Give Your Sleep Habits a Spring Makeover

With the arrival of Spring finally among us, most of us are also dealing with daylight savings time and the change that that brings. The longer days and waking up while it’s still dark outside can take a toll on our sleep cycle. This makes Spring the perfect time to take a good look at your sleeping habits and nighttime routine to see where some tweaks can be made to improve your sleep this Spring and beyond.

So take note: are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night? Do you toss and turn or do you sleep peacefully during the night? Do you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning?

Sleep deprivation and sleep problems are incredibly common, so chances are you struggle with at least one of those. Here are a few ways you can overhaul your sleep patterns and habits this spring and beyond:

Implement a calming bedtime routine 30 minutes to an hour before you hop into bed. Try going tech-free at least 30 minutes before bed and see what a difference it makes on calming your mind and how you sleep more peacefully.

Try stretching before bed, even just a few stretches on the floor beside your bed before you settle in for the night. Small stretches to stretch through your muscles and help them relax the stress from the day away. This also enables you to get back in your body and keep your mind from floating around from thought to thought as you try to drift away to sleep.

Aside from ways to help you get to sleep, ideas to help you wake up refreshed are also great to implement right now. Start by looking up some healthy morning tonics or smoothies on Pinterest and finding one that piques your interest. Try that starting this week in the morning and use that as afew minutes to yourself to wake up and start your day. If possible, incorporate some movement for 10-15 minutes to get your blood pumping. This could be a walk around the block, doing a few yoga poses, or something more vigorous, if you’re up to it in the mornings.

How fast do you get ready for bed at night?  Is it a quick routine you have become so accustomed to that you could do it with your eyes closed, or is it more of an experience you choose to be mindful of, using relaxation techniques?

Taking a few extra minutes for yourself at bedtime to pamper your skin, dry brush your body, or use a lotion infused with lavender oil to nourish your skin before you sleep — it can change your sleep patterns for the better.

What could you add to your nightly routine to make all the difference?

The new year brings resolutions to finally go to the gym regularly and to get your health in order.  It’s no surprise to you to hear that the vast majority of those resolutions are dropped by spring (or even late January, early February!) — but why?

I truly believe it is planning.  It’s the exact reason why my exercise routine goes dormant, and it’s probably why yours does too.  It’s tough to change our habits and routines, and most of all, it’s hard to fit one more thing into our schedule.  Don’t you agree?

That’s the thing.  If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not going to get done.  Do you have your exercise, whether it be walking, jogging, yoga, dance, a workout at the gym — is it on your schedule?  Is there a time for it, where you know that time is carved out?

If not, fit it into your schedule this week.  Make it achievable — if you’re slammed at work this week, write in a 15-minute walk on your lunch break.  Don’t give up altogether because you don’t have an hour and a half to hit the gym.  Good luck!

What’s your favorite type of exercise?

Do you love yoga, Pilates, running, walking, swimming?

Have you found an exercise you don’t dread doing, and that you actually enjoy?

My favorite form of exercise is:  running.  I love cycling and yoga too 🙂

When I finally realized I didn’t have to do all the other kinds I dreaded, I stopped making excuses and actually looked forward to my exercise time.  Eliminating the exercise types you don’t enjoy and focusing on the ones you love shifts your perspective of working out altogether.

There are so many options to choose from, you are bound to like at least a few.  It’s perfectly okay if you aren’t a cross-country runner, or you just haven’t gotten into yoga like everyone else has.

My least favorite type of exercise is: lifting weights in the gym.

Finding what works for you is as simple as trial and error.

Which exercises have you tried that just absolutely aren’t for you?

The sun goes down before 6 pm, it’s cold and grey, and it can really mess up our groove.  Does this happen to you, too?

This is a huge reason New Year Resolutions are so popular.  It can be quite difficult during the coldest months when we naturally go into hibernation mode.  The Winter Blues are very real, and chances are you’ve dealt with them yourself.

Instead of letting the blues get you this year, try these tips to stay on top of them until the sun comes back out this Spring.

  • Find some sort of exercise.  Even if it’s a stroll around your apartment building or a 10-minute workout on YouTube.  Keeping your endorphins happy a few times a week will help with the slump.
  • Find a way to give back.  Helping people in need is a heart-swelling opportunity to shift our perspective and do something great with our time.
  • Be mindful of the season.  If you know you get the blues this time of year, make decisions with that in mind so that you can set yourself up for success.

What have you noticed that helps you crawl out of the winter blues slump?  Let me know in the comments below.

Start Your Day Right This Fall

There’s just something magical about the autumn breeze that ignites a desire to enjoy life a little deeper — do you agree? It’s a perfect time to make some changes you’ve meant to make, and I want to share with you a few of my favorite morning habits to implement as fall begins — ones that I may have been a bit lackluster with during the summer months.

Starting off the day with movement. A morning jog or walk in the cool air is a fantastic way to wake yourself up and fill up your energy reserves for the day. There’s a short window of time to enjoy this before the weather gets too cold, so don’t miss out! You can work-out indoors if it’s too cold already, but doing so outdoors has quite a magical tone this time of year.

A warm breakfast. When you come back in from your morning run or walk, nothing is more soothing that preparing yourself a hot, healthy breakfast to enjoy. This can warm you back up from being outside and allows yourself a healthy breakfast to keep you satisfied until lunch.

Sleep in just a little longer. Hopefully, you’re getting enough sleep at night already, which is incredibly important for your well-being. But as the temperature drops and the sun rises a little later in the mornings, get a few extra minutes of sleep as well, if possible.

Drink your water. Begin your day with a big glass of warm water and some lemon to give your metabolism a boost and feel energized instantly. Doing so also starts the habit of drinking water, so you’ll continue to drink throughout the day.

What are your current morning habits, if any? I start my day feeding and walking my Boxers, then I read a few devotionals.  I really love the First 5 app.  A few days a week I go for a run with a friend.  I also like doing Yoga at home in the morning – Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners: The Essentials is my favorite.  I cannot wait for the temperatures to get a bit cooler and enjoy more time time outside in the morning. Florida summers are brutal.

Give your morning routine a refresh this fall, and kick-start your new healthy habits to gear you up for an incredible rest of your year. Being intentional with your time is an incredibly rewarding feeling.