I bet your day, like mine, is filled to the brim with information, action and distraction. Building a coaching business means you need to be a master of juggling, prioritizing and “getting things done”. When you combine this with the need to be present on social media and ‘all things digital’ it’s a recipe for exhaustion and failure.
It wasn’t too many years ago that people lived in sync with the cycle of the sun and the seasons. Your body evolved to live in harmony with nature and you need a good night’s sleep to stay healthy, productive and focussed on your business goals.
If you put in long hours coaching and building your practice while you still juggle your day job and all the other commitments of your life, I’d bet that high stress and exhaustion is now a common theme in your life. With so much on the go, it’s no wonder so many coaches tell me they have a hard time getting to sleep. Do you toss and turn for hours before you finally drift off? Do you wake up feeling sluggish, foggy and exhausted most mornings? Do you have to drink 3 cups of coffee before you can think straight?
Nature intended for you to relax and settle down in the evening to prepare for a good night’s sleep. If you’ve gone camping recently you’ve probably noticed how sleepy you get when the sun goes down. It’s not just the fresh air and physical activity but it also shows how quickly your body gets back into that groove of rising with the sun and sleeping soundly at night.
With your packed schedule, you may be carrying the day’s stress with you to bed. It’s no wonder then that this can lead to insomnia.
For the sake of your mental and physical health, it’s worth it to learn how to shift your schedule and include a nighttime routine to unwind. Your life and business success depend on it.
If you’re working the night shift to build your business after your day is done, it’s easy to resist this approach. Sometimes you might feel like you never have enough time to “get it all done”. Getting a good night’s sleep is possible if you take half an hour or an hour each evening to wind down. When you are well-rested you’ve will have so much more energy the next day and building your business will be so much easier and more fun.
Here are my 5 tips to a bedtime routine:
1. Get Comfortable
Have a bath or shower and change into something relaxing. It’s better to choose some great pyjamas instead of changing into gym wear. Your brain is a creature of habit when you put on exercise wear it automatically associates this with exercising and getting energetic….the opposite of the effect you want.
2. Turn it Off
Create a relaxing space that helps you to unwind. Turn off the TV, computer and put your smartphone on night mode. Dim the lights. Even better, light some candles and turn on some soothing music. This is a great opportunity to read by candlelight. It lets your body and mind know your busy day is over and it’s time to relax.
3. Stretch to Relieve Stress
Your body gets tight dealing with your day to day demands. Take a few minutes to do some gentle stretching or simple yoga. This will help to move the stress and tension out of your body. When you consciously halt the stress response, your hormones will also return to a more relaxed state and leave the fight, flight or freeze stress response behind.
An easy path to find peace amid the chaos of your day is to begin noticing the messages your body is sending. Your body knows how to right itself, but you (your mind) may have forgotten. Use awareness of the breath to remind you. It’s easy and quick.
Begin by gently closing your eyes and notice your breathing. Is it tight and shallow or deep and relaxed? Your body commonly reacts to stress by taking shallow short breaths. Once you’ve noticed your breathing, do some simple belly breathing to calm your mind and allow your body to return to a balanced state. Here’s how:
Belly Breathing: Put one hand on your belly and inhale slowly through your nose. Inhale until you feel your tummy pushing your hand away and feel the air fill the bottom of your lungs. Pause at the top of the breath. Then exhale slowly, again through your nose, until your lungs are completely empty. Repeat this cycle a few times.
5. Set a Bedtime and Stick with It
Your body will respond to a “bedtime” just as a child does. Parents know a good bedtime routine is a key to having their kids settle down for the night. You’re no different. It’s best if your bedtime is somewhere between 10 and 11 pm. There are studies that show the quality of your sleep is better when you retire before midnight. To decide on your bedtime, use what time you must wake up in the morning and then subtract between 7 and 8 hours. There you have it! It can be startling; many people sleep far less than the 7 or 8 optimum number of hours each night. We fool ourselves into thinking we don’t need much sleep. Sleep helps our bodies recover from the day’s stress, recover from exercise and helps our memories form.
The key to creating lasting change is to practice the KISS principle (keep it, simple sweetie). Commit to sticking with it for a few weeks. Soon you will find you welcome your nighttime routine and you will have more health, energy and resilience to enjoy your days and build your business.
I’m here for the long haul! My goal is to help you, in any way I can, to grow your business. How’s it going? Is it everything you hoped it would be? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you've been thinking of working with a coach, schedule a complimentary Clarity Session with me. Use this link HERE