After a full day, I find it hard to turn off my brain, relax, and fall asleep at night. This can be problematic if another busy day is on the horizon and there’s no possibility of getting my preferred eight hours in. Of course this does nothing to help with any stress or anxiety I might be working through either . . .
So what’s the solution?
I’m glad you asked!
Below, I’ve drafted a rapid-fire list of my go-to relaxation methods. This includes both conventional and unconventional methods that anyone can try as often as needed — maybe even just for fun!
So the next time you’re looking for ways to wind down, forget about counting sheep and try one or a combination of the following:
- Put away your cell phone and all other electronic devices for at least an hour or two before bedtime. Those emails and social media notifications will be there when you wake up.
- Take a warm bath or shower; and while you’re at it, try to massage your neck, shoulders, and other body parts that might feel tense or overworked.
- Light your favorite candle and let it burn for the duration of your nighttime routine, e.g., while you’re washing up and planning what you’ll wear the next day.
- Listen to music — preferably music that allows your mind to wander to a place of peace and calm. If you’re into making playlists (like me!), create one specifically for relaxation.
- Crack open a good book and read a few chapters in a comfy chair. Listening to an audio book while you’re prepping dinner works well, too.
- If you’re not planning to read, progressively dim the lights as you get closer to crawling in bed. That includes adjusting the brightness of your cell phone screen.
- Drink a warm beverage such as an herbal tea or homemade honey lemon tea. If you want to take things up a notch, throw on your favorite mud mask while your tea is brewing.
- Write in a journal or notepad. If you need a little inspiration that doesn’t require too much brain power, simply write a list of things you’re grateful for. (And for the doodlers out there, draw something!)
- If the weather is nice, take a brief stroll around the neighborhood. Dusk is my absolute favorite time of day, so any excuse to be outdoors at that time is great — especially in the spring and summer months.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If you need a little help, check out a guided tutorial online.
- Enjoy the ride home in complete silence. Note: if you can’t recall a single moment of silence from your entire day, I highly recommend beginning the shutdown process here.
- If there’s a particular sermon series that you’re into at the moment, give it a listen and take time to pray through it afterwards. Or just pray period.
- Turn on an old movie, wrap yourself up in your favorite blanket, and close your eyes until you’re just about ready to pass out . . . and if you do, it’s okay — you already know how the movie ends.
- Park it in front of a window, put your feet up, and watch the sun set. Honestly, you don’t even need to see the sun. Just watching the daylight disappear is usually enough for me.
- Bonus: If all else fails, find a space documentary that will lull you to sleep, or download a sleep app. Personally, I have more luck with space documentaries.
That’s all I’ve got for you today! If you have any sure-fire relaxation methods, share them with me in the comments.