They say how you start your day is how your day will go (and I do have some epic morning routine tips here), but I’d argue that there should also be an importance put on how we end our days.
Tidying up the house, dishes, laundry, homework, making tomorrow’s lunches, tying up loose ends and running around at the end of it all… trying to get one more thing done before bed, can leave us mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted.
And we can all agree that’s not the best way to end the day right? right!
Not having a ritualistic way to wind down and bring us back to calm and balance, can bring that morning alarm and to-do list quicker and harsher than anyone wants.
I’ve learned a lot in my experimental journey to self-care, and one thing that keeps coming back is that you do not need a lot of time or money to put self-care into action, a few tricks and tips are all you need to make it easier & stressfree…
so here we go!
Set aside actual time for yourself. Yup, I’m dead serious here…. you’re going to need to actually schedule yourself in or you’re not gonna find the time. Think of your ideal evening wind-down and make sure you
pencil carve in stone, enough time to enjoy every second of it! Know what relaxes you and put that in your time block! A reasonable time frame to start with is 45min to an hour and a half (depending on what you create as your new habit)
Just like your morning check-in, checking in with your body at night is also really important.
Stretch out the tension and stress in your neck and shoulders, massage your legs and thank them for literally carrying and holding you up all day! What will relax your body at the end of the day is different for everyone.
Is it a bath with a glass of
wine magnesium (which aids in muscle relaxation and sleep), or a relaxing yoga sesh to wind down? Maybe it’s a run to get the day (aka tension) out of your muscles, or maybe a nice sweat sesh in an infarred sauna with a book is more your thang (read 5 reasons why they should be part of your routine). Give your body the time to relax, decompress and release the day. Find a few activities that allow you to unwind and forget the day and sprinkle them into your week.
Water has such an extraordinary way of changing the way we feel, and behave and what better way to end the day than to wash off all the stress, anxiety and hard work that we’ve been through. Literally, wash the day off you with a soothing steam shower with a few relaxing essential oils, or a warm bath and Epsom salts (adding in the aforementioned glass of magnesium is a total game-changer). A dip in a hot tub can also relax your body or try hitting up your local float place and float in a pod of salt water to melt the day away!
Take this seriously and turn your phone off!
Seriously, I know you know that electronic blue light is shit for your mental health so turn it off (ideally, at least an hour before you hit the sack), and maybe try dimming the lights or getting some candles. The darkness will cue your brain into thinking it’s time to get sleepy which can actually trigger the production of melatonin- ps this is the stuff you want for natural sleep ;). That’s one less pill or supplement you’ll be relying on to help nod off (though if you do need a little help with that try L-Theanine which is typically used for treating stress (physical and mental) as well as insomnia. win-win)
Many of us (me included) can hold onto parts of the day in our minds and it can lead to anxiety and even insomnia (no thanks). So one lovely way to get the day off your mind is to journal it out! Use a pen and paper, or do it electronically- but getting these thoughts, memories and moments out of your mind can help your mind to settle and fall asleep better. There’s nothing like feeling nice and comfy in bed and having the days’ thoughts race through you like a bull in a china shop. All it takes is 5 minutes and you could be in dreamland (and it’s cheaper than therapy)!
it can be… just try one step at a time and be consistent!