Three things I do when I can't sleep

FACT: I used to have trouble falling (and staying) asleep. While practicing yoga and meditation (plus some targeted supplementation and nutrition hacks) have helped TREMENDOUSLY, I still have nights where my mind is racing and I can't seem to wind down.

Last night was one of those nights.

I thought I would have NO trouble sleeping - I spent a ton of time outside, got plenty of exercise AND went to an hour-long gong meditation (yeah... that was COOL!). I even told my friend Nat "Oooh I'm going to sleep SO well tonight."

Yet somehow when I got home and got into bed I could not relax. My mind felt like it was going a million miles per minute. In the past I would've freaked out more: UGH I'm not going to sleep tonight, I have so much going on tomorrow, just FALL ASLEEP ALREADY!! Instead, I used some of my tools to quiet my mind and calm my body so that I could fall asleep peacefully.

Here are the three things I do when I'm having trouble sleeping:

1. Journal - I journal every night, but find it especially helpful on the nights where my mind is busy. I write down whatever is going on in my head (worries, to-do lists, things I'm excited about, etc) and imagine those thoughts literally coming OUT of my brain and onto the paper.

2. Breathe - Regulating your breath is the easiest thing you can do to calm down. When you breath slowly and deeply, you drop into your body's parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for stimulation of "rest and digest" functions of the body, so simply slowing your breath can drop you into this place of calm and ease. Try this breathing technique, it works every time.

3. Brain Balance - Brain balancing is a tool that I learned during my Universal Health Principles training. This simple practice has the power to stop anxiety in it's tracks and, like regulating your breath, brain balancing helps drop you into your parasympathetic nervous system. I'll probably write a longer post or make a video with more on this practice, but for now watch THIS HOW-TO VIDEO and just try it!

These three practices are so simple yet so powerful. Next time you are having trouble falling asleep, try one (or all three!) of these.

Lavender essential oil also helps :)

Lavender essential oil also helps :)

Do you ever struggle with falling or staying asleep? What do you do? Leave a comment below and let me know! I love to hear from you :)

3 tips for making space for YOU!

Since returning from my recent vacation, I've decided to really focus on prioritizing my own self care and rest, and not just do things just because I "should."

It's funny because as I've been practicing this, it's something that has come up in multiple conversations with my clients and the women on my doTERRA team. Putting yourself first is not selfish, it's necessary actually. Why? How you show up for yourself is how you show up for the world. When you take care of yourself, you are able to be present, be a better employee, friend, spouse, mother, etc.

This doesn't mean you can forget about real world things like going to your job, mailing your rent check, or calling your grandma. You still gotta show up MOST of the time. But, especially during the summer when everything is a bit more relaxed, I encourage you to give yourself a break and put YOU first.

How can you put this into practice? What does it mean to put yourself first?

Make yourself nourishing food - My favorite way to show myself some love is to meal prep on the weekends. If you do a few hours of washing, chopping, and batch cooking on Sunday, lunches and dinners during the week come together in a snap. Not only does this leave less room for subprime decisions when you are tired and hangry, but you are also more likely to eat the healthy food you made and savor it (since you put precious time and effort into making it already).

Plan out your days/evenings and make sure you've got downtime - I'm the kind of person who likes to schedule, and I tend to fill up my calendarwith classes, clients and FUN. Even if you love doing something, it's still a commitment. So this week look at your schedule (especially the evenings) and ask yourself if you really must do everything you have planned. I aim to only commit to things two or three nights per week, and try not to have these nights be right in a row.

Give yourself space to breathe - Wake up a few minutes earlier in the morning, take a longer lunch break, sit in your car (or on a park bench) for a few minutes before going home to your family, boyfriend, roommates, or pets. In such a connected, plugged-in world we often do not give ourselves enough time to connect with ourselves. When I give myself this space to breathe and reconnect with me, I find that I'm much more likely to make the decisions that are best for me - I eat better, I listen to that voice that says "Turn off Netflix and go to sleep!" and I don't waste precious headspace worrying about things that I have no control over. I recommend setting a recurring reminder on your phone - I have one that goes off at 3PM every day with one word "B R E A T H E."

So how will you make space for YOU this week? Let me know in the comments below!