As the Co-CEO of Creatd (NASDAQ: CRTD), and therefore, our flagship product Vocal, it's safe to say I'm no stranger to a busy day. Busy days can lead to sleepless nights and tired mornings. I’m here to tell you about the lost art of resting, and how I left tired mornings in the past for good—despite my increasingly massive to-do list.
I’ve learned the hard way that rest and high quality sleep are key to my body and mind functioning well, and especially important in a high-paced, stressful (but rewarding), job like mine. There are many things I do to ensure that I get to rest and today I’d like to share my resting routines (from buying a good mattress to practicing mindfulness) with you.
Why You Should Take Time To Rest
Why is it so important that you take time to rest? Why is exhaustion so bad? A few of the reasons that exhaustion is a serious problem include:
- The increased likelihood of physical health conditions like heart problems
However, sometimes there is no better evidence than anecdotal evidence. My old boss, Arianna Huffington, realized the toll of exhaustion when a fall left her with a broken cheekbone and a gash under her eye. This wake-up call inspired her to found Thrive Global, a movement encouraging professionals to take care of their mental health and avoid stress, burnout, and exhaustion. Thrive Global is a great source for advice about these issues, but you may still be wondering, as I was—how can I improve my resting practices?
How to Establish a Healthy Sleep Routine
As you can imagine, the main part of resting is actually getting a good night’s sleep. I know how important getting a good night’s sleep is to being at my best everyday, so I have taken care to develop a healthy sleep routine, composed of two main elements—a good mattress (I love the Lull Luxe Hybrid) and sleep hygiene.
Invest In a Good Mattress:
I have found that having the perfect mattress is the best way to combat exhaustion and have high quality sleep. The mattress that I use is the Lull Luxe Hybrid Mattress, which I cannot recommend enough. The Lull Luxe Hybrid is made of both memory foam and traditional springs, which gives me the best of both worlds: the sink-free feeling of memory foam and the extra back support of springs.
The Lull Luxe Hybrid is a special mattress, made of six layers: super-comfortable quilted memory foam, followed by a layer with cooling gel, a transition layer to stop you from sinking in, independently operating pocket-coils which distribute your weight and provide back support, a layer for edge support (so that you don’t fall off) and a soft durable cover with handles.
I love and appreciate how my Lull Luxe Hybrid is moderately firm but still feels like a soft cloud, which suits me perfectly as a combination (i.e. back and side) sleeper, and provides excellent back support after a long day. Since getting my Lull Luxe Hybrid, my sleep has improved dramatically and obviously, and it has become an important part of my resting routine. Not to mention, the Lull Luxe Hybrid is extremely affordable and has a lifetime warranty.
Develop Good Sleep Hygiene:
Sleep hygiene is a series of practices and behavior you can adhere to to improve the quality of your sleep, which I have found very helpful. The main sleep hygiene tips I follow are:
- Keeping my bedroom cave-like (i.e. quiet, dark, and cold)
- Avoiding screens at least 30 minutes before bed
- Avoiding caffeine after 6pm
There are plenty of other sleep hygiene tips you can follow to get a good night’s sleep.
Other Ways to Rest
Resting and taking care of yourself isn’t just about sleep. One of the best ways of learning to rest is having a self-care routine. My self-care routine includes practicing meditation and mindfulness, exercising, taking breaks, and unplugging myself from technology.
Practice Meditation and Mindfulness:
First thing every morning and last thing at night, I schedule in a 10 minute meditation session. Meditation is a technique where you focus and clear the mind and, as such, is a great way to rest. Meditation gives your brain a break, alleviates stress, and improves your sleep. My meditation practice is one of the few times outside sleeping that I’m really resting. There are several types of meditation I practice:
- Breathing-based meditation
- Mindfulness (a type of meditation where you practice being aware of your thoughts)
- Mindful breathing
- Body Scans
There are plenty of resources out there to help you develop your meditation and mindfulness practice, as well as classes you can attend. Last thing at night is a great time to meditate because it puts your brain in the mindset for sleep.
I make sure to exercise every day, whether by doing a workout class, going to the gym, or just going for a run or a walk. Exercise, like meditation, is a form of rest because it gives you a time to switch off your brain. Exercise also helps you sleep, especially if you do more than 30 minutes of it a day.
I always take regular breaks throughout the workday to rejuvenate myself and to avoid stress and burnout. Even a very short break can help you relax and avoid burnout (as well as boosting performance), especially in high pressure situations, which is why taking breaks is so important as part of my rest routine.
In our modern society, we are constantly on our phones, tablets, laptops and computers, and contactable 24/7. This means we sometimes feel like we can never rest, which is terrible for our mental health. I find the best solution to technological overload is unplugging, i.e. disconnecting myself from technology. This is a great way of resting and relieving stress. Some ways I unplug include:
- Having phone free time
- Turning off my notifications
- Limiting the length and number of phone calls and zoom calls
- Reading a book
- Going outside
Now you will hopefully understand the importance of the lost practice of resting. I have found these tips immeasurably useful, so I strongly encourage you to learn to rest, whether it's by improving your sleep with a good mattress (like the Lull Luxe Hybrid) or by unplugging from your devices. Whatever you do, you won’t regret it. Start slow, and be deliberate about the changes you make and your reflection on those changes.