Further to last week’s post, which introduced you to rituals to START your day, today I want to share some of my favourite rituals to END your day. Don’t worry, they are so easy, you will have no trouble at all to integrate them at the end of your day.
- Daily gratitude
Research shows that when we count three blessings a day, we get a measurable boost in happiness that uplifts and energizes us. It’s also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. If you are focusing on being thankful, you can’t be negative.
So each evening, before you go to bed, take your journal and write down 3-5 things you are grateful for that day. Here is a free worksheet to help you along.
You can also do this with your kids. I ask mine each evening what the best thing of the day was and it’s always very interesting to see what stood out for them in a good way.
Here are some more free gratitude tools.
- Brain drain list
It is hard to fall asleep when your head is still full of the day or the to do list of tomorrow. Next to your bed, keep a journal and simply empty your brain onto the paper so that it no longer sits in your head and you can go do sleep easily.
Water is not only cleansing, it also soothes. So if you’ve had a long day and need to wind down, taking a bath (even a short one) is very helpful. Add some epsom salts (for soothing skin and reducing stress), play some calm music and just relax. Afterwards, lather your body with a divine smelling oil and doze off.
- Prepare for the next day
In order to avoid a hectic start the next morning, lay out the clothes you will wear the next day, set the breakfast table, prepare the lunch bags and anything else that can be done.
- Listen to a story.
Remember when you were a kid and your mom or grandpa told you a bedtime story to help you fall asleep? Well, nowadays you can listen to just about anyone, famous or not, tell you a goodnight story.
My favourite go to place is the Calm app, because it has a great selection of curated stories read by the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba or Kate Winslet. My favourite track to fall asleep to is ‘Drifting off with gratitude‘ as it combines being thankful (see point 1), body scanning and just the softest voice to listen to.
Insight Timer also has free sleep stories.
If you don’t want to oil your body as suggested under point 3, how about adding some essential oils in a different way to help you sleep? A few drops of lavender on your pillow or in a diffuser make your bedroom smell like a spa and your brain calm down.
Make sure your bedroom is clean and free of clutter as ‘stuff’ eats your energy.
Create a ritual to clean your face and body (if you don’t take a bath).
Make sure your sheets are fresh and clean.
Wear a pyjama that makes you feel cozy.
Open the window to clear the air. Add some scents like suggested under 6.
- Muscle relaxation
If the bath didn’t work or you didn’t have time, why not try some progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). PMR was created by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the 1920s. It was based on the theory that physical relaxation can promote mental relaxation. The technique has proven to reduce anxiety and tension and improve sleep.
Here are some details and videos to help you along.