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Eliminating Chronic Stress to Transform your Health and Wellness
Episode 9523rd June 2022 • The Wealth and Wellness Podcast with Kalee Boisvert • Kalee Boisvert
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In this episode, we are joined by special guest April Likins, stress relief and burnout coach for overwhelmed women. Find out why stress matters and must be taken seriously as it can impact every area of your life. April shares some of the tell-tale signs that you are experiencing (negative or too much) stress. Listen in to learn strategies and boundaries to prevent burnout, and practical ways to lower your stress level. If you are ready to have more energy, be more present in your relationships, sleep through the night and feel rested, and take a proactive approach to your day, then you won’t want to miss this episode.

 

About the Guest:

April Likins is a nationally board-certified health and wellness coach trained at both Duke Integrative Medicine and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Driven by her own health struggles of battling massive burnout on top of Lyme Disease & Endometriosis, she’s extremely passionate about helping empower women to optimize their health, reduce their stress levels, find balance and start nourishing their bodies from the inside out.

 

Links:

Schedule a Free Consultation Call with April + check out her Free Resources: https://aprillikins.com/podcasts/  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/glowbelovely/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilfreerlikins/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wellnesswithapril

About the Host:

I am a financial professional, who specializes in helping people to achieve their financial goals.  My absolute passion is creating new possibilities in people’s lives by showing them the ropes when it comes to money. I’m here to spark healthy and positive conversations around wealth and investment and create a world where nobody is limited by their financial situation. I believe this begins with education and shifting our relationships with money. I love getting to witness people achieving their most ambitious goals and creating new possibilities for themselves and their families! 

 

I love your questions! Reach out to me anytime at:  

Email: kalee.boisvert@raymondjames.ca

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaleeboisvert/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wealthandwelln2

https://www.facebook.com/kaleeboisvertwealthandwellness/

  

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Transcripts

Kalee Boisvert:

Welcome to the wealth and wellness podcast with me Kayleigh, Boisver. I specialize in helping people to achieve their financial goals. I have a love for all things numbers, and I'm passionate about financial literacy. My goal is to spark healthy and positive conversations around wealth and investment, and create a world where nobody is limited by their financial situation. But wealth is just one piece of the equation of living our best lives. So join me as we explore both wealth and wellness topics. From your net worth to your self worth. Get ready to take confident action. Hello, this is Kaylee. And thank you so much for listening in to this episode of the wealth and wellness podcast. Really excited for today's conversation. I think it is very important and relevant. So we're talking all things, sleep and stress. Lots going on in the world. And in our I guess in our day to day lives. We're always busy. So I think this conversation is very valuable. So we're joined by special guests today, April, likins, and April is a nationally board certified health and wellness coach trained at both Duke Integrative Medicine and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition driven by her own health struggles of battling massive burnout on top of Lyme disease and endometriosis. She's extremely passionate about helping to empower women to optimize their health, reduce their stress levels and find balance and start nourishing our bodies from the inside out. So I love this because of course this podcast is all about empowerment and empowering. So I'm very excited and happy for this conversation. Thank you so much April for being with us today. And I guess just to start, do you want to tell us a little bit about maybe a little bit more detail about your story? And kind of what brought you to do the work you do today?

April Likins:

Yeah, thanks so much for having me on the show. I'm really looking forward to our conversation today. So yeah, like you said, I'm a so I'm actually a former designer and project manager, turned board certified health club coach. And let's see, I live in Virginia. So the Blue Ridge Mountains around me here. It's very beautiful. It's hot, though at this time of year hot and humid. I live here with my husband and family and for babies. And you know, honestly, I first up so I'll tell you, you know, for the first few decades of my life, I really got it wrong. As far as health and wellness and all of that I was not not living a healthy life. And I really wasn't until my dad was first diagnosed with a really aggressive cancer that I first became really interested in health and wellness and kind of dove into like what in the world is causing the rise of all the stuff that we're seeing from, you know, disease and cancer and autoimmune stuff. And you know, and I was really obviously devastated. He was the kind of dad that was like a best friend and a coach and a mentor and all of the things and he got diagnosed a 49 with prostate cancer, and they give him a 5050 shot at that at that time of surviving. So I was just really motivated to try to help him feel better, live longer. And that's when I kind of dove into all those things too. And so he and I revamped our diet, diet and lifestyle together. And I firmly believe that really helped prolong his life. And then he ended up passing a few years later. And, you know, so honestly, even though I had made all these really healthy changes, I kind of reverted to some of my old ways of coping with things, you know, which I think is common for a lot of people, right when we, and in today's you know, where the more of the world is right now. You know, it's, you know, when we don't want to feel the feeling that things that we're feeling sometimes we can turn, you know, to other things we can turn to Netflix binging we can turn to like food and alcohol and lots of caffeine and, and workaholism and all these things and workaholism really was my weakness. So, I got back into the habit of just working, you know, working 24/7 I'm a night owl I felt that tendency since I was a kid and so, you know, working to like one and two o'clock in the morning, not exercising consistently not eating consistently. And I you know, I was just really burning the candle at both ends. And I did that for a couple years. And it it caught up to me and I hit you know, burnout, pretty hardcore. And then that contributed to a health collapse. And so, you know, the health clubs for me look like I just couldn't get up for about a year and a half almost, I was almost bedridden. So it was really intense. Lots of different doctors I ended up seeing like, I don't know 25 plus different specialists and nobody really could figure out what to do with me. And it wasn't until I finally worked with somebody suggested, you know that I connect with a health coach that was a functional nutritionist health coach, that, that really changed my life, she had been through a similar health collapse and, and had a similar story. And so she was just 100%. For me and just fiercely on my side. And it was it was really life changing, it's something you don't often see in, in medicine. And so, you know, looking back, you know, I'm just such a firm believer that, you know, everything that we go through, there's always a silver lining, you know, there's purpose in the pain and the hardships and you know, life is tough at times, you know, when we can, you know, we can allow things to crush us, and we or we can allow them to change us. And so it just really motivated me to just switch gears and, and become a health coach just so I can help people, you know, not make some of the mistakes that I made. You know, while I can't take my health gloves back, and I certainly can't bring my dad back. I feel like that there's so much purpose in that of just being able to help people live healthier, happier lives, and it's been so rewarding.

Kalee Boisvert:

I love that. And yeah, I'm very sorry to hear obviously, about the loss of your dad at that, you know, that's a very early age to lose someone to a parent. And but, yeah, the whole experience of that whole journey to bring you to this point. And like you said, like your own health collapse. It's an interesting kind of idea in theory and phrase like, I've never really heard like health collapse. And that's, that's can be the end result of this, like we think, I think we think we can, you know, handle a lot in our bodies probably do for a long time. And then it just like we hit the wall. And that sounds like exactly what, what was the case in what you went through. So,

Unknown:

yeah, burnout. I think there's this misconception to that, like burnout is this event that happens, you know, when looking back, it's really kind of a series of things, and really experts are finding it's all about unmanaged stress, you know, so for me, I was just pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing too hard. And I've seen a lot with, you know, high achievers, higher high performers, you know, often chronic fatigue and things like that consent in and you know, all these other things that can just, you know, just lead to the body just feeling way too overwhelmed over time. And so yeah, unfortunately, it can lead to you keep pushing and pushing and pushing again, lead to a total health collapse.

Kalee Boisvert:

Yeah, that we don't I know, I used to say like, Oh, I do so well under stress. And I can handle so much stress. And like, that's not a badge of honor. And, and you can like it's that compounding effect that will Yeah, result in something later on. But when we're in it, we forget that this can compound to something a lot bigger, like we can just let this go unchecked. So being proactive and having these conversations is so important. So let's talk about then like stress, like why stress matters, how stress affects every area of your life? Like, what would you like to share with listeners just about the topic of stress? I think we just throw it out there. We're always just like, you know, I'm stressed, it's stressed. And I don't really go much further into the details of really, what does that mean?

Unknown:

Yeah. And so, you know, if, first of all, you know, I found the stat interesting when I read it a few months ago, but, you know, stress has been dubbed the health epidemic of the 21st century by the World Health Organization. And so, you know, it's everywhere, right, you know, we can avoid stress, it's pervasive, unfortunately, in the world that we live in, and more so these last couple years, you know, just navigating this constant uncertainty to, and the key with stress is really focusing on what we can control and what we, what we can't control. You know, it's something stress is one of those things that just, you know, it's different person to person, and it affects every area of our lives, you know, it can really permeate everything from our work to our relationships, you know, can really steal our joy and our peace, it can, you know, just worsen our mood and our outlook at times. And like, like I said, In the beginning, it can really just wreak havoc on our health, it's also really intricately linked to our immune system too. And like I said, if left unchecked, long term, that chronic day in and day out, stress can, can really cause chronic inflammation, which is linked to diseases, you know, and things like cancer and that sort of thing. So it's really one of those things that can cause, you know, a chain reaction or a domino effect in our lives. So it's, it starts out subtle, you know, like I was saying, you know, what that unmanaged burnout is they're recognizing is, it's really unmanaged stress, but it leads to disastrous things. And I often kind of the analogy I tell to people in clients to is, you know, think of it like driving a car that's out of alignment. If you've ever done that or known somebody that has, you know, at first if it's just a little bit out of alignment, you can get away with it right? You can keep driving the car And then keep going. But over, over time, if you keep doing that, eventually it's going to create this uneven wear and tear on your tires. And if you keep going, I can kind of they can tear up your suspension over time, it can become, you know, even tougher, you know, to steer the car. And eventually it can lead to, you know, a complete collision or a breakdown too. And so, again, it's just one of those things that it's all about perception, you know, because it's so individualized. And, you know, people can go through the same experience, and one person can have a meltdown, and the other person can look at it as an opportunity for growth too. And so, so much of it, and studies are really showing that to that. It's not, it's not even stress in our lives, but it's our perception of the stress in our lives that can be so damaging to our health.

Kalee Boisvert:

Oh, that's interesting. I love that. That's very, because yeah, everyone handles it so much differently. And, and I think if you've done some of the work, like, if you are working with a coach like yourself and stuff, it's maybe they can have someone you know, help that person perception change, and help them through that. Versus if you're navigating it all on your own, and you don't have those like strategies at all to deal with it, then you might not have the same, like, sort of response, or it might not be as good of a kind of movement out of that. So what are like so forth, it stresses everywhere, it's, you know, we're, we're experiencing a lot of it, what are some signs that we're experiencing too much of it? Or? Yeah, like, it's kind of getting to the cup is full, it's overflowing? Exactly.

Unknown:

Again, you know, it shows up differently for all of us. And so things to kind of, you know, look out for, you know, afford for stress and burnout, you know, or headaches and migraines, increased pain levels, digestive issues, if you're noticing more fatigue, insomnia is a really big one to that. And a lot of people are really struggling with that, you know, this year and the last few years to appetite changes. So often with stress, people can sometimes under eat, but they can also find that they're emotionally eating and craving, like the carbs and the and the sugary. Nobody ever craved celery, you know, the things that are like good for you ever, you know, it's like, oh, I want pizza, I want chips and that sort of thing to you know, and it can, it can increase your blood pressure, you know, it can really increase your risk for type two diabetes. And then mentally behaviorally, you know, we touched on a little bit of it before, but it can show up with things like increased anxiety and depression, feeling overwhelmed, you know, just feeling angry, frustrated, moody, you can have brain fog and called trouble concentrating at times, and just kind of overreacting to things and edginess. And it's, you know, again, it just shows up in all areas of our lives. And to kind of the domino effect that I was talking about before. You know, I see often with clients, you know, it's like, there's, they're super, they're super stressed. So they, you know, they, they might drink more caffeine, you know, and then the caffeine leads to disrupting their sleep. And so their, their sleep is off, you know, so the next day, you know, they're grabbing more caffeine, and then their cravings are, you know, are higher, so they eat something that maybe they feel like they shouldn't have eaten. So they're like, well, what's the point in working out, you know, and then it just kind of causes this snowball effect sometimes, you know, that can kind of lead into all areas of

Kalee Boisvert:

our life. Yeah, I've definitely experienced that. I'm like, yeah, the cravings are never for the salary. It's the pizza. Right chips?

Unknown:

Yeah, so true. I've never craved carrots. No.

Kalee Boisvert:

Um, so what are they, in some ways, like, let's talk then about tips for people, for listeners to you know, lower stress levels, for more balance for pause for, like, what can we do to kind of help mitigate this, like, if it's, it is what it is, it's a reality. And like you said, like, life happens and there's sometimes you know, days it, things happen that are very much out of our control, like in, in my line of work, it's the you know, the markets have been going down since the start of the year, and that's very stressful. And so it's just like, you find that popping up in other areas. Like I feel sometimes like when my daughter's you know, asking for things or doing her thing and you're like a little short with her. It's just like, oh, like you're just kind of more on edge. And so it's what can we do, I guess then to help because it's there's going to be things that that's out of my control. It's, it is a fact that it's happening, but yeah, like how can we how can we mitigate manage, get through the inevitable stress of life and day to day?

Unknown:

Yeah, all for so often, it's kind of looking at it through a different lens, you know, and sometimes it's just taking a step back and looking at the situation through fresh eyes. or even just walking away sometimes too. But you know, what is asking yourself, you know, what, what's the silver lining in this? What's what can I learn from this? What's the gift in this challenge, and that can kind of shift our, again, the perception of stress, because it's not the stressors in our lives, but are the perception of them that can be so damaging to, you know, to our mental and physical health and our peace to. But from a practical standpoint, the quickest and simplest thing that you can do when you're feeling stressed, is really, just to breathe, breathe deeply, because often when we're stressed, we're shallow breathing, which of course, can lead us to feel more stressed, right, it can create this snowball effect, too. And so it's one of the quickest ways to regulate our nervous system, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is that rest and digest system, as opposed to the fight or flight that that often, you know, our bodies, unfortunately, our operating in, in the in the day to day stress, so can just be just breathing deeply, you know, in and out for just a few minutes, I have clients that have found it really helpful to kind of put their hand on their heart or focus on you know, just a gratitude during that time to just to kind of shift their mindset of someone or something that they're grateful for, or even a pet, I mean, every place that you love, maybe it's the beach or the lake, you know, and just focusing on that for a few minutes, but it's very effective in regulating our nervous system. And guided meditations can be really, really helpful to as well. And there's so many, you know, there's very few people that I know, that are, like, yogi's, that can just sit in a room and try to meditate. It's, it's, it takes a lot of discipline. So just following along with that guided quick meditation on and maybe there's so many these days, I mean, anywhere from asleep, meditation, to a productivity meditation to forgiveness, I mean, there's just there's a million different things and so many great apps out there like calm and headspace and, and simple habit and Insight Timer, there's, there's a bunch, so those can be really helpful. And again, they're short and sweet, you can even do them in the car, you know, if you've got your phone plugged in to the Bluetooth, and you're stuck in traffic, and that can be a great time to, to, you know, just practice some, some breathing or some meditation movement, and just making movement, a daily habit is a wonderful, well studied way to reduce your stress, you know, and help you sleep better to, and boost in all those great, feel good, you know, dopamine and serotonin hormones and all of that too. And so it doesn't have to be, you know, high intensity workouts, it could literally just be, you know, walking around the block, it could be, you know, walking up and down your stairs a few times. It's all movement, I mean, studies have really shown that just just getting up period, because so many of us are, you know, hunched over our desks for most of the day. And that has now been dubbed kind of the new smoking with, with health, that just getting up period, it can be really beneficial. But it's obviously helpful to find, you know, workouts and things that you enjoy. So, you know, for those listening, it could be, it could be anything from, you know, string training, to, to dance cardio to Pilates, barre yoga, I mean, whatever, whatever you enjoy to, and it can be fun to have different things that you enjoy to kind of change things up. But the key really is just to move your body in some form daily, that's really helpful for lowering stress levels. One thing that I found really helpful is having a strong morning routine, just to kind of help set the tone for your day. Because you know, we've all been there Right? When you wake up late or something happens. And it's just like a rat race to get out the door and it's crazy. It's and you're of course your body's responding like you're being like it's it's acting the way it should, you know, like you're being chased by a you know, a saber toothed Tiger. And so that fight or flight is kicking in and then the whole rest of the day it just feels you know, a mess. And so I think just having some sort of routine in the morning just to kind of pause and be strategic with your day instead of reactive and it doesn't have to be like two hours before the kids get up it can be 20 minutes, 10 minutes, you know, whatever. Whatever you have time for and it could just be just you know, again to breathe it could be to maybe it's to read something inspiring it could be get a little stretching ends and some exercise in and again just kind of being being a strategic with your day and deciding you know, what are those glass balls and rubber balls and that sort of thing too. And so that's that can be that can be a just a game changer because again, it sets the tone for the whole day to sleep is a big one. You know, I always tell people that if you want to change your life and feel your best inside and out, it really starts with sleep sleep is you know, just the, this the superhero to all of that and you know, we spend a third of our Live sleeping. And so it's, it's something that is, is so crucial and important. And I think there's this misconception in that kind of, you know, high achiever, hustle society that you know sleeps a waste of time, and it's gotten a bad rap. Since the industrial revolutions, we've all heard these phrases like you snooze, you lose, you know, or I'll sleep when I'm dead, and that sort of thing, too. But what a lot of people don't realize is that even when we're sleeping, I mean, the brain is lighting up in certain areas, it's just as active as when we're awake. And so it's doing really cool stuff, where it's categorizing, and consolidating memories, you know, it's sometimes solving problems, that's where you've heard that whole toddler term, you know, sleep on it, the brain, you know, can be thinking through things, you know, while we're asleep, it's detoxing proteins that are linked to cognitive diseases, it's forming new neural pathways, lowering cortisol, which is really important for for stress having lower cortisol. So it's really aiming sleep experts recommend aiming for getting, you know, somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and everybody's sweet spots different. So it's helpful to kind of assess, you know, what your sweet spot number is, where do you thrive the best, and it's going to, it's going to be different for everybody. So when, you know, if you What number do you feel the best the next day where you you feel energized, you feel alert. And sometimes it'll change to during seasons, you know, sometimes you'll find you need a little bit more sleep, you know, if before you're coming down with something or more stressful season, and that's okay to give yourself that grace. And that too, and then really having a consistent bedtime routine that that relaxes you and unwinds you, one of the My Favorite sleep experts that I like to follow is Dr. Matthew Walker. And he talks about sleep like being in like landing a plane, you know, and so you never, you know, if you've been on a plane, you know, you don't just nosedive and try to aim for the runway, and not matter if you want to make it make it out of the plane alive. And so sleep is very much the same thing where, you know, we've got to have a routine, just like kids need a routine, you can't just like throw them in bed and say good luck. You know, there's this there's bad time and there's storytime and there's this whole, whatever routine and we need that same routine as adults to kind of signal to our body like, hey, it's time, it's time to go to bed, you know, and so just scrolling and reading the news, you know, jumping into bed or being in out emails or responding to Slack messages or whatever you're doing right before bed, have you tried to do that and jump into bed just to overstimulating. So finding something that's, you know, relaxing for you, whether it's just reading a book or whatever, I'm trying to think but else, there's so many so many different, I think, strong techniques to at rest is another big one. And it's something that's I've found is it's hard, if you are a doer, and you're a high achiever, it feels so counterproductive. But you know, there's this society that we now live in, you know, that's always on always connected, has really increased our stress levels. And so it's, it's important now more than ever to just schedule in those little pockets of time for downtime and rest, and pauses throughout the day and inform, you know, just time to be able to fill your cup and to do things that recharges your batteries, it's that again, back to that whole plane analogy. They know that that's why they tell us when you're on a plane, you know, put on your oxygen mask first. Because if you don't, you're gonna pass out and you're not going to be any help to anyone else around you. And so, you know, we can't pour out and pour out and pour out to people and our careers and, and others around us without plugging back in, you know, on recharging and doing that long term will cause you know, that chronic stress and can lead to, to burnout too. And then I guess Lastly, the one I would say is, you know, creating strong work life boundaries. And gosh, this key now more than ever, with so many people still working from home, and you know, or working from, you know, a hybrid model, it's, you know, it's hard because you feel like you can't get away from work and the work is always there. And there's there's no just action of like leaving a building and then being able to walk away from that too. And so it's so crucial to set healthy boundaries around work and around home, you know, in creating designated spaces for your work environment. Definitely not in the bedroom, you know, want to have your work set up in there. You know, and and when you're done with work be done with work too. And, you know, turn it off, unplug, you know, delete things from your phone if you need to. And just also being mindful to have setting boundaries around, you know, the news on social right now, because it's Fortunately, you know, most of the news is doom and gloom, even though there's amazing things happening in the world all the time, but that's kind of clickbait marketing, you know, so Just being mindful of kind of what you're consuming and what what you're allowing, you know, to pour into you.

Kalee Boisvert:

Yeah, I love that tip, because there's so much so much negativity and you just go on the spiral, and then you just feel terrible after you read all about it. And you're like, Why do I feel so bad?

Unknown:

Yeah. And it's, yeah, there's studies that have been done to that. So you know, you can literally measure the stress response to through heart rate variability of, you know, before reading the news, or watching the news, and then after, and same with blood pressure, you know, it goes up to for after just a few minutes of that, unfortunately. And so it's all things in moderation to it, just being mindful of again, you know, not not consuming too much of that, or I think bookends, I like to not start my day with, there's the the doom and gloom, like, first thing and then I know not to end my day on, on the doom and gloom thing, either.

Kalee Boisvert:

Yeah, that's a great tip. Absolutely. And, you know, getting into like, I guess the specifics was sleep like that, because it is such an important one. Any other tips you have, like, I feel like the idea of like, falling asleep is always troubling for me. Like it's I struggle with that, and staying asleep like my daughter, she can sleep through like a tornado, I always like laugh and tell her that I'm like, IV like the house, like could be blowing away. And you wouldn't even wake up for notice that we're no longer in the same spot, like, and I'm just like, Man, I wish I could sleep. Like to that level and sleepiness that she has been waking up constantly through the night and things like that. So any more kind of tips and ideas for for sleep for people knowing that it's so important for kind of whole functioning and then functioning at our best?

Unknown:

Yeah, definitely, well, we hit on a couple. So first, you know, figure out what your sleep sweet spot is, you know, between that nine and seven hours, know your number, and then try to aim for that most nights. Making, you know, sleep a priority is really important too. And then we talked about the whole kind of bedtime routine and sleep like landing a plane thinking of it from that lens. And really, again, I found with a lot of clients that are high achievers, they have to first kind of change their mindset to seeing sleep as an asset. You know, like, that's not a waste of time, like this is this is doing, you know, life saving things are for your body while you were sleeping. And it's crucial. And so changing that mindset is really helpful too. And you know, sticking to a schedule, most people find that they thrive on a consistent waking and sleep second bedroom, in a bedtime cycle. And so even on the weekends, it can be helpful to try to not go too far off from kind of what you would naturally, you know, go to bed at bedtime and waking to because it really supports the body's natural circadian rhythm. And again, the body likes to thrive on, you know, on circadian rhythms, and just having a regular kind of cycle to one tip that's, that's really helpful for a lot of people too, is just getting some early sunlight. And exposure in the morning can help to regulate your circadian rhythm too. And sleep cycles. And so earlier, the better that could be just like if you're drinking coffee, or whatever, in the morning, just sit outside for five minutes, 10 minutes, no sunglasses, you know, so that the light can, can you know, get into your eyes, obviously not looking at the sun, but just looking out, you know, at whatever you're looking at doesn't matter if it's sunny or overcast that can help to to regulate the your circadian rhythm to and then of course, optimizing your bedroom for sleep. So it needs to be dark, it needs to be quiet, and it needs to be cool. And so this one always surprises people, when I tell them about them. The National Sleep Foundation actually recommends that your bedroom be be somewhere between 60 and 7867 degrees Fahrenheit, and they the sweet spot for them is actually 60x 6465. So it's the bedroom really needs to be cool too. And again, if you are light sensitive, you know, that can be a factor for people there was I can't remember which study I was reading earlier in the year. But there was a study that was done recently that was talking about just the tiny little amounts of light in a bedroom, like from you know, a fan that's on or a cell phone or an alarm clock, you know, or just faint light, maybe through the curtains and that sort of thing, depending on your sensitivity that could be enough to completely disrupt your sleep. So some people find that they might need, you know, a sleep mask, or they may they may need to block some of those things in the room so that that ambient light isn't affecting them and disrupting things too. before bedtime. Again, we were talking kind of about the routine. And you know, that starts really with limiting blue light devices before bed, you know, So studies have shown They suppress our natural melatonin production at night. And, you know, that's looking at, you know, our phones or iPads, our laptops, but even the overhead lights too, that you have on in your house that can mimic sunlight. And so it can be very helpful to just kind of dim them a couple hours before bed. Because if if they're bright, and if you're looking at devices, it actually signals to the body like, hey, it's not time to go to bed right now. And so it has this whole unfortunate opposite effect, again, of suppressing your melatonin. So, you know, depending on sensitivity, X sleep experts recommend, you know, a couple hours before bed, just kind of, you know, unplugging from those, and then and then Dimming the lights just to kind of help set the tone for, again, signaling to the body, you know, hey, it's time to start slowing my role and heading towards, you know, bedtime, and that sort of thing, too. This one is a big one that I see often from clients, and that's limiting caffeine. And so most experts just tell it will tell you to limit caffeine to some around noon to two depending on your sensitivity. But there's been studies that have been done that have been really surprising that if you drink say coffee at noon, have a quarter of it is still in your system at midnight, right and which is pretty wild, because no one would drink like a fourth of a cup of coffee at midnight and try to go to bed or most people, most people won't. Yeah, so again, depending on your sensitivity, you may find that you need to really cut it back to to like 10 or 11am. For me, I know I 10 is kind of my sweet spot. So if I go much longer beyond that, I'll notice that it'll really mess up my sleep too. And, and then that will cause that chain reaction of aggravating My stress levels, disrupting my mood, you know, all of the things too. And then two others that a lot of people don't always know is that eating, eating too late at night can disrupt your sleep too. And so the body, the body needs a couple of hours to digest our food. And when it's digesting, it raises kind of the core body temperature. And so again, if we get too hot, when we're sleeping, it's hard to go to sleep, it's so much easier to to go to sleep when we're cool. So, you know, just being mindful to not eat anything super heavy, like a late dinner, you know, a couple of hours before bed. And then also just kind of be mindful of alcohol, I'm not somebody that's, you know, this will say like, take all the fun out and don't you know, don't do you know, don't drink and don't drink caffeine and all the things too, because that's that's not life and life is meant to be enjoyed. But, you know, there's that misperception that alcohol is a sleep aid. And it's, it's really not it's, it can just really decrease our, the REM and the restorative sleep that you're really after. And it can wake you up later at night. So you might fall asleep quicker, but it can wake you up later because either you're hot, or it's just your liver kind of processing things in the middle of the night, too. So those are, those are my kind of my top sleep tips. You know, your sleep number I know we did, I didn't get a chance to ask you mine is more like eight, sometimes even eight and a half hours.

Kalee Boisvert:

I'd say mine's on the high end. I feel like I need a lot of sleep. It's just a matter of like actually getting it and getting it like solidly through the night is where I struggle. But you're at like I'm highly sensitive to caffeine. And I need to be more mindful of when I'm cutting that off for the day. And then eating late at night. Sometimes I'm like, well, I'll just have a little snack before bed. So making sure that I'm more mindful of that.

Unknown:

Yeah, well, little snacks, okay. And some people find that they need that just to kind of balance blood sugar and things like that, that can wake you up to in the middle of the night, if that crashes, but just not having like, you know, like a steak and like vegetables and rice and you wouldn't want to have this big heavy meal and then God go to sleep because you'll you'll feel uncomfortable laying there. Yeah, yeah,

Kalee Boisvert:

it's not a good mix. No, those are great tips. I love that. And one thing you said earlier, just to go back to with stress, like that, I think was so important is the idea of like focusing, it's like stressing that constant certainty you said, and then the differentiating between what we can control what we can't control, like any more commentary on that, like, I felt like, there's so much to that you're right like that. When we do break down and differentiate between the two. It's so helpful, because there's so much that is out of our control that we're, we're so highly stressed about. And at the end of the day, it's like it's something you might not be able to even do anything about.

Unknown:

Yeah, you know, I was talking to a therapist friend of mine, like a couple years ago, it was kind of at the beginning of COVID and she like just shared with me this like visual that stuck with me. But she was she was talking about how she was telling her clients like you need to think about things that you can try in terms of like a hula hoop, if you've ever tried to hula, I suck a hula hooping, like I've tried, but I'm not very good at it. But I get the concept of it. And she's like, really inlife, the only thing we can really focus on is what is in our hula hoop, right? You know, it's us, it's our reactions or mindset, you know, our own bodies, but unfortunately, you can't, you can't control kids, you can't control bounces, bosses and co workers and, you know, and partners. Just, it doesn't work that way. So no, it's and, and life happens at times, and there's stuff that, you know, there's the curveballs, that's just life, you know, there's the detours and the curveballs and the the roadblocks and the stuff that pop up that, you know, we're not expecting, but again, it's a matter of kind of stepping back. So getting stuck in traffic, you know, like the earlier example, you know, we can, you can sit there and have a meltdown and have this, you know, terrible stress response in your body that's going to send this cascade of, you know, of chemicals that are harmful throughout your system, and it will, raising your blood pressure and doing all the things that it's going to be doing, it's going to be aggravating your insulin sensitivity, I mean, this again, thinking of it through this lens of, do I really want this whole reaction right now, over the traffic, it is what it is, you know, or, you know, what can I What can I control in this situation? Well, I can call my mom, I haven't talked to her in a while, and I, you know, she's, she's been after me, you know, and I need to go, my mom, or I, you know, I could sit here and do a meditation, or I could listen to, you know, my favorite wealth, and, you know, and health podcast, you know, and you know, and multitask or whatever. And so it's just, it's again, I think it's, it's really just assessing situations individually, and kind of, again, thinking of it from that hula hoop lens of like, what can I work on to actually control the situation? Okay, well, the car can go anywhere, there's nowhere to go. So what can I do to regulate my body and make use of my time without having a toxic stress response? In my body? Absolutely. I was, like, in

Kalee Boisvert:

a rush to my office the other day, and I was at the parking meter, and I'm pushing the buttons. And it was like, literally moving in slow motion. I'm like, Well, what is going on? And then I just kind of stopped and I'm like, I'm just gonna stand here and take a breath and let it do its thing. Because obviously, someone's trying to tell me, you know, this is a moment for pause for me. So again, it was that, okay, I'm just gonna be patient and breathe through it. And that's all I can do. And maybe that's, you know, that what I needed to do is stop and pause and not be in like you said, the rat race where you feel like you're Go, go go, and it was fine. Like, then I didn't, it just kind of feels funny that like you, then you're just like, oh, humerus, and you just wait it out. And you're not as yeah all riled up about it, and what the heck's going on, and like, pushing the buttons and stuff like that, I'm just gonna breathe here. And obviously, that's what that's signaling is that I just needed some time to breathe, and I'll just let it do its thing at its pace and waded out. And so there's just yeah, that different way of kind of seeing things that are out of our control in it. And it is really powerful, how it can shift. That whole, like you said, that whole reaction that couldn't happen if we don't,

Unknown:

yeah, and then it was me when I'm when my sleep is off. I you know, it's hard to manage those sort of things, you know, that when the when the curveballs happen on those days, that you're sleep deprived, it's just so much harder to navigate, because you're grouchy and you don't feel good, and it's harder to regulate your, you know, your, your hunger is all dysregulated to so you're, again, you're wanting all the things and it's just, you know, it's, it can be difficult to so it, it really goes back to that sleep, and then just looking at it through a lens of okay, what can I learn through the situation? What's the gift in the challenge? Or what, what else can I do right now, as I'm waiting for this, you know, a parking meter that I want to rip out of the pole and throw across the parking lot? You know, well not do that. But what can I do instead? We've all been there. Yeah, sure.

Kalee Boisvert:

Absolutely. I love it. So how can people? Like how do people know when you know, maybe there it is time to kind of seek some additional help? And, and I guess, with that, too, you know, how can people reach out to you find you to have this, you know, take this conversation further?

Unknown:

Yeah. And so if you know, people are listening, that are just struggling with kind of balancing stress or want to want to get better sleep. That's something that working with a health coach like me can really help help you to just create some sticky, sustainable long term habit change, you know, and it's so helpful just to have that accountability, to be able to have somebody to do it with you and go on the journey with you and just know that you're not alone. That can be absolutely invaluable. But if you notice that, you know, your mental health symptoms are really changing, you know, and your anxiety is super high. You know, you're really depressed you are having panic attacks, sign other signals and signs would be, you know, losing interest in things maybe that you normally enjoy, or that you used to enjoy, and having trouble get out of bed, you know, and some of the really severe physical symptoms we were talking about earlier. You know, it's some, it's important to consider talking to your doctor therapists to and just to know that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, they're all connected, it's been obviously a huge wave of just acknowledgement of that the last two years, as, you know, the mental health crisis has has just really escalated to and people realizing that, you know, if you had a sprained ankle, you know, you wouldn't be expected to, you know, walk up, you know, 10 flights of stairs, at your financial office, you know, that would not be doable, but you know, that, that we we need to be gentler with ourselves to mentally and if we're, you know, it's okay to not be okay to this. The cool thing is, there's so many virtual healthcare companies that have popped up right now that if you know, somebody wants to explore therapy, they can do it in the privacy of their home, too, which is, which is really awesome. And so if anybody wants to connect with me, of course, you can connect on my health coaching website at April lichens.com. I'm on Instagram, as well, my handles a little different. It's called glow be lovely. I'm definitely on LinkedIn. So you can hit me up on there, too. I have a brand new free resource for listeners called 15 ways to say goodbye to chronic stress with all my best tips, a lot of the stuff that we talked about to today and more. So if you didn't take notes, no worries, I got you covered. So you can snag that on on my website, too. But if, like I said, If anyone is feeling a little stuck with their health, or wrestling with these sorts of things, you know, feel free to reach out or schedule a discovery call with me too. I'm always happy to help. And if anything resonated just say hi, it's always good to hear from listeners and hear what you enjoyed. You enjoyed listening to and just to connect. It's and thank you so much for having me on the show. It was it was such a good conversation. And, you know, these are big topics that are just that have been, there's been a lot of people struggling with them the last couple of years too. So just know that you're listening, and you've been wrestling with some of these things. You're not alone. It's a lot of them are common. And I know sometimes it feels like things can feel so out of control. But then the beauty is there's so much within our control that we that we can do, if we just think about it in terms of that, who and what's within our power.

Kalee Boisvert:

Yeah, yeah, and even little changes and shifts in these tips like you, you gave so many great tips that even incorporating one or two of these people are going to probably see the change that the outcome of that if they are able to kind of go hmm, I haven't tried that. Let me see if that works. And so that's why I love to there was a lot of tips that and I'll make sure to include in the show notes as well, all the links and the freebie that you alluded to as well which has even more but yeah, I think this conversation again was so timely so important. And and that reminder of people that you can reach out that that's important that you're not alone and and it's such a good investment in yourself like it's it's hard to put a price tag on investing in yourself and your well being because the return on that it's hard to measure me as financial people who like to try to measure numbers and stuff and like you can't measure that return.

Unknown:

Yeah, and your health is wealth and you know, from someone who's had a health collapse, you know, and, and a lot of other things going right in my life aside from that, if you don't have your health you I mean, it doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank, or you know, how big your houses are all that what you've achieved and all these other things, you know, it can really just strip away everything. So it's so important. Absolutely. Well, thank

Kalee Boisvert:

you so much April for being with us today. That was such a great conversation. I really appreciate your time your expertise sharing that. And thank you everyone for listening in to this episode. And I hope to catch you on next week's episode. So Good bye for now.

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