If you haven’t had a chance to check out part 1 in this series I encourage you to listen to that episode first, HERE!

HABIT #4: PLENTY OF REST

I’m big on sleeping: just ask my husband. If I don’t get my 8-9 hours of sleep, I’m kind of grumpy pants. And do not wake me up in the middle of the night, unless you want a black eye. Just kidding, but not totally. 😉 

Of course, there are seasons in life when we are not able to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep. When you have a baby, perhaps you work night shifts or times of illness. But those times should be periodic and not be a norm. 

However, according to the statistics, on average, Americans get just under seven hours of sleep every night. And those are the hours’ people usually report they spent in bed, so, not actually sleeping.

In my opinion rejuvenating rest comes down to two things: quantity and quality.

So, how can you improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep time?

Here are a few suggestions:

Get more sunlight during the day. According to research more sunlight during especially the morning hours can help improve your sleep quality. Read more here.

Avoid screens before bedtime. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to quickly improve both sleep quality and quantity. 

Eat better. Again, as you can see food not only boosts physical and mental health but improves your sleep as well. In his book, Sleep Smarter, Shawn Stevenson says, “The food you eat can dramatically impact the quality of sleep that you get. Remember, food isn’t just food – it’s information. Upwards of 95 percent of your body’s serotonin is located in your gut. The obvious connection is that serotonin is the building block for the “get-good-sleep” hormone, melatonin.” As you can see, what you eat plays a big part in how you rest at night. 

Hush your inner chatter. I’ll be honest with you, this is easier said than done for me. Especially in times of high levels of uncertainty and stress. Why? Because I can use the noise of the day to help me drown out my inner thoughts but as soon as my head hits the pillow those thoughts suddenly awake and start to rush in. Is it just me? One of the most effective tricks that have helped me to calm my racing mind has been prayer and a notebook. If I find myself laying in bed feeling restless, I grab the notebook that’s on my nightstand and I jot down all my worries. Once I’m done with that I ask God to help me let those worries go and give me peace and calm for the night. For me, this works 90 percent of the time. If you’d like to check out some more ideas to help you calm your inner thoughts at night check out these helpful articles:

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/calm-racing-mind-sleep-nighttime-routines-tricks-negative-thoughts/

https://brainmd.com/blog/6-ways-to-quiet-your-mind/

HABIT #5: HAVE MORE FUN

Ok, I have to admit, this one is tough for me. I have to be extremely intentional about it. Being a 3 on the Enneagram, an achiever, I thrive on to-do lists, plans, agendas and being super focused. Who has time for fun? That’s not productive.

Here’s the bad news though. Lack of play makes us burn out a lot faster; it makes us more ineffective, less creative and more likely to crumble under pressure. Ironic, isn’t it? 

In my own pursuit to be more efficient, I cut out fun, and guess what, I became less focused and productive. If you keep pushing fun to the back burner, as I did, you will miss out on the rejuvenating energy that play, fun, and laughter provide.

What’s fun? It’s an activity with no plan. Something you do because it makes you happy, it connects you with others, it helps you express creativity, or release stress.

It’s an art class (perhaps online during our quarantine times), going on a hike, impromptu dance party alone or with your kiddos, taking pictures, a hot bath or watching a comedy or funny video that makes you laugh. 

Play, fun, and laughter rejuvenate us not only physically but it has a positive impact on our mental health as well. If you want to feel more energized and mentally resilient during tough times especially, you need regular and intentional times for fun and laughter. And that might mean having to plan it into your schedule.

HABIT #6: MONITOR AND LIMIT YOUR CONTENT CONSUMPTION

These are my best daily practices that help me stay more grounded and keep anxiety at bay especially during stressful times.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! What are some habits or daily practices that help you grow and build a more resilient mindset? I’d love to know. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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