Whenever you find yourself feeling off-balanced and out of sorts, the cause can usually be discovered within the ways you've been taking care of yourself. It's no secret that our eating and sleeping habits have a direct correlation to the way we feel and are, arguably, the most important aspects of our lives... But somehow we still find it hard to maintain healthy patterns in these areas; especially sleep.
In my personal experience, I've literally gone days without sleeping and I've skipped many meals due to being overly focused on work; too dedicated to the grind... And it wasn't until I was watching videos of myself with bags under my eyes, talking about how I haven't been sleeping much that I realized how lack of sleep was negatively effecting my state of mind and overall well-being... Because contrary to the popular belief, not sleeping because you're too busy chasing a bag doesn't prove you to be any stronger, hungrier, or more deserving... In fact, it probably does the opposite.
When it comes to chasing our dreams; running businesses, making music, writing, producing fashion shows, and all these other types of goals that have no real daily end points, it's important to take care of ourselves in the process... And that starts with simply developing healthy sleeping habits. No, we may not be able to get a full night's sleep every single night (because let's be real, that's not even what a lot of us want), but there are ways we can make the most out of what we do get.
Here are some of my personal thoughts on what it takes to develop and enhance a healthy sleep routine that complements the lifestyles of creatives. It's not always what we do, but how we do it and how we perceive the experience itself that makes all the difference. No more treating sleep like a burden; no more dreading that early morning wake up!
A NEW WAKE UP CALL
Wake up earlier than you need to. The way we wake up sets the tone for the day... And jumping out of bed, into the shower, and out of the door is a great setup for a stressful, off-balanced day. The best way to wake up is with an act of self-care that empowers our brain and gets us ready to face the outside world. This could be anything from meditation, to reading, to a mental health check-in call with ya shorty who's grinding too. Ease into your morning routine by self-reflecting and doing something that uplifts your spirit.
EVALUATE YOUR SPACE
The nature + environment of your space effects your sleep. With navigating all around and back and forth during busy days, it's easy for our rooms to become aftermath scenes of clothing tornados... But for the sake of a good sleeping experience, it's important to keep your space as clean as possible. Maintain a healthy sleeping environment with more organization and less chaos; design your space in a way that best fits your personal needs. (Creative tip: Karl Lagerfeld once told Harper's Bazaar that he prefers to sleep in all-white; white clothing, white bed sheets, and white blankets. This approach to design makes for a more peaceful sleep.)
GIVE THE PHONE A REST
Our electronic devices are brain stimulants. We won't fully be ready for a good sleep until we power down our devices. My grandmother is always telling me, "You spend too much time on that phone and computer; make sure you turn it off at least an hour before you go to sleep." And I can't say I always listen to this advice, but I can say that when I do... I sleep 10x better! Put your phone on airplane mode, get it out of your bed (as far away as possible, really) and let yourself disconnect for a few hours. E-mails, texts, and social media feeds can wait until tomorrow.
WASH THE DAY AWAY
Cleanse everything! Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual that includes a good quality showering/bathing session. We do so much throughout the course of the day and go so many places that it's almost imperative we wash it all away. Not only should we clean our bodies before sleep, but our energy as well. Make time (even if it's just for 15 minutes) to release yourself from the day; pull out your meditation audios, crystals, candles, bath salts, essential oils, and all the tools you need to wind down powerfully.
I hope these tips help you achieve healthier sleep and an all-around better experience in dream world... And just as a note: this piece is a MAJOR note to myself as well. Mastering this healthy sleep thing is a process, but it's one I'm willing to put work into. Make Self-Care Top Priority, 2018. Are you down?
Share your healthy sleeping tips + rituals with us @DARLAmedia!
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.