Hey sweets! Today we’re going to have a conversation about that thing that we do at night with the pillows, and the bed, you know what I’m talking about…
Are you getting enough of it? Are you making the most of what you do get?
For me, taking a look at my sleep schedule is usually a pretty good indicator of how my over-all self-care is and where my stress levels are at. I am a notorious work-a-holic, and even though I know that I should step back from the computer, there are times when I’m staying up late, getting five hours of sleep, and then getting up to do it all again.
I have to constantly police myself because I just get so excited about being creative. Or sometimes it’s depression and sinking all of my mental thought processes into work helps me forget that I am depressed. I’m like a child left to my own devices who needs an adult to reinforce my bedtime.
If I’m staying up past my bed-time, I’m not getting my self-care.
If I’m working up to that point of exhaustion, where I turn off the computer and stumble sleepily to my bed, I’m not actually winding down. I’m not decompressing. I’m not giving myself a nourishing evening routine. This causes my stress levels to rise and before you know it, that lack of a routine is having a domino effect on so many areas of my life.
Most scientific types agree that the amount of sleep you need as a functioning adult is anywhere from 6-8 hours a day although some could use a little less or more depending on the person. Getting too little sleep (or too much) isn’t good for your health.
When you sleep it gives your body time to rest, time for it to stabilize, you produce chemicals while you sleep that allow your body to function. It can also effect your memory, your stress levels, and can lead to weight gain.
Allowing yourself to get restful sleep is you being good to your body.
Listen to your body. Get the sleep that YOU need, that makes you feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.
Let’s talk about how we can create a nourishing evening self-care routine that allows us to relax, let go of the day, and sleep peacefully. It’s so hard to step away from “life” and create time for yourself. Do it anyway. Make it a priority. Make yourself a priority.
Wash away your day.
Lighting Candles, candles, candles! (These ones are my favorite!) There is something so relaxing about the soft light, the dancing, flickering, shadows, it creates a wonderful ambiance. Taking a bath in the complete darkness can also be such an amazing healing experience. (Be sure to be careful getting in and out of the tub, falling defeats the purpose of relaxing).
Scents Smelly things! I am a big fan of smelly things, especially if the smelliness is lavender. There is no scent that I love more. Usually, I will light calming incense and then I put a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil into my bath. Instant relaxation.
Music The song up above is Sacred Pleasure by Shawna Carol and is perfect for that “womb” feeling on warm water wrapping around you. Some of my other favorite bath-time songs are Ong Namo by Snatam Kaur, Baba Hanuman by Krishna Das and Dancing Shiva by Sacred Earth. But really, whatever songs and music relax you are good.
Bath Products My favorite bath products are from the Village Naturals. I am absolutely in love with the stress and tension relief products. However, you can use bubble bath, bath salts, bath powders, bath oils, and whatever else tickles your fancy. You can even make your own bath powder, all you need is 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of cornstarch and then an essential oil to scent it (optional) to add to your bath water to soften the skin. Body wash can double as bubble bath in a pinch, Epsom Salt is also good for soaking, especially if you have aches. If you have a cold and are congested adding Echinacea or Eucalyptus to your bath can help de-congest you.
Honor that bedtime.
Seven hours of sleep minimum each night for me. Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it. Even if you spend an hour reading, or just laying there, try to get into bed at the same time each night, no exceptions. I also like to mix up my alarm tone so that I’m listening to something that I actually want to here. If you’re a light sleeper, nature sounds make a great alarm tone.
Create a bedtime ritual.
My ritual lately has been making a cup of tea, lighting incense or filling up my essential oil diffuser, and then journaling about my day in the Self-Love Workbook. It gives me a chance to process my day and then let it go so that I’m not still thinking about it as I try to fall asleep. Sometimes just the act of writing things down can put your day to rest. If I’m having trouble falling asleep I use Insight Timer or I listen to an ASMR video. I try to stay off my phone and the endless Facebook scroll.
Make sure your bedroom allows you to relax.
Your bedroom should be like a zen meditation oasis and it doesn’t take a lot to make it that way. As long as you feel safe and at peace in your space, that’s all that matters. I have a himalayan salt crystal lamp and lately I’ve been using an essential oil diffuser. (That lavender again, it gets me every time)
Create a falling asleep ritual that nourishes you, relaxes you, and makes you feel good about your day.
What does your evening self-care routine look like?