Mental health and sleep disorder seem to be at the top of many people’s challenges in the meeting and hospitality industry. These were two of the topics focused on by Dr. Taunya Kiefer during her talk, Mind & Body Wellness: Balancing it all in the “New Norm” at a recent PCMA Gulf States Chapter roundtable.
With the pandemic, the isolation, weight gain, financial concerns, etc., Dr. Kiefer asked the audience to think of the areas that are creating strain on their mental health and focus on what areas they would want to improve on.
“So, the goal is to achieve a little bit of a better balance,” Dr. Kiefer explained. “Through all of this, I tell all my patients, you have to give yourself grace and stop beating yourself up for not eating healthy or not being able to workout or having to focus more on raising your children because they don’t have daycare anymore. And then remember that certain phases of life, they’re just phases and they will improve over time. You have to learn to go with the flow on those things.”
Dr. Kiefer said you need to slowly add back in healthy habits that you want to have in your future. She stressed to ease back into these rather than drastic huge changes.
Poor sleep habits tend to add to stress and complicate most every other aspect of your mental health, Dr. Kiefer said. She says it becomes a vicious cycle where the mental health causes poor sleep which in turn perpetuates the mental health issue.
Here are some ideas for better sleep Dr. Kiefer offered:
- Only go to bed when sleepy
- Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex: DO NOT read, watch television, or look at your phone
- Remove the clock, cell phone, or wristwatch from your bedroom altogether: Take away the worrying about what time it is
- If you can’t fall asleep, get up and go to another room until you’re sleepy again
- Try to wake up at the same time every morning
- Avoid naps
- If you don’t get a good night sleep, try to let it go. Every night is a new opportunity for better habits and better sleep
- Melatonin: 3-5mg 30-60 min before bed nightly
“If you are completely struggling and only are getting a couple of hours of sleep a night, then maybe you should go cold turkey and try all of these at once,” Dr. Kiefer said. “Versus if it’s just a couple of nights a week that you struggle with, then maybe try to pick one or two of these and try them out and see if you like them.”