5 Ways to Decompress and Create a Relaxing Bedtime RoutineOct 25, 2021
When your workday is done, do you still carry much of the stress of your work with you into your off-work hours?
Whether you work at home or go to an office, separating your work and personal life is essential. Without a clear gap, you will not be able to de-stress, and leaving that stress behind is crucially important to your quality of life.
Stress is a natural human response. It's how we protect ourselves from perceived threats and ensure that we're aware of the world around us. However, stress can also be detrimental to our long-term health.
Chronic stress and anxiety lead to severe challenges with your quality of life. The more cortisol you have in your system all the time, the more likely you are to struggle with things like heart conditions, anxiety, depression, and more.
Stress can even stop you from getting a good night's sleep. Since sleep deprivation increases your chances of long-term ailments and heart conditions, it's essential to know how you can put your stress to bed before you sleep.
I'm completely guilty of staying up too late or falling asleep on the couch, which prevents me from having a good night's sleep and negatively impacts my day. So while I've been good at putting a morning routine into practice, I thought it would be a good idea to do the same at night. And what better day to start than today.
Here are some quick tips to help:
Do a brain dump
Writing things down can make a massive difference to your stress levels. However, you don't need to write them down in a structured way; get them out of your head and onto paper. This will allow you to see what stressful or unuseful thoughts are swirling around in your brain so you can see how to overcome your challenges. In addition, this is a great exercise to decompress and relax.
Get off your phone
Want to enjoy a healthy bedtime ritual? Reduce your reliance on your phone. Most of us are practically glued to our smartphones these days, but they're not the best for our sleeping patterns. Although you can put your phone on dark mode and night mode to reduce your exposure to blue light (which reduces melatonin production), just using your phone can be enough to keep you awake. Even when you're browsing through alerts and messages or checking out social media, you're still actively engaged in doing something, which makes it harder to switch your brain off and relax. In addition, your brain will continue to be overwhelmed by the promise of new experiences as you continue to scroll.
Grab a cup of tea and a good book
A soothing chamomile or valerian tea would be the perfect choice to calm your mind. Paired with personal development or a light-hearted read, this could be the combination you need to get a good night's sleep. It's best to avoid a lot of drama or anything too attention-grabbing, as it may keep you up and your mind reeling.
Try a soothing bath and calming music
Adding a few drops of essential oils or Epson salt to your bath can not only be relaxing but therapeutic. A night-time bath in some warm, soapy water that smells like lavender could be the perfect way to unwind after a stressful day. Soaking helps to release the physical stress you're holding in your body. If you like to lay in silence listening to the tap dripping, great, but if you find that irritating, then play some music in the background. Give your mind something positive to focus on, like music, or you could try a relaxing podcast or meditation instead.
Finally, as part of your night-time routine, make an effort to practice gratitude. It could be something that you've accomplished at work earlier in the day, or you could focus on something more significant, like the gratitude you have that your family is happy and healthy. Don't limit yourself. A gratitude practice will help reduce the risk of your brain being filled with negative or stressful thoughts when you're heading to bed.
Suppose you have a morning routine to start your day great. However, it's also important to find ways to decompress at night so you can get plenty of rest and give your body and mind time to settle down while it refreshes and recharges through the night.
What are your favorite ways to de-stress at night? Hit replay and let me know!