Recently I read an article in a yoga magazine about how self-care can become self-indulgent and superficial. With a focus on expensive spa treatments and “me-time,” I can understand why it could seem that way. But I see self-care in a completely different way, as a way to be kinder not only to ourselves, but to the important people in our lives.
Most of the people I work with in my sleep and yoga business struggle at times to keep up with the demands of every day living. Self-care is often the first item that drops off the list when things get stressful or busy. The needs of children, partners, elderly or unwell family members, demanding jobs and housework all seem to take precedence over self-care.
Often it is only when a crisis, or near-crisis occurs, that my clients realise they need to do things differently. Sometimes this is a health crisis, an accident, or just a state of burnout where a tired body or exhausted mind rebel and say “No more!” Through...
As a child at my dad's house, waking up Christmas morning was a magical experience. As an adult, I got to see behind the scenes and finally realised why my dad and step-mother were always so exhausted on Christmas day! (Hint: it had something to do with staying up until 4 am wrapping presents!)
So in their honour, the # 10 tip for Holiday Sleep and Survival is:
10. Wrap gifts as you go, and definitely BEFORE the night before deadline!
This next tip is all very nice to say . . .
9. Don’t stress too much. It’s the HOLIDAYS! A week of fun, food, family and relaxation. It doesn't have to be perfect, and because of the food and family element, it can't be! So be happy with how it rolls.
It might help to accept that:
8. Your family (and sometime your friends) are your family. They probably won’t be changing anytime soon. Hopefully that’s a good thing, but if not, I've found that acceptance works better than exasperation.
7. If you are feeling isolated or...
Sleep disorders like insomnia are usually not born but made. Often they start during a time of situational stress like with the birth of a new baby, starting a new job, death of loved one, relationship problems. Most often people find that insomnia occurs as delayed sleep onset (difficulty falling asleep) or difficulty with sleep maintenance (difficulty staying asleep or sleeping long enough). Sometimes insomnia manifests as BOTH. I have had clients who before working with me got only 2 hours sleep per night, and in many cases had nights when they did not sleep at all.
Chronic insomnia as defined by the National Sleep Foundation is when difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep happens three or more nights per week, for at least three months.
If you were sleeping only 4 or 5 hours per night on a good night, with other nights where you were lying awake for hours, and sometimes all night, it's understandable that you might start to think of yourself as someone who is...
The Two Types of Stress
Did you know that there are two different types of stress? And that one of these types of stress is much more damaging to our sleep? We hear about flight or fight, but recently psychologists have found that flight stress and fight stress is handled differently in the body. Even more importantly than that, we are able to BY THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT OUR STRESSOR, change whether our body interprets our stress as bad or good. This in turn can make the difference between us being able to recover from stress by sleeping, or whether we are so stressed that we are unable to sleep.
We can think about our “Fight Stress” as a challenge. Something that takes all of our resources, but that we have a chance to win at. This could be a fight in the playground, the bedroom or the boardroom, but the significant thing here is that we feel we have a chance and thus our body gears up to fight. A fight is something that has an end to it, and after the fight...