Avoid Checking Your Phone
When you wake up, don’t start your day by looking at your phone.

Nothing ramps up stress-hormone cortisol like a barrage of emails, alerts, and text messages -- or scrolling through other people’s social media “highlight reels” first thing in the a.m.

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Health

Tech time out
Take a daily “tech time out” to improve your focus and reduce stress.

Moderate screen time throughout your day by turning off unnecessary notifications on your phone and carving out space to totally disconnect from your device.

Schedule strategic worry time

Clock a time out (20 to 30 minutes) during the day to jot down what’s causing you anxiety.

Allow yourself to feel your emotions without trying to change them in any way. Then toss the document into the dustbin -- that’ll reinforce the feeling that you’ve flushed those thoughts out of your system.

The Robot Ragdoll technique

A form of muscular relaxation:

  • When tensions start mounting, tense all your major muscles at once and hold it for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Then, do the exact opposite: Let all your muscles go doughy. 

It will help you notice the difference between when you’re tense versus relaxed,

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
  • Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating.

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IDEAS

Have a Clear Plan

Think about what you want to include in your night routine, and then write it downMake it as clear and simple as possible, so you’ll have the best chance of following it. 

Once you’ve followed your night routine long enough, you’ll no longer need to refer to your plan – as it will have become a habit.

"Teaching" Sleep

During WWII, the U.S. military realized that if fighter pilots didn't get sleep, their poor decisions had dire consequences. Their mishaps included errors that resulted in their being shot down--or shooting down guys on their own side.

Helping combat pilots get good rest fast became a priority. So the military brought in naval ensign Bud Winter to develop and test a scientifically designed method of "teaching" sleep. After just six weeks of practice, 96 percent of pilots could fall asleep within 120 seconds.

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