I think oftentimes when we talk about healthy lifestyles and wellness, we automatically think about diet and exercise. But what we often forget to take into account are the primary foods in our "diet". It is easy to forget how much of our health is more than just what we put on our plate. It's also what we have on our "plate", such as our relationships with friends, family, spouses, children, our careers, our spirituality, finances. It is easy to get caught up in our lives and neglect ourselves of self care and proper sleep. Some of us live off of coffee and haven't taken a vacation in a long time. Some of us are so overwhelmed that we are constantly stressed out, and we neglect ourselves of the time we need to decompress and refocus.
It's hard to balance all of these things. But honestly, you can't consider yourself fully healthy just because you drink green juice and eat kale everyday. If you aren't sleeping enough, if you aren't making the time for self care and if stress has taken over your life, your health is going to take a hit. Stress will cause you to hold onto excess weight due to rising cortisol levels. Lack of sleep will also hinder weightloss and health goals, as it will trigger an increase in the hormone Ghrelin(which stimulates your apetite, causing you to eat) while simultaneously causing a decrease in the production of the hormone leptin (suppresses your appetite and tells your brain when it is full). Do you find yourself craving more sugary carb filled foods in the morning after a sleep deprived night ? This is the reason why. And it's important that you do not ignore that. So if you are stressed and having a hard time sleeping and in turn not losing weight, this could be the problem.
What is the best way to solve this problem. More sleep of course, but that isn't always easy. And trying to reduce the stress levels in your life, in order to get more rest, and be in a better mood. I know you aren't all able to fit in extra rest(trust me, as a trainer, my mornings begin at 4am and sometimes I don't get to bed until 11- so sleep deprivation is something I am more than too familiar with). So what I suggest to my clients, and what I do with myself, are these small things, that make a huge difference.
First: time management
- if you plan ahead you will get more done. So I set appointments in my Google calender with myself). For example: I schedule a yoga class for Thursday on Sunday so that I make sure I schedule my clients around my yoga class, so that I am sure to keep this appointment for self care with myself.
-I write a quick to do list in the morning, so that I have a guide for the day. Whatever I couldn't get to, I save for the next day, and I build my list for the next day starting with my unfinished tasks from the day before. What I do NOT do, is stay up all night finishing things just to cross it off a list. I prefer to be engaged in my tasks so I would rather, rest up, and finish things the following day.
- If possible, try to get to bed 1 hour earlier at least 2x a week. It makes a huge difference, and once you get it, you will find more nights where you can add the extra hour.
All of these little things add up to big things. And trust me, just an extra 2 or 3 hours sleep a week, makes a huge difference in your mood, cravings and overall level of productivity.
Try it out, and let me know what worked and what didn't work for you. As always, I love to hear about the ways you find more time for sleep and bow you like to practice stress management. Leave your thoughts below so we can engage in a little healthy group conversation here.