Hello dear friends!
Do you find it hard to get to sleep at night because you’re so wound up from the day?
Does your body still feel like it’s buzzing with energy, even when you’re trying desperately to get some shut-eye?
Most of us can relate to this scenario, and end up turning to medications or other chemical help to get our much needed rest. We’re so used to pushing ourselves all day, that we continue that trend well into the evening, running around trying to accomplish more tasks before bed. And while this may feel more productive, it’s actually a bad habit that makes it so much harder for us to settle down and chill out.
Despite what our society may tell us, not every single hour of the day needs to be filled with projects and activities!
Ask yourself: Are you spending the final hours of the day in rest mode or stress mode?
Before the advent of electricity, most people’s body clocks were in sync with the sun, waking shortly after sunrise, and hitting the sack shortly after sunset. But even not that long ago, people thought of their evenings as a time to unwind after work, to reconnect with family, and indulge in hobbies like reading, sewing, or watching movies.
Over the past couple of decades, however, our result-driven culture and overpacked schedules have turned evenings into a kind of “second shift”, where we tackle household chores, childcare, and errands, in addition to any work projects that required more attention.
And all of this activity has put our nervous systems into overdrive- it’s no wonder we’re facing an epidemic of insomnia!
It’s time to reclaim the sacred quiet of evenings, and you can make the choice to keep those last few hours of the day as simple and enjoyable as possible.
There really is no need to spend your pre-bed hours cooking, cleaning, or trying to get ahead on career projects. Evenings are meant to provide time for you to unwind, spend time with loved ones, disconnect from your online world, and invest in self-care.
So how can we start simplifying our evening routines?
Like many of the topics that I discuss in my Adventures In Simplicity e-course, the theme of planning ahead applies here. Meal planning and preparation are wonderful when you come home to a household of hungry people, and having a scheduled chore routine cuts back on the rush to clean into the night.
"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day."
- Vincent Van Gogh
If you have a busy home with children too, try to spend a little time tidying up (as a family!) and planning both outfits and meals for the next day, before you cuddle up on the couch or turn on the TV. This will save you from the rushed bedtime routines and extra stress of late-night lunch packing.
When you can plan ahead for this short burst of effort, you’ll find it much easier to relax the rest of the evening, knowing everything is ready to go for the next day.
Then after you’ve enjoyed some relaxation, be sure to shut off electronic devices at least one hour before you want to be in bed (2 hours if you can!). This helps your brain and nervous system decompress, fosters healthy melatonin release (the blue light from electronics halts melatonin!) for better sleep, and gets your mind back in the moment.
Your mindful invitation:
Resolve to make your next evening one of relaxation and mindfulness.
Think about all the activities you would usually do during the night, and ask yourself if they are really necessary or if they could be accomplished at another time.
Take at least an hour of uninterrupted, offline, quiet time before you go to sleep, and notice how you feel more relaxed! Try some gentle yoga or meditation, take a hot shower or bubble bath, or do a bit of light reading from a favorite book.
Wishing you a quiet, fulfilling, and relaxing evening, my friend! What are some of your wind-down tips? Share in the comments below!
And as always...
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~
** This is a sneak peak at one of the day's content for my Adventures In Simplicity E-Course. Want more? Head over and sign up today! **