Throughout our 30 Day Stress Reduction Challenge, I’m going to be sharing some of my essential stress busters with my readers. These are quick and easy stress reducing tips that you can put to work right immediately to relax more and stress less.
You might not love all of them, but I’d like to encourage you to give each of them a try. Keep the ones that work well for you and put them to work whenever you’re feeling especially stressed out. You’ll feel better and more capable almost immediately and you’ll feel encouraged to have some coping mechanisms in place when life gets crazy.
In yesterday’s post I talked a little bit about the importance of adequate rest and sleep in particular. Everyone needs sleep to recover from busy and chaotic days. During times when you don’t get enough rest, and are sick or just plain feel worn down, one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and productive is to take a nap.
Naps aren’t just for babies. They’re just as important for frazzled, stressed out moms. You might tell yourself that you’re too old for naps, don’t need them, or can’t sleep during the day.
Believe it or not, there are many cultures around the world where it’s totally acceptable and even common to nap during the day. Research shows that napping is incredibly beneficial and will actually help you get more done. It’s been shown to be so powerful that some companies now encourage employees to take power naps work.
You don’t even have to actually get to sleep to benefit from napping. Just lay down, get comfortable, close your eyes and chill out for a bit. This rest instead of actual sleep will still be helpful. And if you do go to sleep, you don’t have to stay asleep for very long to benefit from a nap. Sleeping as little as two to five minutes is enough to refresh your brain.
If you’re worried about waking up groggy, try a coffee nap. You heard me right. The idea of a coffee nap is to drink a cup of coffee right before you lay down for a short nap. Because it takes your body a while to process the caffeine, you’ll be able to take a short nap and wake up alert and ready to tackle the rest of your busy day. Bulletproof coffee naps are a great way to fuel your afternoon.
My Tips for the Best Afternoon Power Naps Ever
- Know your body’s rhythms. For many people around 1:00 – 3:00 is the best time for a power nap. A typical power nap can be from 10-20 minutes. Some people might need 30-60 minutes. These might leave you groggy, however you might want to have some coffee ready when you get up. (If you live with chronic illness, you’ll probably need longer naps. Sometimes I need 90 minutes to 2 or more hours. There’s nothing wrong with this. People with chronic illness fatigue faster and need more restorative time than the general population.)
- If you can, dim the room and lower the air temperature to under 70 degrees.
- Keep a pen and pad of paper close by in order to jot down anything that runs across your mind that might keep you from fully resting. You’ll know where that thought is and be able to follow up with it later.
- Turn your cell phone ringer and notifications off. If you have to be up at a certain time, set an alarm.
- Use a sleep mask will help to create a dark environment to fall asleep faster.