Alaska Sleep Education Center

Maintaining Healthy Habits to Manage Uncertainty and Overwhelm

Posted by Jennifer Hines

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on Jun 13, 2020 10:47:18 AM

Melatonin helps you sleep.

If you are navigating a major life change or dealing with feelings of uncertainty at this time in your life, know that you’re not alone. During these unprecedented times, individuals and families are being forced to adapt to new routines, make modifications to their work schedules, reinvent their business structure, or educate their children while working a full-time job.

With such rapid change impacting the majority, common symptoms of stress have the ability to impact health, wellness, sleep schedules, stress, and productivity. By adjusting or adopting some of these habits below, you can begin to combat feelings of overwhelm as you will make room for rest, recovery, and relaxation.

Stick to a Schedule

It’s in your best interest to maintain regular hours when it comes to work, meal times, and especially a sleep schedule. During these times of elevated stress, it’s especially important to focus on structure that will help you feel your best. Oftentimes, individuals underestimate how much quality sleep we actually need in order to function at our optimal level.

If you are lacking mental clarity or feeling unfocused, consider adjusting your bedtime and time you get out of bed. Simply shifting your schedule to rise with the sun and watch one less episode on Netflix at night to get to sleep a little earlier can have positive effects on the way you feel during the day. You can also try rearranging your room or implementing some bedtime rituals for improved sleep.

 

Exercise Regularly

Whether you like to get in a Pilates sweat session each day or you prefer playing outside with your kids to serve as your form of exercise, it’s necessary to continue this during the coming months for a healthy energy release.

There will be days where it feels easier to stay in bed or skip your workout because you are too tired or simply don’t want to. Avoiding your exercise routine might seem nice in the moment but it’s likely to have more negative repercussions if you begin to do this regularly. Instead, find something you love and make it a priority to remain consistent. This will help increase your energy levels, improve your mood, and most importantly—allow you restful sleep in the evenings.

 

Find a Rejuvenating Escape

If you’re working from home, it might feel tempting to work on your laptop in your bed or drift off for an afternoon nap. If you find yourself confusing your evening sleep hours with your daytime productivity and work hours, try avoiding the bedroom except for sleep and short periods to nap. This will give your brain straightforward signals and help you stay on task when needed.

Consider discovering a new area in your home or comfy spot outdoors you can escape to, other than your bedroom. This will allow you this same type of alone time and calm while remaining focused on what needs to get done during the day.

 

Be Proactive and Plan Ahead

During these times of uncertainty, you might be thinking about the health and wellness of your family in addition to what your future might look like. One way to provide yourself with peace of mind and protection during this time is to prepare a life insurance policy that supports your family’s specific needs.

Life insurance is not something that should be considered last minute or when there are no other options. Rather, you might want to use this time to gather information, quotes, and talk to an insurance professional who can guide you in your plans.

Securing a financial plan to protect your family can provide you with positive impacts on your mental well-being and rest—as you can sleep soundly knowing your loved ones will be safe under any circumstance.

 

Essential Oils and Stress Relief

If you’ve yet to try some stress relief techniques, now is the time to! Utilizing essential oils at bedtime is a great way to tune your mind down, relax your environment, and enjoy a scent that calms your body.

Essential oils can be purchased in a variety of packaging options and there are many ways you can use them, including directly on your body, spritzing on a pillow, or diffusing them throughout your room. Whichever way you choose, these oils are likely to distract your mind, reduce your stress levels, and prepare you for blissful sleep.

Another way to relax your body at the end of a long day is with a hot bath or some light stretching. After both of these activities, your body will begin to cool down, signaling to your brain it’s time to rest.

 

Don’t Stress About Sleep

The last thing your body needs is additional stress if you’ve just experienced a few nights of poor sleep. Rather than jumping to conclusions and making sleep even harder to regulate, re-evaluate some of your routines and apply some of these small changes to your evening ritual, as they can have huge impacts on the quality of your day and night. The goal is to improve your overall well-being with positive lifestyle changes—it all begins with habits!

By following these best sleep hygiene practices on a nightly basis, you're almost guaranteed to get more fulfilling sleep at night and be more awake and alert during the day. If however, you're practicing these hygiene tips and still finding yourself feeling tired and sluggish during the day, it could be a sign of a sleep disorder.

If you believe that your sleep troubles are being caused by a sleep disorder, contact Alaska Sleep Clinic.  We specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of sleep disorders, and have helped thousands of Alaskans improve the quality of their sleep.

Quality sleep is directly linked to your overall health, and if you're not getting enough of it, give us a call and let us help you discover the cause of your sleep problems.

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Topics: sleep hygiene, insurance

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