5 Tips for Winding Down at Night (that you can implement right away)
Does anyone else feel like they are part of a daily rat race at times?
Not in a negative way, but in a positive 'I love everything that's on my schedule' way. After all, visionaries fill their life and their calendars with things they WANT to do, not things they HAVE to do (check out our visionary manifesto) so it's always rewarding to have so many wonderful adventures in a week.
If you're anything like me, you have days or weeks that are queit and more mellow... but then there are weeks with heavy demands on your time, project deadlines, new programs that need to launch, and all of that must be completed while still maintaing your healthy diet, exercise routine and social life.
As a busy entrepreneur in the online space, a spin instructor, fur baby mama, girlfriend, friend, and volunteer... my weeks can be jam-packed. I know you can relate! Often times around 9pm I know I need to get to bed for a full nights rest, but I also need to take a few moments to breathe deep, do something mellow, and calm my mind before I snuggle into bed.
Here are 5 tips for calming the mind, body and soul before you catch some zzz's...
1) Read a book
Let your eyes hit some pages of text, even if it's only for 5 minutes. The act of sitting down in your comfy clothes while focusing on nothing but a novel is so relaxing to the body and can actually begin to send you into sleep mode.
When choosing a book to keep on your nightstand, make sure that it's nothing stimulating (like a millionaries biography or a romantic thriller) but rather something that is more passive and soothing, whatever that is to you.
Before you head to Amazon to buy yourself a bedtime book on meditation or spiritual enlightenment though (both of which are lovely topics to browse before bed), have you considered getting a library card in your local city? That way you can grab a new book each week to flip through, without spending hundreds on books each month.
2) Meditate with Headspace or practice a moment of silence
I love this meditation cushion.
It's from Halfmoon, a Canadian company that sells the best yoga and meditation products available.
Meditation doesn't need to look a certain way, it just needs to get done.
Grab your comfiest cushion, sit down without your phone, and breathe.
The only reason your phone should be anywhere near you as you ground yourself and practice a mini meditation, is if you use an app like Headspace to guide you through a meditation. It can be very useful for making meditation approachable, simple, and 100% guided. I've used it myself more a few months and love the productivity series that's offered.
If you want a free 5 minute meditation, Halfmoon has this amazing guided audio clip on their blog!
3) Have a bath with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil
Lavender is known to calm the body and have a relaxing effect when you inhale it. One particular study found that lavender reduced blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate and was said to promote more restful sleep in participants.
When Epsom salts break down in water, they become Magnesium & Sulfate. When magnesium is absorbed by your skin, it helps to relax your muscles. Of course, you could drink a magnesium tea, but something about sitting in a beautiful tub really helps to ground me.
Having a warm bath effectively raises your body temperature, and the subsequent drop one you get out is said to promote sleep.
So to reiterate... lavender (get some!) x Epsom salts x warm water = bedtime bliss
4) Turn your phone on airplane mode
E-mails, texts, social media notifications... these are all things that you do NOT want to be browsing in the hours leading up to your good nights sleep.
They are stimulating. They are not important in the grand scheme of your life. And they disrupt the quality time you should be spending with your family, pets, and with yourself.
Flip your phone onto airplane mode at least 1 hour before bed and know that the world won't end with you being offline for an hour.
5) Tidy up!
I don't know about you, but I like waking up to a clean home in the morning... not one that is filled with clutter.
At some point in the evening, I will give myself the 10 minute cleaning challenge where I pop on 3 good songs and tidy up until they are over. Sometimes that means doing the dishes, packing my lunch for the next day, putting clothes away, or anything else that needs tending to.
Set your alarm for 10 minutes, and start tidying!
p.s. I don't do all 5 of these perfectly every single night. Sometimes, my evening routine looks great...I meditate in silence with my phone off, I read a book in my hot bath, and the house is clean and fresh. But, there are also times when none of this happens as planned and I might be texting in bed, making a mess of the house while I try to find an outfit for the next day, and the cushion becomes my chair for watching TV...
Life is busy, I get it!
... but I would encourage you to examine YOUR evening routine and see how you can wind down more effectively & efficiently.
Halfmoon graciously sponsored this post.