Step by step helpful ways we can end our day with a little self care.
A big part of self care is how we relax and the quality of sleep we get. Night times we attempt to fit our entire adult lives into the two hours after our children go to bed. We work late, clean, watch Netflix and socialise occasionally. Adding a little self care into our nightly routine is a way of giving back to ourselves after we’ve given to everyone else throughout the day. It will encourage us to sleep better, feel better and has a flow on effect to the next morning.
Once you’ve done the initial clean up, dishes and lunches for the next day. Here is what we suggest…
Put your phone down for at least an hour every night after dinner - Turn it on silent and place the screen facedown.
Low Lighting - Once the sun goes down, use low/dim lighting. Why? It helps the release of our melatonin levels (a hormone produced at night by the pineal gland in our brain which gives us that sleepy feeling around our normal bedtime if we have one, regulates our sleep-wake cycle) Lamps with low voltage light bulbs are ideal for this. It’s all about the mood lighting, (your partner may take this as a hint…)
Cleansing - It may work for your family’s schedule to shower in the morning, if you do, make sure you still take the time to cleanse your hands and face.
VISUALISE THE DAY BEING WASHED AWAY WITH THE WATER.
Water is cleansing and having a shower especially has a way of washing away any built up stress. It’s also a great place to practice the NLP technique of dispelling the (‘negative narrator’)
3. Write list x 2
Write a list for your day tomorrow, everything you can think of, so none of it remains in your head when the light is switched off.
At the bottom of the tomorrow list finish it with 3-4 things you are grateful for that happened that day, such as, my children’s cuddles, my husbands help with tidying the kitchen, (progress in a personal goal) – I completed the HIIT workout / and made a smoothie, (progress in a professional goal if applicable) I. sent that kickass email.
4. Read – Have an inspiring book beside your bed that you can read a couple of pages of every night right before you turn off the light or turn on your meditation. Nothing better than a page book.
5. Meditate – listen with headphones to a guided or mindful meditation, end the night with a body scan to feel grounded. (Access our meditations here)
6. An alternative to meditation is a breathing technique by Dr Andrew Weil - The 4-7-8 breathe. This has also been titled by some as ‘THE LIFE HACK FOR SLEEP.’
EXHALE out your mouth with a whoosh or loud sigh sound.
INHALE quietly through your nose, with your mouth closed to a count of FOUR.
HOLD that breathe for a count of SEVEN.
EXHALE that breathe with a whoosh or loud sigh for a count of EIGHT.
The speed of each of the counts are not important, the ratio is 4 : 7 : 8. You can slowly slow down your count as you get better at it. The most important thing is that the ratio remains the same.
If you’d like to read more about this breathing technique by Dr Andrew Weil, you can do so through this link:
RECAP: Once we’ve completed our normal nightly activities.
Phone down for at least an hour.
Write x 2 list.
Alternative to meditate - Dr Andrew Weil 4 : 7 : 8 breathing technique.
What are your favourite things to incorporate into your own nightly routine? What are some different ones you have?