A nice, warm beverage can be a great way to relax before bedtime. But coffee, hot chocolate, and black and green teas contain caffeine that can disturb your sleep. Instead, try chamomile tea. The herb has soothing qualities and may promote relaxation. Tonight, make yourself a hot mug of tea about an hour before bed. Sip it slowly and savor the gentle sweet, grassy aroma. You may find it’s your new favorite part of your nighttime routine.
Naptime is back! In fact, taking a power nap can be just what you need to recharge and reduce your stress! Here are three good tips to try out today.
- Limit the length. Keep naps under 30 minutes for better short-term alertness and performance. One study found that 10-minute naps are the most effective for immediate improvements. Longer rests can cause undesired post-nap grogginess.
- Select the right setting. Find a restful place to close your eyes. Make sure the temperature isn’t too hot or cold. Try to block out noise and light, if you can.
- Time it right. Avoid taking a nap too early or late in the day. Napping late may affect your sleep patterns and make it difficult to doze off at bedtime.
It’s true: Your cold feet could actually be keeping you from getting a full night’s sleep. What if you could banish your sleepless nights with a simple pair of socks?
When you warm up cold feet (or hands), it starts a process called vasodilation, or the dilation of the blood vessels. When your blood vessels open, it sends a message throughout your body, in the form of heat, that it’s time for sleep. This can help you drift off more quickly.
Give it a go tonight. But if the thought of wearing socks while you sleep is slightly disturbing—and it can be for some people—there are other ways to warm those tootsies. Try adding extra blankets at the end of your bed, place a warm water bottle near your feet at bedtime, or wear warm slippers before bed. No matter what you do, the same principle still applies: Heat up your feet, and you may find yourself falling asleep faster.
It’s often hard to drift off at night, especially if you’ve had a busy or stressful day. About 1 in 4 adults experiences insomnia at least occasionally. If your regular wind-down routine isn’t doing the trick, try something called guided imagery.
Think of a place where you’ve been before, and mentally trace the route in your mind. If you like to golf, “walk” the course in your mind. Tune in to the warmth of the sun and the smell of the fresh air, and imagine that you’re there. Or take a walk through your childhood home, or through a museum you’ve visited before. You can also retrace the steps of a walking or running route. Directing your attention in this way—taking a mental trip—can help you ease into restful slumber. Challenge yourself to try out guided imagery before you head to bed tonight!
According to a recent study, such slow, meditative music can help your body relax. How?
- Music can affect breathing, heart rate, and even emotions.
- When you turn on the tunes, make the most of them by getting in the right frame of mind.
- Imagine something pleasant or relaxing when you listen. Or think of nothing at all.
This type of quiet reflection may help the troubles of the day melt away.
So today, set aside some time to pick out some meditative music for your next meditation session.
Making a to-do list before bed every night is a great way to prioritize what you want to accomplish tomorrow. At the same time, it can help you relax and free your mind from thinking about tomorrow’s responsibilities. You can sleep easier knowing you’ll wake up feeling organized and in control of your day. Here’s how to make the most of your to-do list today:
- Don’t overload your list by including more than you can get done in a day. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed before your head hits the pillow. Instead, list a maximum of five things you want to get done, in order of importance.
- Make first things first. Do the first thing on your list as soon as you can in the morning, when you’re most fresh. Distractions are inevitable as the day progresses, so this way you’re sure to accomplish your highest priority item.
- Use your list as a memory extender. Knowing you’ve listed and prioritized tomorrow’s needs gives you permission to forget about them tonight.
Guilty feelings are common. But are they healthy? Sometimes guilt can motivate us to do better. Studies have shown that people who experience guilt are more likely to be proactive in solving a problem. They are also more likely to reassess the problem later, see how they may have contributed to it, and learn from it.
Guilt over something trivial, such as eating an extra dessert, guilt that turns into shame, feeling that you’re not good enough, or blaming yourself for something that’s not your fault can be harmful. Both can diminish self-esteem and lead to depression.
Here are some tips to help you start handling guilt today:
- Learn from what’s making you feel guilty.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You can’t be kind and understanding all the time.
- If you’re troubled by chronic feelings of guilt, a counselor may help to sort out the contributing emotions and issues
Treat yourself to coffee or tea and a good book today. You read emails. You read text messages. You read the news. But have you read a good book lately? Reading for pleasure can be an escape from the stresses of everyday life, help keep your mind sharp, and even make you more likely to empathize with others.
So set aside a half-hour to curl up with a book. Grab a comforting cup of coffee or tea, too. Drinking black, green, or oolong tea can boost the body’s defense against disease, research says. Tea has also been linked to lower risk for heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and allergy symptoms. And coffee has been associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes. We’ll toast to that!
Many of us instinctively beat ourselves up for failing to meet our goals, but there is an alternative. Find out how self-compassion facilitates goal pursuit by helping us regulate our emotions and maintain our belief in our ability to change.
- What is self-compassion
- How it helps us meet our goals
- Misconceptions about self-compassion
Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Time: 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 710C
No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!
You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.
All webinars are recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the StayWell wellness portal after the event date.
To access the StayWell wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or spouse enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Programs.