Have you ever felt tired and wired at the same time?
I have. In fact, I feel this way quite frequently. I often find it challenging to get enough sleep. Even on days where I do go to bed early, it sometimes takes a while for me to fall asleep. My sleep is filled with weird dreams and thoughts about work, leaving me feeling even more tired and exhausted when I wake up the next morning.
Sounds familiar? I am sure many of you share similar experiences of feeling completely exhausted but at the same time on-edge and unable to relax.
Being tired and wired has become “normal”.
In our fast-paced lives, we are frequently swamped with information and entertainment options. We are hooked to activity and obsessed with productivity. We keep going and going. Slowing down and stopping is often looked down upon and we resist doing so as we associate resting with being “lazy” or “incompetent”. We have lost our regard for rest.
Perhaps, many of us have also forgotten how to truly rest.
“Rest” and “recreation” are different things. Hanging out with friends, reading a book, playing Candy Crush may be enjoyable and relaxing but it is not true rest. Some people also turn to drugs and medication to “knock themselves out”. This too, is not true rest and may result in other side effects and health consequences.
What then is true rest? True rest is not just about “doing nothing”. We need to first slow down and then stop.
Here are 7 tips on purposefully creating a state of serenity:
1) Acknowledge the feelings without judgment.
As you allow yourself to slow down and start relaxing, you may feel scared or uncomfortable at first, especially if you have been going about life hurriedly without pausing for some time. Many a time, keeping busy may be a way of avoiding experiences that are uncomfortable or unpleasant to us.
2) Disconnect from your devices.
In our modern world, we often find ourselves glued to our screens and electronic gadgets such as our mobile phones, televisions and tablets. On top of keeping our minds busy, looking at too much blue-light from technology can keep us up even later.
3) Establish a pre-bed routine.
A pre-bed routine is a great way to prep your body and brain into rest and “sleep mode” so that you get quality sleep and wake up ready to take on the new day. Start your routine about 30 minutes before bedtime, pick a relaxing activity you enjoy that helps you gradually unwind.
4) Learn to say no.
You don’t have to answer every text message or email immediately or attend every single event. Saying no politely will help create space in your life for down time.
5) Practise mindfulness meditation daily.
Many of us experience sleep disturbances, such as having a hard time falling and staying asleep.The resulting daytime sleepiness often leaves you feeling crappy, drained and unproductive. It may even harm your health. A small study suggests that mindfulness meditation, a mind-calming practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment, can help.
6) Consume a balanced diet consisting of mainly whole foods.
7) Go easy on the coffee and wine.
Gradually reduce your intake of both stimulants and depressants like coffee and wine. This helps you reduce your reliance on these substances and restore your body’s natural ability to moderate your energy properly.