09 Feb Get Back in The Groove
Rachel McGuinness on how to get back in the groove health-wise, mid-life
Wellbeing consultant Rachel McGuinness talks about how it can be so easy to fall back into bad habits mid-life, and shares her tips for how to get on track.
I exercise self-care most of the time. I look after myself, but sometimes things go out of sync
Recently, packing too much in, travelling, eating out and jet lag has taken its toll on my body, I’m exhausted. I need to get back in the groove.
My whole routine has slipped
I’m not sleeping properly, and I’m not exercising because I feel tired. I’m craving caffeine and carbs because I’m tired. The odd treat is fine – it’s good for the soul. But there is a fine line between treats, having what I want and it becoming a bad habit to feed my exhaustion and justifying why I deserve it, isn’t so good.
When you’re tired, do you ever get the muscles under the eye twitching?
This happens to me! I can’t stop it, it’s there all the time bloody twitching. I wake up and open my eyes and it’s still going ten to the dozen – the muscle hasn’t tired itself out yet. My cheek has even started twitching!
Get back in the groove of sleep
I’m so tired but I can’t seem to get back into my sleep rhythm. I thought I had my jetlag sussed, but a couple more trips with more hotel room stays, different beds and erratic air conditioning put paid to that.
Then when I did eventually get back home, there was a heatwave to compound the problem even more! The result is severely screwed up sleep. Whereas I was sleeping 7 hours a night, it’s now gone down to 5 hours a night!
I need a holiday!
I’ve had a few days here and there tagged on to business trips, but they’re not what I call a proper chill out time when you really relax. I’ve got to the point where I need to have some down time, I need to take time out and recharge my batteries. Fortunately, there is a holiday on the horizon and I will be able to do exactly that.
If you’re reading this and feel the same, these are the things to put in place to help you get your energy back on track, and these are things I will be doing for the foreseeable future to get back into my routine. Try them and you will get back in the groove, I promise.
- Get back into a bedtime routine – have a non-negotiable 8-hour window for sleep.
- If you wake up and can’t go back to sleep again, don’t think about not being able to sleep. Try meditating or slow, deep belly breathing. Imagine relaxing your muscles from the top of your head right down to the tips of your toes.
- If sleep still eludes you, get up, make a cuppa (decaf of course), find somewhere comfortable and warm to sit and read. Don’t be tempted to pick up your phone, tablet or laptop and start scrolling through your social or working. You can use a Kindle or equivalent, but make sure that the screen is turned right down.
- Avoid napping if you can, as that disrupts your drive for sleep later.
- Cut out caffeine just until your sleep is back on track.
- Watch your alcohol intake – I’d got back into drinking wine, which leaves me massively dehydrated at night.
- Be mindful about what you eat and when you eat it. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
- If you’re wearing a sleep tracker – stop wearing it. I love monitoring my sleep, but it gets a tad depressing when night after night you’re getting less than you’re used to.
- Get outside in the fresh air first thing in the morning to reset your body clock.
Just remember it’s a temporary blip. However, things will improve more quickly if you apply the above tips. Don’t get stressed about feeling tired, just go with it. It’s your body trying to tell you to take time out to rest, recover and recharge.
Rachel McGuinness is a wellbeing consultant. Rachel and I collaborate on events and courses in our joint venture, ScarletZest. To look at your health and self-care, check out my Be Luminous coaching programme