[21 Days to Better Sleep Challenge] DAY 1/21 - Sleep Disturbances and Feeling Overwhelmed. How Teaching The Brain New Habits And Routines Can Help | SMart Choice Lifestyle

Feeling excited about your future goals and planning your next trip or experience is a good thing, a healthy thing. But when all this is happening at night, you know it’s time for a self analysis. It’s not even funny how many ideas can pop into your head when you can’t sleep at night. I know myself to be an over thinker, but the speed my brain is processing information at 3 am is still mind blowing.

A few nights ago I just had it! Could no longer passively sit and watch all the to-do lists and worrying about the next day’s activities that my mind was putting me through. I did fall asleep (eventually), but the following day I sat and asked myself why was I constantly in a rush, either doing or thinking? All the roads pointed out to insufficient sleep, to chaotic sleeping patterns.

Constant attempts to find the best morning and evening routines, changing activities and having a full past two months all lead up to my body and brain not caring anymore about whatever discipline I wanted to have in my life. I just wanted to relax and recharge. But what you repeatedly do, you become, and just like that I managed to push myself into a loop: not enough sleep - rushing throughout the day - sleepy in the afternoon - hard to fall asleep at night - not enough sleep and on and on.

When you become used to doing things in a certain way and then you change them and don't try to get back at the initial stage for a while, your body will most definitely send you signals. That’s where [re]CONNECTING with yourself proves helpful.

We have to listen to our body’s needs, to be in sync with what they ask of us and to be able to nurture their wants: sleep, nutritious food, rest, movement. Headspace is essential for me. As much as I love people’s stories, i recharge in solitude. I need to go to bed early enough in order to sleep 8h and wake up recharged at a good AM hour.

Press the reset button and wish to better the way you’re feeling and thinking about ourselves, to gain more self-confidence (or to gain it back), and to do our best in this world and not waste any gifts (ex: writing, inspiring others, empowering, creating, etc).

Most of the times, sleep proves to be the cause of all the chaos in our minds and lifestyle. That’s why going to bed at a decent hour (something like 10pm) can be the best choice you’ve ever done in a while, especially if your schedule is busy or you have sleep issues (like in Multiple Sclerosis or other conditions).

A regular sleeping pattern can reduce our anxiety about schedules, can lead to more productivity (as the brain is more alert), and give us time to start our mornings slow and more mindfully. And overall, sleep is the promoter of less inflammation inside the body. We need sleep in order for our bodies to properly take care of toxin removal, hormone manufacture, and infection fighting. Whenever we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies cannot complete those important tasks, increasing our chances of developing health issues (or worsen preexisting ones) due to excess toxins, inflammation, and hormone imbalances.

In order to achieve having a regular sleeping pattern, some habits need to change. We all stay up to late or go to bed at different times every night. We are caught in the screens of our devices, wanting to finish “that one last episode of Game of Thrones!”, those “last three emails!”, or “one last refresh on Facebook”. We all do that! Because we want to finish what we’re doing, we don’t prioritize sleep.

Remember the chaos I was talking about earlier? Our bodies get confused. But if we set and strictly follow a bedtime routine, we will get in the habit of relaxing at a certain hour, naturally inducing sleepiness. If you know yourself as having a sleep disorder, first check solutions with your physician and add a bedtime routine that includes his/hers suggestions. All this needs to be in our best interest.

Arianna Huffington's #sleeprevolution movement shows a light over the importance of sleep in our lives. Here's her manifesto:

So, my choice / challenge for the following 21 days is to begin getting into some healthy sleeping habits (21 days is the minimum amount of days that can induce a new habit into one’s life). For increasing my chances to actually follow them, they’re included into my night routine. One hour before bedtime I put down all devices and screens, making notes on what I have to finish / see / do the next day. Then I go and make myself a chamomile tea, take a shower and wash my teeth, say my prayers and clear my mind for about 15 minutes and then do some journaling before turning the lights off.

What would your routine look like? How is your relationship with sleep and mental space going? Would love to hear that from you in the comments down below!

Until next time, have a wonderful day!

[re]CONNECT MANIFESTO: How Multiple Sclerosis Triggered My Journey of Self-Discovery & The Need to Love Out Loud! | SMart Choice Lifestyle

I still remember the tunnel vision that sliced the room in two parts: my mind and the rest of the world. All the eyes that were on me after the room got quiet did not matter. All that was important at that moment were my mum slowly pulling out a chair and sitting down, and my shattered identity. The tears were racing towards my eyes, but I wanted… I needed to be strong. Not for me… for her! It did not matter that I was just given a life-long diagnosis. All that I could focus on is what would THEY do if I get worse? What would my loved ones do now that I had Multiple Sclerosis?


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic (life-long) inflammatory autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). Nerve cells are covered in an insulating cover called a myelin sheath (it wraps around the nerve, like a little doughnut). Autoimmune diseases mean that your own body begins to attack itself. In MS, the immune system confuses myelin sheaths with something harmful and thus destroys them.

This process is called demyelination, and it results in damaged nerves that cannot transmit impulses - resulting in a vast array of symptoms, ranging from pins and needles, numbness, to paralysis and, blindness and even death (in the more advanced and aggressive forms). Instead of keeping its integrity and acting like a unit, the body goes rogue on the brain, its command center. It’s main effect is disconnection.

All my life I’ve identified with what others thought and said about me. When their opinions and behaviors were bully-ish, aggressive and truly offensive, my self-image had to suffer. It got damaged, leading to low self-esteem and constant efforts to being liked and accepted by my peers. All this, sprinkled with emotionally internalizing all family conflicts (big or small), rose stress to an unbearable level, possibly triggering my body to attack itself.

It was the command I kept giving to my cells through actions, thoughts and emotions. Body postures that I kept, neuro-programming that came out of habitual negative behavior and hormonal / neurochemical imbalance, topped with being overweight and in spiritual disconnection with myself and God, all might have lead to developing Multiple Sclerosis. Or at least that’s my theory on the issue.

But that was the struggle part of my life. The best parts were my family and friends, people that raised, inspired and formed me in more ways than one. From them I have inherited a survivor attitude, the need to always rise back from where I fell and keep trying, keep living.

This innate resilience got coated with all the answers I looked and searched for during the past (almost) three years since receiving the diagnosis. I not only wanted to bounce back, but I wanted to THRIVE, to be my best version, to stay on top of all that was to come, while I adapted my lifestyle accordingly.


But then I realized that I was disconnected from my core self. Who was I and where was I going in life? I had lots of dreams, but… WHY did I want to pursue them in the first place? This chronic illness was now part of my body and I did not know who I was behind all those social masks that we all have! So I went deep inwards. VERY deep! And eventually I reached my core. I brought a light to the deepest, most inner corners of my body, mind and soul. I now understand and know myself. I have my guiding light. It was there all along. Jesus was waiting for me to learn through all the struggles my bad and self-harming choices had put me through.

I now have the feeling that I accumulated enough information, and did enough research and exploration (both inwards and outwards) to be able to make my voice heard in the world, in the areas that matter most: self-love, love for others, all in and through God.

I took the road less-travelled to journey inwards and discover, [re]CONNECT with myself and others through creative / expressive writing, art and blogging. Lots of key-areas to cover from now on, but mostly focused on brain, mental and spiritual health.


I feel the need to express myself and help others along the way, inspire and empower them to [re]CONNECT to what’s important: to themselves, to others and to God. To be of service. To LOVE OUT LOUD and make pride less. I want to empower people on how to be true to their core selves and live a fulfilling life, while using and living a brand that creates the financial means for all that. [re]CONNECT around LOVE. Get back to themselves, go within, travel, explore, grow, become their best version.

I choose weekly blogging, because everyday I have to serve, I have to storytell and teach. We’ll take themes one at a time, have some  structure, but allow flexibility. Schedule and limit choices just to be at ease. Declutter and prioritize. And most of all, EASE INTO IT. Build your lifestyle around what you do, around your priorities. Share your lessons with the WORLD. Grow. All is coming.

My core theme is CONNECTION. It is about the way I see the world, the connection with yourself, with God, with others. Make a connection, interact, collaborate. When everything else wants to tear you apart, find the road back to relationships, back to connection.

It’s easy to show and give love to the ones we’re used to and are similar to us. But love is universal and should be given wholeheartedly to each and every human in need. A broken heart, fear and pain are just the same for all of us. No matter the color of our skin, no matter what we bow to and believe in.

God commanded us to love one another. Even in our darkest night, our deepest pain, LOVE has to be universal and given without making any differences.

 So, my next journey is towards self-love and giving it back to people. Are you with me? :)

Until next time, have a wonderful day!