won’t stop bombarding your mind, or just writing about your day; all of these can help put your mind at ease.
■ Stop using technology close to bedtime or in the night. This makes it easier to initially go to sleep or get back to sleep. Research shows that the blue light from technology tells our brains to stay awake.
■ Curb eating late night snacks. Eating before bed makes your stomach work while you sleep and that does not help you rest well.
■ Pray. As I was writing this the thought came to mind that I should choose to talk with the Lord when I can’t sleep. (I know that unburdening my heart and mind in prayer to the Lord helps me fall to sleep or back to sleep. I need to practice this more often). This is definitely another way to find rest and have my soul refreshed! I want it to be the first option I turn to.
Starting the day without the proper rest sets you up for frustration in the coming day. I know being diligent about putting these changes into action will help me. And then, when I’m sleeping better, getting the rest my body needs, I will be tackling another health goal in one of the other problem areas. The other areas being: exercising regularly, making healthy meals more consistently, and prioritizing self-care.
How about you, what helps you with sleeping? Do you need to work at getting more rest in 2020? Or is there a different area of health you need to prioritize? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!
* photo from Unsplash by Mpho Mojapelo