Too stressed to sleep?
I grew up next door to a farm. I spent most of my childhood, up a tree, exploring fields, curing my nettle-stung legs with homemade doc leaf potion, and building BBQs out of random bricks and things I would find around the place.
Fast forward to today, I live in a two-bed flat in London, barely see the light of day Monday to Friday and have to make a conscious effort to get my fix of nature at the weekends before the grind starts again.
Sounds depressing, doesn’t it?
I actually love London. I love the atmosphere, and how accessible everything is, I love my job, my friends here and everything in between. But what I didn’t realise when I moved here was how much of an impact being deprived of all of the natural mindfulness I had gained would affect me.
Things really started to alarm me when my hair was falling out. My quality of sleep was so bad that I would float through each day on a cloud of black coffee and sheer willpower. I then got quite ill - 3 times in 2 months and realised something had to change.
Do I quit my job, move back down south and pick up my old life by the sea? Tempting… But I’d worked so hard to get to where I was and I love my life here. So I had to figure out an alternative.
I doubt I'm alone in struggling to adapt to city life and achieve optimum mental and physical health, so here are some of the tools and habits I have now implemented that have helped me massively and bought me back to being happy and healthy:
1. Good Sleep Routine
- Phone away an hour before sleep as the backlight doesn’t allow your brain to release melatonin that allows you to sleep naturally
- Read a book before bed, this puts you in a meditative state where all you can think about is the book and allows your mind to relax
- Stretch/yoga, to make you in tune with your surroundings
- 30 mins a day minimum- as regularly as possible to stimulate the endorphins for a natural high, increased energy and ability to handle normal stress
- If possible, try to cycle or walk some/all of your commute to use the time wisely and give you a sense of accomplishment before work
- Preparing meals in advance so not as tempted to have a quick sugary fix
- Regular food- to keep blood sugar steady for optimum concentration
- Prioritising whole foods and eating lots of vegetables and fruit for the nutrients needed for you to be healthy
- Vitamin D every day – most people in the UK are deficient
- Multivitamins to support general health
- Omega tables for overall health
- Adults need joy too, whether it’s doing a handstand, belly laughing with your friends or doing something you enjoy for the sake of enjoying it
There are so many other things you can do, but these are the relatively accessible options I have implemented that have made me more present and peaceful, so hopefully, this will help someone else too.
Life is for living 😊