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Your Best Rest Ever

Sleep

Did you know that in the month of June, we will see the longest daylight hours of the year? It will be great to enjoy being outside even longer without it getting dark out. But let’s not forget that we still need to get good quality sleep. Here are some tips to help you get your best rest ever.

Your Bedtime Routine needs a make over

The key to better sleep is having a consistent bedtime routine. A new routine may help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Nothing good comes easy, as they say. The same goes for adopting a new sleep routine. Try this 3 week pre-bed plan idea from health.com, and start each week with just 3 essential changes and soon you will be getting 5 star snoozing!

WEEK 1 – Set new Sleep Ground Rules

  • Write down your bed time everyday in the calendar. This way it helps you to view ‘sleep’ as being just as important as any other appointment in your planner. You can even set a reminder alert on your phone for an hour before bedtime.
  • Don’t do any additional activities in bed. Only allow sleep and sex to be allowed in your bed. This way you are not associating your bed with anything that promotes wakefulness. From now on, you should take all other activities to a different room.
  • Power down and stop using any gadgets with screens (TV included) at least a half hour before bed. The blue light emitted by screens is particularly sleep-disrupting.

WEEK 2 – Set up your Sleep Sanctuary

  • Avoid using bright lights an hour or so before bed. Light signals the body that it should be in an alert state, so turn on a dim lamp only.
  • Be sure to have an organized, clean and neat bedroom each night. It helps to relax the mind in preparation for sleep.
  • Your bedroom should be on the cool side each night for optimal sleep, so keep the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees, per the National Sleep Foundation.

WEEK 3 –  Add in some snooze-inducing moves

  • Have a consistent before-bed ritual.Maybe you change into pajamas, brush your teeth and meditate for a few minutes. Or you could take a bath, have a cup of tea and do a few relaxing stretches. Whatever you choose to do, be sure you follow the same steps in order every night. This may seem strange, but over time, having a ritual will help signal sleepiness to both mind and body.
  • Pick the right bedtime story to read an hour or more before bed. Test out different reading material (not in the bedroom) to see what makes you the sleepiest.
  • Once you get into bed, don’t try to force your mind to turn off as this can make you feel more awake. Instead, run through a task you love to perform, thinking about each step like counting sheep. Some have used a recipe or planting a flower. Others have found it helpful to go through a list of things and people you are thankful for. You will fall asleep before the mind task is complete.

This article is written by Cynthia Joy Maurice. Cynthia is a Life Design & Holistic Wellness Specialist. For your convenience she provides consultations and services at 4 locations in the Myrtle Beach, SC area; as well as in the comfort of your home or online. To contact Cynthia, please call 843-465-7138 or email her at findyourjoys@thejoys.us

 

 

 

 

Wrong Side of the Bed?

Moods

We all get grouchy once in a while, and that’s ok. But when it starts to happen more often, or gets out of control, we need to do something about it.

Did you know that those who enjoy spending time outdoors are better able to like themselves? A British research team asked 400 men and women to rate their self-esteem, their emotional connection to nature, and the social pressure they felt to look good – and found that the nature lovers were most likely to feel better about themselves, and how they look. Being outside may even help make your workouts feel easier. When you are able to set your own exercise pace, you tend to actually stride more quickly and feel happier doing it while you are outside, rather than inside. Nature may provide just enough positive distraction to help keep you energized. So the next time you are out and about, look up and all around you. There is beauty everywhere we turn, we really just need to find it.

Got up on the wrong side of the bed?

We have all heard this saying before, and although it may seem annoying to hear at the time because we woke up in a bad mood, there is some truth to it. Not that you should go back to bed and literally get up from the other side of the bed, but that you should start again. Try thinking of it this way: Something happened in your thoughts that upset or stressed you as you were getting up. Maybe you are worried about an important meeting, or remembering something bad that happened. Whatever the case may be, you need to start over. Pretend you have a ‘re-set button’ you can press. When you press this button, you will re-set your thoughts and attitude.  This is so important to do, because if you keep the bad mood, you will only start feeling worse and worse. Give it a try, what have you got to lose but your bad mood?

Essential Oils and Mood – Scent has the power to activate a number of positive physical and emotional responses in less than 1 second!

Yes, you can calm and correct your mood by using the scent of certain essential oils. You can even re-set your mood with essential oils. The best ones to try for moods are any citrus essential oil scents. My favorite up-lifters are Wild Orange, Lime or Tangerine. Others to try would be Lavender, or Cedar wood. You can put several drops of your favorite oils in your hands, cup them over your nose and mouth then inhale. Rub your hands on the back of your neck, and repeat as needed. How does the oil help with moods? First, the oils are highly concentrated plant compounds. We all know that certain scents can trigger positive memories and feelings. The fragrance of the oils consists of molecules that float in the air, waiting for the millions of receptor cells in the nose to smell them. The aroma causes our nerves to fire and send messages traveling to different parts of the brain, activating our thoughts and memories. The Pituitary gland is also stimulated to release chemical messages that travel in the blood to glands and organs that help create positive physical body responses.

How you can Change your mood

There are many tools we can all use to help change our moods. Like I said earlier, It is ok and normal to not always be in a good mood. But if you are tired of being unhappy, get stressed easy, or you are looking for some helpful and simple mood hacks, here are some tools that you can try:

  • Music – There are so many choices. Find what works for you to help put you in a better mood. Got a favorite song? Why? How does it make you feel to hear it? Find more!
  • Laugh – Don’t take yourself so seriously. Laugh at yourself every chance you get. Having fun and playing are great ways to get in a better mood. Dance, play, and laugh is probably the best advice I can give you! Do it often!
  • Enjoy nature – Does seeing flowers, birds or other nature make you happy? Take the blinders off and look around you. Can you find the beauty? It is everywhere, whether we notice it or not.
  • Be Thankful – It is time to be happy with what we have. There is always someone who is not so lucky. Remember how blessed you are. Life is too short to spend the day in a bad mood. Remember what you have and be grateful for everything.
  • Use your senses – See, hear, smell, feel, touch and taste everything. Relish in the way you can enjoy everything. Be like a child seeing something for the very first time.
  • Quiet your mind – Easier said than done, I know. Take a break from thinking, sometimes. When you take a shower, are you on autopilot? Feel the scrubbing as you shampoo your head. Enjoy the scents you smell, FEEL the water as it trickles on your skin. Don’t spend the time thinking of what you will be doing today, or what happened yesterday.

What to take away from this article – BE PRESENT, GET OFF AUTO-PILOT, BE AWARE, REMEMBER TO USE ALL YOUR SENSES, ENJOY THE BEAUTY THAT SURROUNDS YOU, BE THANKFUL YOU ARE YOU!

This article is written by Cynthia Joy Maurice. Cynthia is a Life Design & Holistic Wellness Specialist. For your convenience she provides consultations and services at 4 locations in the Myrtle Beach, SC area; as well as in the comfort of your home or online. To contact Cynthia, please call 843-465-7138 or email her at findyourjoys@thejoys.us

Stress Management

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. A small amount of stress can be good, motivating you to perform well. But multiple challenges daily, such as running late, meeting deadlines and being in an unhappy environment, can push you beyond your ability to cope.

Our brains come with an alarm system for our protection. When your brain becomes aware of a possible troublesome situation, it signals your body to release a burst of adrenalin that increases your heart rate and raises your blood pressure. This “fight-or-flight” response fuels you to deal with the situation. Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal, relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop challenges of modern life make it so that some people’s alarm systems don’t shut off.

Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your brain’s alarm system. It can help your mind and body to readjust. Without it, your body might always be on high alert, which could lead to serious health problems over time. Don’t wait until stress damages your health, relationships or quality of life. Start practicing stress management techniques today. The fast pace and multiple challenges of modern life make stress management necessary for everyone.

To monitor your stress, you first need to identify what causes it. What makes you feel angry, tense, worried, impatient or irritable? Do you often get headaches, tight muscles or an upset stomach with no medical cause? Some stressors, such as job or family pressures, holidays, and financial concerns, are easy to identify. But daily frustrations and demands, such as repetitious behavior, running out of time or being late to an appointment, also contribute to your stress level.Even essentially positive events, such as moving, getting married or buying a house, can be stressful. Any change to your life can cause stress.

Once you’ve identified your stress causes, think about strategies for dealing with them. Identifying what you can control is a good starting point. For example, if stress keeps you up at night, the solution may be as easy as turning off the TV and computer and letting your mind slow and wind down before bed. Other times, such as when stress is based on high demands at work or a loved one’s illness, you might be able to change only your reaction.

Don’t feel like you have to figure it out on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends, whether you need someone to listen to you, help with child care or a ride to work when your car is in the shop. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga, meditation or exploring nature. It’s important to set aside time for yourself. Get a massage, soak in a bubble bath, read, and listen to music, watch a movie— whatever helps you relax. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help you manage your stress. Make a conscious effort to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Try spending less time with television, computer and phone and more “ME” time.

Stress won’t disappear from your life and stress management activities need to be ongoing. But by paying attention to what causes your stress and practicing ways to relax, you can reduce some of the bad effects of stress and improve your ability to cope with challenges. Relaxation techniques are an important part of stress management. Because of your busy life, relaxation might be low on your ‘To Do’ list. Everyone needs to relax and recharge to repair the damage stress makes to your mind and body.

Almost everyone can benefit from relaxation techniques, which can help slow your breathing and focus your attention. Common relaxation techniques include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi and yoga. More-active ways of achieving relaxation include walking outdoors or participating in sports. It doesn’t matter which relaxation approach you choose. Sometimes one will work one day but a different one will work the next. Try several and select one that works for you in the moment, and practice them regularly.

This article is written by Cynthia Joy Maurice. Cynthia is a Life Design & Holistic Wellness Specialist. For your convenience she provides consultations and services at 4 locations in the Myrtle Beach, SC area; as well as in the comfort of your home or online. To contact Cynthia, please call 843-465-7138 or email her at findyourjoys@thejoys.us

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