Tips And Tricks To A Great Nights Sleep

Today, believe it or not, is the Festival of Sleep. A whole day dedicated to getting a good night sleep. It just shows you that sleep is incredibly important if they name a whole day of the year around it.

I know I talk about the importance of sleep a lot on here and that mostly because I absolutely love to sleep and everything about my bed but your body really does need it to function correctly.

If you struggle to get to sleep sometimes, just like I do, then you have come to the correct blog. I’ve collected a whole bunch of tried and tested tips to get a really great nights sleep. Let me know how you get on and if any of these handy tips help you nod off.

Number one tip is to read a good book before you go to bed. By avoiding the television before bed and reading a book instead your avoiding white, bright light that stops your mind from slowing down and relaxing. I love to read murder mystery novels and if your looking for a great book I recommend any Linwood Barclay novels. Constant twists and turns that even the most experienced murder mystery reader can’t figure out!

Number two, go to bed feeling clean and fresh! Wash your face and brush your teeth. This is not only great for your skincare routine but also great for your dental health. I have found that finding a great cleanser really helps me to calm down and relax before bed. It’s like a mini pamper session. I love the Emma Hardie Morgana Cleansing Balm because it just melts make-up away. I also recommend Lush’s Sleepy moisturiser if you are looking to really fall asleep fast. It’s infused with lavender which is known to be a sleep inducing smell and it really does work!

Get ready for the following day is my third tip. Don’t stress about what your going to wear the next morning by sorting all that stuff out the night before. Pack your bag and check you have everything ready to go so that when your alarm goes off your organised. Stop the morning rush when you can’t find your other shoe! Nobody needs that on a Monday morning.

Tip number four is to set your alarm and then put your phone away. I charge my phone at the opposite side of the room from my bed so that I can’t touch it once I’m in bed and when my alarm goes off the following morning I have to get up to turn it off. Yes this take a lot of inner strength to set my alarm knowing I will have to get straight up when it goes off but it’s so worth it.

Instead of watching that extra episode of The Great British Bake Off just turn the television off and get ready for bed earlier than usual. This way you will probably end up in bed earlier than normal and get a few extra winks before your alarm goes off the next morning. You know you will thank yourself for it in the morning and those extra episodes will still be there tomorrow.

I recently got given a Himalayan Salt lamp for my birthday and it has got to be one of the best gifts I have ever been given. Tip number six is to dim the lights a wee half an hour or so before you go to be to start unwinding. The salt lamp gives off a lovely calming glow which really does calm you down and makes me get to sleep a lot quicker.

Last but definitely not least, get some black out curtains or blinds. When we first moved into our current house my curtains were awful. They let so much sunlight and streetlight in so you were always woken up really early by the sun streaming in through the curtains. Since I got some really great wooden blinds and curtains there is virtually no light coming through and its brilliant. If you can’t afford to get some black out curtains then maybe think about an eye mask because they work just as well.

 

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How To Appear Confident Even When You Aren’t

Being confident is nor something that comes naturally to me. It’s something I feel holds me back in life quite often and I would love to be full to the brim with confidence, however that is just something I will never be. There are certain situations where appearing confident is key and there are certain things you can do to come across confident.

Stand up straight with you chin and head held high. Keep your eyes up and try not to look at your feet. If your standing straight with your eyes looking straight ahead you will come across more in control and more powerful. There is a bigger chance of you being taken seriously if you aren’t straight at your feet throughout an entire conversation.

Now that you know to stand up straight and keep your eyes up when looking forward try and maintain eye contact. This is very important if you want to appear more in control, more calm and confident.

While maintaining eye contact remember to smile. This will ensure you come across friendly and approachable. For a little challenge try and smile at a stranger while walking past them. This will push you out your comfort zone. If you have a dog take it with you. I have found that dog walkers are very approachable and are more likely to smile back and start conversation.

Don’t fidget. if you fidget people will automatically think that your anxious and nervous. You will realise that you fidget a lot subconsciously now that you know not to. To help stop fidgeting either clasp your hands in front of you or talk with them. Showing your palms while you talk makes you look more open and trustworthy.

Have a good strong handshake. There is nothing worse that shaking someones hand with a weak handshake. You don’t want to be perceived as weak and timid so working on having a strong handshake screams confidence and creates a great first impression.

Last but certainly not least, be kind to yourself. All these little tips add up and doing one or two to begin with is completely fine. Just remember that for what you lack in confidence you make up somewhere else.

 

Meditation and Mindfullness

For a long time I used mediation only when I felt I needed it. After a stressful day I would take ten and just sit and focus on my breathing. This of course worked for a little while but I have found that meditation is more about the frequency rather than the length of time it is practiced for.

Over the last month or so I have been meditating once a day for between ten to fifteen minutes. I’ve found by meditating once a day that I gain new perspectives on situations that are stressful or cause me to become anxious, I can focus on the present and how I am feeling in that moment not just in life situations but also within myself and my body. Not only does it help me to lower my stress levels and let go of all the bad, negative emotions that I might otherwise hold onto it has also helped me to deal with stress and manage it even when I’m at work or going about my daily activities.

I focus mainly on my breathing whilst meditating. How it feels when I breath in and how my chest rises and lowers as I breath in and out. By focusing on my breathing you nearly automatically relax your neck, shoulders and upper body muscles as you draw in more oxygen to allow for better breathing. Focus on how the breath feels in your nostrils and the back of you throat and if your mind starts to wander, which is completely fine, just draw your focus back to your breathing and how your body feels whilst your either sitting in a chair with you feet flat on the ground and your hands in your lap or you can sit crossed legged like I do. I like to sit on my yoga mat with my legs crossed and a folded towel or pillow under my bum so that my hips are higher than my ankles.

If you can’t find yourself a quite spot to really focus on your breathing and how if feels and what it sounds like I have found that playing slow, relaxing music works well. I use quite a few different playlists on Spotify. It did take me a while to find ones that really worked for me but I listened to them whilst doing yoga and then saved them for a later date. You will find that there are playlists for different types of mediation and if you can’t find anything that works for you I recommend a sleep playlist. There will be a blog post going up soon focusing mainly on these playlists and how different sounds can make you feel and focus on different aspects of the world around you.

I do set my timer for ten minutes but when it does go off I allow myself time to open my eyes slowly and in my own time. You want to allow yourself to stay relaxed and not be jolted out of your relaxed, mindful state so taking your time at this point is really important. The length of time you meditate for isn’t important because again, different people will feel differently. Sometimes you might not even set a timer, just go with how you are feeling and you will know when you want to stop and at that point you just slowly bring yourself back to present.

Keep in mind that this is only one of many forms of meditation which works jolly fine for me but you might have to find a different form that works better for you. I like to have my eyes closed which I have found stops my mind from wandering as much but you may find that having your eyes open actually works better for you. It’s all about trial and error and finding what works the best for you and what you need from it.

Being Brave

What would you do if you were being sensible? What would you do if you were being brave? You can’t change your life by doing all the same things you have always done. Being brave is a massive step to being someone new and achieving things you never thought possible. Whether you take little steps at a time or a massive leap it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that your taking the steps towards what you want to do with your one and only life.

Believe me when I say that I don’t like change. I never liked the idea of going to far off places, somewhere with new languages or weird animals that look cute but are deadly. That never appealed to me until this year. I got a graduate job that I never thought I would be lucky enough to get and I’m actually kind of good at it. I think that getting it just made me realise that I can do the things I never thought I could. I answer telephones and deal with picky people who want designs to be just right even if they are wrong. I tell them they are wrong in a round about way to make them think it was their idea to change it. Instead of  rolling over and accepting everything thats thrown my way I’m actually questioning and explaining which is totally not me and I’m enjoying it. I keep surprising myself with little things.

Telling myself to get myself together is big part of that. I set myself up to get what I want now instead of setting myself up to fail. It’s a new outlook that does actually mean a lot.

I get in my car and drive to new places without my sat nav guiding the way. I read sign posts and take the wrong roads but I enjoy it now which is strange because turning the sat nav on before used to scare me. Theres more to see than a screen. Looking out the window and stopping in little towns you would usually pass through. Taking my time isn’t wasting time, it’s making memories and living in the moment. Something I never did before. Everything was planned to within an inch of its life.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have freak outs about not having everything planned if I stop and think about it long enough. But as long as I remember which roads I took to get there, it’s easy enough to find your way home.

I completed my first five kilometre run and raised £285 and counting for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust through our Just Giving page. That I never would have done before. Would have been too worried about what other people thought and I would have thought through a million different situations through in my head before hand. But instead I got up and ran it with Kelly and we did something different, new and worthwhile. We obviously feel like we didn’t push ourselves enough either because we are running the Falkirk Supernova five kilometre run in November too. It’s these little things that show you just how far you have come and it just shows that your capable of pushing though even when you want to stop.

I guarantee that if you have a look at your own life you will realise that you’ve accomplishing things you never would have before. Even if they are just little accomplishments at least your still taking steps in the right direction.

Take the road less travelled even if it says it’s not suitable for motor vehicles. Worry about it in the moment and laugh about it later.

 

 

Are You Hungry or Bored?

Learning the difference between being hungry and bored is super important when your trying to cut out all the foods you really shouldn’t be eating. I like to nibble at snacks while I work and it really doesn’t help that I am sat right next to the biscuits, sweets and crisps. Since I started working full time I have struggled to tell the difference between being bored or stressed and being hungry.

The best way around this mystery is by constantly sipping on water. When I wake up in the morning I will have a pint of water before I do anything else. I have found this helps to settle my stomach and makes eating breakfast so much easier. Up until a month ago I never ate breakfast so I am still getting used to the fact I now eat in the morning. I plan on sharing a few of my favourite breakfast ideas in a blog post soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Once I have had my water in the morning I do half an hour of yoga and then get ready for work. At work everyone drinks so much coffee it might as well come straight out the tap. I try not to drink too much due to the caffeine and the fact I have to put sugar in my coffee to enjoy it. Throughout the day I will drink another three pints of water. One an hour before I eat my lunch to help speed up my metabolism and the rest whenever I get the chance.

After work Kelly and I go to the park for a run before we both go our separate ways home. Usually on my way home I will drink another small bottle of water or diluted juice to tide me over to dinner.

Since I started drinking so much water I have noticed a not only a massive difference in my appetite but there  has also been a massive difference in how well I sleep and how I feel when I wake up. I literally jump out of bed which is the complete opposite of what I am normally like. I used to physically cry with the thought of getting up and now I actually look forward to it. There has also been a huge difference in my skin and the number of breakouts I have had. When I first started I did get a good few spots however now that I am a couple of weeks in my skin has really cleared up and I actually look well rested for once.

I am putting all of this down to water which seems very hard to believe but I have literally changed nothing else in my life. So if your struggling to lose weight due to being bored not hungry and eating anyway, try drinking more water. It will make you realise that you really are just bored most of the time and therefore so much easier to make those life changes and reach those body goals.