Natasha and I connected a while ago through MIB International, our love of all things natural and chemical free living. I was interested in her use of essential oils to improve wellbeing and she was interested my use of organic foods and clean living improve health and chronic illness. Immediately we connected and knew there would be a chance to collaborate at some point soon. I wanted selfcare August to incorporate some of the business connections to help improve my customers knowledge but also to give other business owners the chance to showcase their wonderful talent. Without no further ado I will hand you over. Take care, Jojo xXx.
Do you ever get asked a question that just makes you want to run and away and hide? Well I have had such a question for a big part of this year and that is ’what can I do to relax and sleep better?’
It would seem that as well as throwing us in all sorts of obvious ways; 2020 has also had an adverse effect on our ability to relax, de-stress and actually get the sleep we need.
When lockdown first happened it did wonders for our sleep as a family. We no longer were slaves to the alarm clock; instead allowing our bodies to wake up naturally. There is something special about that feeling that you have had just the right amount of sleep and weren’t forced out of bed.
That was short lived however. Soon the lack of set routine coupled with the new found stresses got the better of me and my sleep routine. Trying to juggle home schooling whilst working and worrying about how safe my business and my husband’s job really were.
Why am I telling you this? I actually have a health and wellness business where I help people take a holistic approach to their wellbeing. My business is centered on essential oils and using them to support a healthy lifestyle. Despite what many might assume, I too know what it’s like to struggle both with sleep and with my emotions at times. We all struggle with these things in our own way which is why I can have a hard time answering this question; there is no one quick fix.
Being busy and overwhelmed has almost become a badge of honour. We end up stressed, sleep deprived and overwhelmed yet we are too busy to really do anything about it. The very idea of taking time out to practice basic self-care ends up feeling indulgent when in fact it is a necessity.
Stress is not all bad; it can be a great motivator. Admit it; you have left things till the last minute giving you the adrenaline rush needed to complete whatever it is. If however our bodies are under constant stress we start producing too much cortisol which leads to issues such as weight gain, negative emotions, joint issues, lowered immunity, digestive issues and so on.
So here are my top tips to help you keep your stress levels within a healthy range as much as possible:
Breathe. Before you roll your eyes; bear with me here. There is a reason this gets mentioned so often, it works! Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose, hold for a couple of seconds then breathe out just as gently back out through your nose. Then repeat a couple of times. This will help calm both your body and you mind while giving you a chance to process what it is that might be causing you to feel stressed. This is where I love to add a favourite essential oil. This could be something uplifting like orange or peppermint; something grounding such as frankincense or simply calming like lavender or vetiver.
Enjoy a hot drink. This will always work better with herbal tea or warm water with lemon as caffeine can have a negative effect on stress. Take the time to really enjoy it, wrap your fingers around your cup and savour the warm cosy feeling. This is the perfect time to focus on lowering your shoulders and relaxing your jaw muscles.
Go outside. We have been incredibly lucky with the weather recently which always makes this one that bit easier. Even when the weather is less than ideal, a few minutes of fresh air can do wonders.
If you can, take your shoes off for a moment and feel the ground with your bare feet. Whether it’s sand or grass, it will help you feel grounded.
Although I am a beach person at heart; if I am feeling overwhelmed or a little lost nothing helps me find calm and peace like walking through a forest and reconnecting with nature.
Get moving. Even if you find you can only squeeze in a few minutes a day, doing regular exercise not only releases stress it actually prepares your body to handle it in the first place. How incredible is that? If you really don’t feel like exercising, try playing your favourite song and have a little dance or at least sing along.
Ask for help. This might be one of the hardest things to do on this list but sometimes you simply need some support. Even if you feel it’s all down to you and you cannot share the burden; a hug or someone to talk to can make a real difference.
Sleep. Reducing stress will in turn improve your quality of sleep in of itself. A lack of sleep however can leave you feeling stressed. They are intricately linked. The best advice I ever received when it comes to sleep is to not over complicate it. Ever felt exhausted then pushed past it to the point where you then feel wide awake? This is exactly what happens if you have an elaborate and rigid bedtime routine; you end up missing your body’s own signals.
Here are my favourite things to bear in mind if you need a little help getting enough sleep:
Just as we do with children; adults also need routine. If you keep going to bed at the same time or close to, your body will not only expect it; it will also know what to do.
Create the perfect setting for a restful sleep. Having a tidy, quiet and relaxing environment will allow your mind to shut off. Even with the lights off your mind will know if your bedroom is untidy or showing signs of unfinished tasks. If you cannot put everything away, try moving them out of your room instead. Out of sight is out of mind. The same applies to do lists. Next time you cannot sleep due to thoughts swirling around in your head try noting them down. It really works! I always have a notebook by my bed just in case.
Choose your evening meal carefully. Foods high in carbohydrates take a long time to digest and are energising, neither of which is helpful when trying to sleep. Look to healthy fats instead to stay fuller longer and you will be able to resist that late night snack too!
Wind down. Whether it’s reading a good book, taking a relaxing bath or doing a few stretches there will be something that you enjoy and helps signal to your body that it’s time.
Once again this is where essential oils come into their own. A drop or two of a calming oil in your bath, on your pillow or in a cold mist diffuser; you will not only sleep like never before, you will also wake feeling refreshed.
So there you have it. As I like to say it is simple however it isn’t easy. Each step takes very little time yet we struggle to make them a priority in our lives.
My invitation to you is this; if you are struggling to relax or sleep choose one or two things from here and do them until it becomes second nature. It is at that point that you will be able to add more. Your wellness journey is not a sprint so do not rush it!
You can link with Natasha via the below channels: http://www.mydoterra.com/natashaalbright
Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1750244618585701/
Owner and Founder at Natasha Essentials Wellness. Natasha lives to help women on their journey to health. She is an avid essential oil lover and lives to empower Mums. She has a heart of gold and loves nothing more than helping one of her lovely customers find their empowerment to a new you. When Natasha isn’t working she is actively helping women business owners in her networking group and loves nothing more than a day in the great outdoors with her family.