January is all about goal-setting and achieving. We start the year with vigor to reset our lives. The magic of the holiday season infuses us with the feeling that anything is possible. By February, most people are feeling disappointed that they’ve yet to clear up all their debt, lose the weight they’ve spent years putting on, land their dream career, meet the love of their life, Kon-Mari all of their possessions, or <insert your lost goal here>.
It’s only been 8 weeks since 2017 started, so why are we all beating ourselves up for not yet achieving greatness? Chances are, like everyone else, you’re really tired right now. So far, this year has been a lot. So today I’m sharing some things I’ve been doing lately that I hope will help you too.
IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS
Feeling unfocused, tired, depressed and fatigued seems to hit all of us at one time or another. Worse still, it seems to strike during transitional times of our lives — the tail end of Winter, when we’re feeling stuck, when we’re already overwhelmed.
For the past week, I’ve been trying to limit my time on screens. I’ve also been adding Invia to my water tumbler in mid-afternoon when I start to feel a crash. It’s high in Vitamin E, B6 and B12. The mixed berry is my favorite and tastes like raspberry kool-aid.
SLEEP BETTER AND DEEPER
Antidepressants are designed to trick your body into perceiving that more serotonin is being produced than actually is. So they don’t heal you, they just put a band-aid on the problem.
Your body takes in L-Tryptophan (an amino acid) and coverts it into 5-HTP, which it uses to produce serotonin (the hormone that makes you “feel good”, regulates your mood and helps you to sleep deeply). Reading this, you may think that it’s better to just skip ahead and take 5-HTP instead of L-Tryptophan. Please don’t, as most people who take 5-HTP experience severely painful constipation until days after they stop taking it.
Instead, at bed time, take L-Tryptophan, which is very mild on your GI tract. It will help you to sleep much deeper and to stay asleep. I’ve been taking Doctor’s Best for over 4 months and have noticed a dramatic difference in the quality of my sleep and my overall mood. After just three days, I started to feel significantly better and am still continuing to feel better each week.
I also love earplugs because little noises really irritate me when I’m trying to fall asleep. I like to use one in the ear that isn’t against my pillow. They muffle the city sounds just enough to help me fall asleep, but not so much that I can’t hear my alarm go off.
Anyone with anxiety, in recovery for PTSD, or who is in frequently stressful situations knows that cortisol spikes in our bodies to keep us alive by triggering fight or flight. The problem is that when this spiking occurs too frequently, as is the case for most people living in modernity, it begins to cause the body to jump to a cortisol release when unnecessary. This is simply because it can’t tell the difference between stress from your boss giving you a hard time about a deadline and someone mugging you. Worse still, cortisol release triggers your body to dump magnesium, which is the very thing that regulates the cortisol in the first place. So you could say that your body throws the baby out with the bath water and then fills the bathtub up even higher next time.
If you follow me on Instagram (@DuchessOfVegan) you saw the pic above of my almond milk ice cubes which I use in my morning protein smoothies.
Almonds are the perfect pre-workout snack as they don’t fill you up. They’re also perfect for when you get the late-morning hangries and have 15g of Protein in just half a cup.