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Strategies & Resources

Strategies & Resources. counselling benefits

Strategy: Lifestyle changes

Making some simple lifestyle changes can help to encourage your body to function optimally during times of illness, anxiety, stress and disturbed sleep. 4 main areas to consider making lifestyle changes:-

  • Sleep – develop a good sleep hygiene routine: example below
  • Diet – develop an understanding of what your body/gut needs when under pressure due to illness, stress or anxiety. Several of the foods, drinks we often turn to when stressed or in a hurry; fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, ready meals are high in sugar (and chemicals).
  • Relaxation – Making time to relax is essential to keeping a balance in your body.
  • Exercise - Exercise itself increases adrenalin and cortisol which is why you usually feel good after the work out. However at times of adrenalin burn out, this temporary high only exacerbates the issue. Consider ‘low impact’ forms of exercise during the day not in the evening

Resources: Sleep Hygiene example

Simple tips for better sleep

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule; going to bed/sleep and getting up at the same time each day, including the weekend.
  • Set aside enough time to sleep; most people need at least seven or eight hours each night in order to feel good and be productive.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet; cover electrical displays, use heavy curtains or shades to block out light from windows, or try a sleep mask to shield your eyes.
  • Turn off your TV, smartphone, iPad and computer a few hours before your bedtime. The type of light these screens emit can stimulate your brain, suppress the production of melatonin and interfere with your body’s internal clock. Cover them if it is difficult to be without them.
  • Try to eat your main meal before 18.00. Try to leave at least two hours between eating and going to bed.
  • Avoid all caffeine drinks after 18.00

Book Review: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Most of us have no idea what we do with a third of our lives…

Matthew Walker, sleep expert and neuroscientist; ‘Why we sleep’, presents a persuasive argument to the importance of sleep and the benefits; physical, psychological and emotional. Corroborated with scientific research, Walker, explains in a clear, accessible way, what is going on in our brain during sleep and its crucial role in a healthy life.

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