Happy Friday guys!! Did everyone have a good week?! Mine was pretty good! The work week went by pretty fast, we posted about our Paleo Power Ball review & giveaway and I had a great week of training! It was a zillion degrees again this week. The humidity has been absurd lately! Last week, there were a few cooler days and it got me SO EXCITED for fall! Like any basic white girl, I’m all about all pumpkin everything. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin chili, you name it I’ve probably tried it. Actually for my birthday, I got my family to start an annual Pumpkinfest! One year I asked if we could have pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake for my birthday celebration. It quickly escalated from there. My birthday is about a month away and needless to say, I am very excited. My goal this year is to try and make more paleo-fied treats. And add in a few more savory dishes instead of all desserts. If you guys need some ideas for paleo pumpkin treats, google it! There’s some many amazing recipes out there from Brittany Angell’s cinnamon rolls, to Juli’s Bauer’s french toast to my personal favorite, Danielle Walker’s pumpkin spice donuts.
Seriously, don’t they look amazing?!
Alright so since its Friday I wanted to write about something that is fitness/health related. While many of us do everything we can to support our health via nutrition and fitness, I’m sure plenty of us forget to support our mental health. One of the biggest things that have helped me over the past few months is finding ways to relax at night before going to sleep. By the time I get done at the gym, I often only have a short window of time (2-3 hours) to make/eat dinner, prepare foods for the next day, work on the blog, do some things for me, etc. I’ve had countless nights where all of a sudden it’s 11pm, I’m still up, brain wired, not even close to being ready for bed. I’ve become better at not doing this but these days do still happen. We’re only human! Therefore, I wanted to share my personal tips for instant relaxation.
- Keep the lights low
I would bet many of us have heard that we must avoid looking at our phone screens, computer screens, tv, etc before bed. Well that’s because it’s true! It signals our brains that it’s still light out and not time for bed yet. However, besides these screens, it’s best to keep all lights low before bed. Once it starts getting later, I like to light candles in that bathroom so when I do go to brush my teeth and get ready for bed, I don’t have to turn on the glaring bathroom light. Plus certain scents can be relaxing as well. I personally love my lavender and blood orange aromatherapy candle. I also like to keep soft lights in my bedroom. This lamp is perfect for my bedside stand and always makes me feel comfy and relaxed when climbing into bed.
2. Give yourself a quick foot massage.
I personally LOVE this before bed. It’s especially nice right after a hot bath or shower but on night’s when you’re trying to de-stress quick, it’s a nice, quick way to relax. This is known as foot reflexology. The feet have many different points that correlate to different organs and glands which allow you to become calmer and able to drift off to a peaceful sleep. I love using FATFACE Skincare’s Body Butta for this! If you’re lucky, maybe your significant other can do this for you! Below is a chart that explains all the different reflexology points.
3. Don’t focus on what you have to do tomorrow, this weekend, next month, etc..
I know plenty of people are guilty of this and I know I have been too. You lay down for the night and start running through your do-to list for the next day or all the things you have to get done this weekend or the money you have to save for this or that. I’m here to tell you STOP. It does you no good other than working you up and sometimes making your mind go a mile a minute. Instead, I try to focus on what made my day so good, what I am thankful for or how I’m going to conquer my next workout. However my personal favorite is trying to start my dreams before I fall asleep. I imagine different scenarios or things I want to happen in hopes that I’ll be so involved I eventually drift off to sleep and really do dream what I was thinking. Call me cheesy but it works!
4. Calm your breathing
Now I’m not saying your breathing is erratic or you’re doing it wrong but I’ve found this routine to really help me relax once my head hits the pillow but my mind is still buzzing. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold breathe for 7 seconds then exhale for 8. The first time you do this may feel weird or you may not be able to hold your breath for too long but the more you practice, the easier it will get! Also, it’s good to really focus on slowly letting out your breathe for the full 8 seconds instead of letting it all out in one swoosh.
That’s it guys! Those are 4 tips/tricks I like to use for instant relaxation. Let me know if any of these work for you or comment below to share some of your tips!