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How To Have A Holiday To Any Exotic Destination Even If You Can’t Afford It

How To Have A Holiday To Any Exotic Destination Even If You Can’t Afford It

The warm breeze awakes you. It tastes like salt. Ah, the beautiful smell of the ocean. You open your eyes as you yawn and stretch. It feels so good. The first thing you see is the mesmerizing turquoise waters all around your cozy bungalow. White drapes dance in the warm wind, huge pillows and comfy sofas surround you. There’s also your own private pool inside the bungalow and a net around it for you to sunbathe on.

holiday of your dreams

    Ah, the Maldives. You could live here forever.

    A nasty mosquito lands on your face and starts poking you. Darn, is it possible this little pest is here in this paradise just to harass you? You try to kill it, and accidentally slap yourself in the face.

    Bang!

    Suddenly, you’re at home, lying in your bed. There is no bungalow, no ocean, only your room. It was that dream again! It’s summer, and you’ll spend it like you always do – at home. You can’t afford some fancy holiday. Still, how awesome would it be if you could get yourself a plane ticket to Maldives, and book an amazing bungalow in the turquoise sea for 20 days? That would be the life of your dreams.

    Do you have these dreams when summer starts? Do you fantasize about some exotic destination, where you’ll have the best holiday of your life, but you return to reality with a slap to your face?

    Life doesn’t have to be that unfair.

    Here at LifeHack, we’re committed to making your life better, as well as making you a better person, helping you achieve your goals and live a happy, fulfilling life. Don’t you agree that you deserve to go to Maldives [or insert name of any other exotic location here] and enjoy it like you’ve never enjoyed anything before?

    Of course, you do.

    Here’s the thing: we all do. We all deserve to live the best possible lives we can, and nobody should stop us from getting what we want. Unfortunately, some of us are more lucky to be born wealthier than others. These people can enjoy life without making a significant effort, while others have to make it happen.

    That’s why we’re here today. I’m here to tell you it is possible.

    You only have to decide on a firm plan, and then stick to it. It doesn’t have to be complicated either. It could be a simple, three-step program that will make a dream of fantastic holiday anywhere in the world a reality. When you execute this plan to the point, everything is reachable.

    Bora Bora? New Zealand? Hawaii? Maldives? They’re all achievable.

    Here’s how to do it.

    Step 1: Make a Rock-Solid Decision

    holiday of your dreams - make a decision

      To reach something you dream about, you have to be honest and determined. You don’t have the budget for these destinations, but this doesn’t mean you can’t accumulate it. The important thing is to make a decision. This decision will be your guideline and your driving force in the months to come.

      Trust me, you’ll need it. This plan is simple, but on the other hand, it’s difficult. It will take time and effort. Depending on the location of your dreams and your situation, it might take you a whole year or more to reach it.

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      Sound daunting?

      Let me tell you a universal truth: nothing worth having in life isn’t won or reached without effort. That’s why people who are willing to invest time and effort succeed in life.

      Pick your destination, find some phenomenal image of it, print it out, and put it somewhere where you’ll see it every day. This reminder will help you stay on the right path.

      Step 2: Make a Plan

      Not having a plan is like planning to fail.

      When you’ve picked your destination, you have to invest time in planning out three different segments of your goal:

      1. How to get there as cheap as possible.
      2. Determine the budget.
      3. How to accumulate the budget.

      Getting there cheap

      For finding your perfect destination the best possible way, you need to lay some groundwork. There are a ton of resources online that can help you get information about your destination, and find the best possible deals for a holiday. Many sites provide services and info for booking vacation packages (air tickets, rooms, and renting a vehicle) that are pretty useful.

      Sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, and Last Minute Travel will provide you with thorough information and details about prices, packages, services, and even let you create your own customized package for the destination.

      Creating an account on those services is easy, but it takes time to analyze and evaluate offers from them. Still, it’s worth doing since you’ll have a set of options for your vacation and have an insight on the ground expenses of your dreamy vacation.

      Use Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet that will contain all the data you gather for your destination and possible deals that are available for your holiday. Here’s a small example, using the sites I’ve mentioned:

      Google Spreadsheet example

        You have to be persistent, and invest time to compare deals because many businesses have different contracts with property owners, and might offer different promotions or discounts. You have dozens of sites at your disposal, like AirbnbFlipKeyHomeAway, and similar where you can rent a whole home for yourself and create your own holiday the way you want it. Bonus: It will usually be cheaper than a hotel room.

        For example, renting a fabulous bungalow at Maldives for a week might cost you the same amount (or even more) for which you can have a whole home or apartment in the mainland for a month. You might be above the sea, but you can get different advantages, like staying twice as long for the price. It’s totally up to you.

        This process is even fun when you design your perfect holiday without having to worry if something is expensive or unavailable. This is the part when you concentrate on your needs and your needs only. One month in a house in Maldives or a private bungalow above the sea for 20 days? Your call.

        Determining the budget

        When you’ve decided where you’ll stay and for how long, and browsed through the various possibilities and deals, you have a starting point for determining the budget. Next, you have to examine the following details:

        • The costs
        • Your lifestyle
        • Leisure

        For example, a 20-day stay at Sunset Hill Studio at Bora Bora  (June 10-30, 2017) will cost you $2676.90 (service fees included). I’ve excluded the all-inclusive deals because they cost up to $80K for 20 days.

        Let’s say you’re traveling from New Your, looking for flights with Expedia. An average price for a return trip NYC – BB – NYC during this year is around $3127. Sites don’t allow booking a year in advance, so this is a rough estimate of how much it will cost you (multiple stops included – LAX, PPT).

        Assuming that the prices will grow by 30% (following the pricing trends for the last few years), you can expect 20% rise in the period up to your arrival, so it would be good to set $3000 – 3500 aside for the flight (two persons) and expenses.

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        holiday of your dreams - bora bora

          Your budget should include 3 – 4 meals a day, some beverages, and some budget for fun activities. Based on Business Insider’s research and graphic from 2015, the average cost of living in the US ranges from $2,117 – $3,632 per month. Depending on your location and lifestyle, let’s presume that an average cost of living for a whole month will be ~$2,874.5.

          Considering your holiday will last for 20 days, you can deduct one-third from the projected amount. Adding the average cost of living in French Polynesia to the calculation, you’ll get to the estimated expenses of $2400 for a comfortable holiday of 20 days in Bora Bora. Besides the basics, this amount will cover expenses exploring the location on excursions, as well as having a good time at bars, clubs, etc.

          Let’s sum up the projected expenses now:

          • Accommodation: ~$2640
          • Flight & Transportation: ~$3500
          • Lifestyle & Leisure: ~$2450
          • Sum: $8590

          This is the estimated price for the holiday of your dreams at Bora Bora. Looks intimidating, huh? Well, you can’t expect to have a holiday of your dreams without a high cost. Remember the old saying from the segment above? Nothing worth having can’t be obtained without effort, so that’s what we’re going to tackle next.

          Accumulating the budget

          For you to get the projected amount of money for the holiday of your dreams, you’ll need to create a serious saving plan. For our example, getting ~$8600 will take some serious effort if you end with $250-300 left from your salary (after costs of living, tax, bills, and everything).

          To be precise, with this amount of money left it will take you 34 months of saving to reach your goal.

          That’s right! It will take nearly three years, if you save $250 every month. It will be even worse if you end with less every month. Credit cards, loans, bills, and fees all add up to make you miserable and unwilling to even think about the holiday in an exotic location, not to mention saving for it. How do you deal with this?

          holiday of your dreams - bora bora bungalows

            There are two ways of accumulating money for the holiday: saving money or earning more. Depending on your situation (your occupation, energy,and money involved) you should develop a plan that utilizes both saving and making more money if possible.

            Heads up: Some might suggest getting a bank loan and paying it off in time so you can enjoy first and pay later. I’m against this approach, simply because there is no good loan. Banks won’t give us loans if there isn’t something in it for them. No matter how low the rates are, in the end, you’re still paying much more to get the desired sum from the bank. Please stay away from credits and loans.

            Saving money

            First and foremost, you need to analyze your current budget, cut on expenses, and get analytical. First, you need to review your earnings and your expenses. Start to examine your life for one month, just by noting how much you’re spending every day. There are smartphone apps that will help here. Monefy is one of the best (get it on iOS here and Android here).

            monefy
              via monefy.me

              This habit alone will drastically change your life. When you complete the whole month of noting your expenses, you’ll have the analytical data that will display your way of spending money. Then, it’s time to start adjusting your habits and amounts you spend for the higher purpose.

              Cutting expenses

              When you start changing and thinking about how to cut your costs, you’ll be amazed how much you can actually save when you pay attention and have an economical way of thinking. For example, when you put some effort and research into it, you can even cut your spending by $400 a month. Imagine adding that to the sum of $250 I mentioned before. Your dream holiday seems much closer now, don’t they?

              holiday of your dreams - cut the expenses

                There are so many surprising ways to cut your spending. You’d be surprised how easy you can grow your holiday resources. Besides the 98 ways from the previous link, here are a bonus 30 ways to cut your expenses. Following all of these tips, you can most certainly master the way you spend money on everyday life.

                Besides the various expense-cutting methods, there are even more ways to save money. You can simply set some money aside as soon as your salary arrives, and stash it into your holiday savings account. Something like 1-2% won’t be a big hit, but it will add up eventually. You can save in hundreds of ways, all it takes is some thinking outside the box.

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                Earn money on the side

                To attain the money you need for your special holiday, you can get savvy and cash in on numerous ways. First and foremost, consider an extra job in your spare time. Try to find a gig that will add to the budget, but won’t wear you down.

                There are a ton of ideas on how to make money on the side with some easy gigs, that won’t take too much of your time, but will add to the holiday budget. Both online and offline opportunities are everywhere; you just need to look for them.

                It’s all up to you to have it in a way that it won’t drastically affect your lifestyle, yet still contribute to your holiday significantly. For example, someone will walk dogs from the neighborhood, while someone else will watch ads or fill surveys online to get additional money in their pare time.

                Selling unnecessary items from the garage or even your closet can also boost the budget significantly. The same goes for using your skills, both online and offline. You can teach something you’re good at or be a hired professional – freelancer style. Online ways of making money could be really meaningful on your path of preparing.

                Get coupon-crazy

                You might not know it by now, but here it is: coupons make life easy, getting you closer to your goal much faster. They both save and earn you money, thus making the best possible contribution to your holiday budget.

                holiday of your dreams - get coupon crazy

                  Couponing can get boring, but it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s important to have timing and research in mind. Be patient and you can save hundreds of dollars. It’s important to stack on resources. Sites like ChameleonJohnCoupons.com, Groupon, and RetailMeNot are your best friends when you’re getting into the coupon world. Some amazing results can be achieved if you time your actions and effort.

                  Use credit cards to gain benefits

                  Start paying for everything with a credit card that gives you points for gas, air miles, discount points, or returns the money. Adding those resources into the budget for your vacation can add up significantly, especially with credit cards that offer big benefits programs for the loyal customers.

                  wallet-908569_1920

                    Create a savings account

                    When you’re gathering resources for the holiday of your dreams, you can be extra-savvy and put all that money into one high-yield online savings account. Your money will make money, and it will add up. A bonus feature of this method is that you won’t be able to spend your savings until the compounding period is over.

                    You might be wondering: Why is this a bonus feature?

                    With time passing, many people can get weak especially when the account for the holiday has grown significantly (reaching around 70-80% of the targeted sum). In our case, that would be around $6900, which can make you want to splurge on the latest deal for a new car or a huge 3D TV.

                    When you know the funds are “locked” in the savings account, you won’t fall for all the temptations we get bombarded with every day on TV and billboards. This tip is both money-saving, and budget-growing.

                    Be creative

                    Creativity is your great ally. For example, you can babysit while you’re stacking and printing coupons. You could translate some foreign languages in your spare time while you’re on your side-job. Combining the gigs and doing side-jobs will get you closer to your goal faster.

                    Many people earn on the side from multiple gigs doing them either simultaneously, or with the help on the side. When you have a goal in mind, and you’re focused, you can achieve something that you never thought was possible.

                    Step 3: Getting it done

                    Now it’s time to start saving and working to reach your goal. The road won’t be easy or short, but your end-goal should be your focus and your reason. Some go through this process easier – some don’t.

                    The thing is, if you are doing this for the first time, it will be really tough. However, it will be slightly easier each following time.

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                    Remember to be analytical

                    During your process of accumulating the budget for the perfect holiday, keep everything on paper, and start slowly. If you’re a beginner in being frugal and saving, you’ll have to adjust your life bit by bit to enter the “Ultra Money-Saving Mode.”

                    Try to get a small gig aside from your main job, and use one of the expense-cutting techniques. When you get comfortable doing that, go one step forward and improve your frugality. Analyze your time and the effort you’re making with what results you get. Don’t be afraid to stop with one thing and switch to another if you get a better option.

                    euro-870757_1920

                      Maybe a big garage sale will boost your budget significantly, or maybe you’ll find yourself very comfortable and fulfilled working online. It all depends on your lifestyle and affinities. It’s important to try this tactic for at least a week and see what results it actually brings.

                      The Monefy app I mentioned above will be your great friend, as well as Google Sheets. You can track everything you’ve done and how much you’ve earned/saved by that activity. The analytical approach is the approach of the successful.

                      Be strong

                      This process is a radical lifestyle change, which will reward you with the thing you’ve dreamed of having. As I’ve stated before, dreams are achievable if you work hard and smart for them. It takes time and effort, though. We all get fragile and lose willpower or determination sometimes. You know the moments – like when you get yourself a big bucket of KFC while you’re on a diet.

                      You have to understand that we’re all humans, and we all have moments of weakness. Don’t blame yourself if you spent big money on something you didn’t need. Occasionally, you have to reward yourself and have some fun from time to time. Your goal is waiting, but you don’t need to live like a monk.

                      Every time you feel bad or drained of energy while tackling this saving and preparing, remind yourself of your goal, and the purpose. These moments of weakness are there to swerve you off the right path. The regret of not reaching the goal of your dreams will haunt you forever.

                      holiday of tour dreams - waves
                        You don’t want to miss this

                        You have to believe in yourself, and follow the advice I’ve shared today. Be creative and invent your own ways of being frugal and smart. I am telling you that it is possible! While I’m writing this, I’m living in Zante, Greece, the place I dreamed about for a long time until I made a decision, a plan, and reached it.

                        Can you feel the breeze?

                        The smell of the ocean is really amazing. Your bungalow on the turquoise sea is perfect. It’s optimized for reaching maximum levels of enjoyment.

                        Your own a piece of paradise.

                        This time, you check for that pesky mosquito, but he’s nowhere to be found. You pinch yourself, just to be sure you’re not dreaming again. You’ve managed to make your dreams come true. The smell of success is incredible. You’re slowly realizing you’re getting hooked on this incredible feeling of achievement.

                        When you think about it, why wouldn’t you use this technique to accomplish all of your dreams? Why wouldn’t you help your friends achieve something they’ve desired for the last decade?

                        You definitely can!

                        Take a selfie on Bora Bora (or wherever you’ve picked your holiday to be), tag me and your friends on social media, then mention this post when they ask you: “How in the world you managed to afford that?” Let them read this, and achieve their dreams just like you did.

                        Now, it’s piña colada time!

                        More by this author

                        Dejan Kvrgic

                        Blogger, Writer

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                        Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Feeling tired all the time?

                        Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                        I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                        Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                        If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                        In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                        What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                        If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                        Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                        • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                        • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                        • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                        • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                        • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                        • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                        • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                        Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                        Unfortunately, yes!

                        Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                        Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                        Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                        Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                        Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                        Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                        1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                        2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                        3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                        The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                        It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                        Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                        Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                        If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                        Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                        Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                        But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                        Symptoms of fatigue include:

                        • Difficulty concentrating
                        • Low stamina
                        • Difficulty sleeping
                        • Anxiety
                        • Low motivation

                        These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                        Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                        How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                        The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                        Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                        So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                        And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                        2. Exercising regularly
                        3. Using stressbusters
                        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                        So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                        In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                        And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                        But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                        L — Living Healthy

                        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                        So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                        1. Unplug

                        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                        So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                        2. Unwind

                        Do something to relax.

                        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                        3. Get Comfortable

                        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                        Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                        If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                        Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                        E — Exercise

                        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                        That’s what happened in my case.

                        But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                        As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                        My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                        That made sense to me.

                        So, I decided to swim.

                        I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                        Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                        Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                        So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                        A — Attitude

                        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                        Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                        Breathing.

                        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                        Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                        3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                        6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                        Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                        N — Nutrition

                        Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                        For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                        Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                        3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                        The Bottom Line

                        If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                        If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                        • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                        • Regular Exercise You Love
                        • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                        • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                        More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                        [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                        [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                        [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                        [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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