I think we can all agree that there nothing like waking up after a good night rest. You feel refreshed, well rested and motivated to tackle the day. But sometimes, for whatever reason, a good night rest can be few and far between. Which is why a night time routine is highly recommended because this helps your body learn to adapt to sleeping at a particular time and it enables you to get your well-deserved beauty sleep on a regular.
Now, I get that not everyone’s life is structured the same, however, there is no excuse for not making time for yourself now is there? Personally, I am a student and I live alone so maybe that works to my advantage.
As adults, no one teaches us just how to take care of ourselves. Remember, when you were a kid and your parents would remind you all the time to: eat your vegetables, get outside & play, do your homework, brush your teeth, time for bed, and so on…
It’s not quite the same now at our age. There really isn’t anyone telling you/reminding you of all the important things that are vital for your own well being. And as women, that problem only seems to magnify itself because somewhere encrypted in our DNA is the ever important role of nurturing to take care of everyone else’s needs before our own. We all do it- whether we’re sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, girlfriends…
It took me a while but somewhere along the line I finally realized that developing a nightly ritual was not about adding more to my to-do list; it was about reclaiming the energy that was drained merely from day-to-day life. It was about giving myself a moment to reflect on the day’s events, to plan for the new day ahead, and to simply relax & rejuvenate.
Here are 5 steps I took to create my own effective nightly self-care routine.
TAKE A SHOWER
I developed this system from way back when I was in boarding school in Zambia. It was kind of mandatory to shower twice, mainly for hygiene purposes due to the heat and it was conducive for study or prep time as we called it back then. Fast forward to now, a decade later, I am still taking showers twice daily(blame it on the Catholic sisters). Anyway, my point is, taking a shower in the evenings helps to relax your body. It’s like washing the day’s negative energy away and preparing your body for sleep. Honestly, give it a try and you will definitely feel the difference.
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW
As soon as I have had my Tea (evening meal), I tend to dim my bedroom lights, signifying the shutting down process. My body is now accustomed to it. One day I left my bright lights on and my eyes literally started hurting.Dimming lights will help to de-stress and enable relaxation.
SWAP YOUR GLASS OF MILK FOR CHAMOMILE/PEPPERMINT TEA
For my tea lovers out here, you need to try this out. I love taking green tea but when I switched to chamomile at night, it was a whole different ballgame. I have never struggled much with falling asleep but with the stresses of life, can get a bit daunting such that falling asleep is a hurdle. Well, not anymore.
At around 7 pm I swap my usual cuppa for a chamomile or peppermint tea.
Peppermint is known to help with digestion. So if I’ve eaten something that’s making my tummy feel funny, or I occasionally overindulge, peppermint tea is my Dr. Miracle.
If you’ve had a stressful day, another option is chamomile tea. I usually make my tea after a shower and then put my feet up, catch up on some NETFLIX or be productive and plan some content. It’s one of my favorite things to do before bed.
USE SOME ESSENTIAL OILS BEFORE BED
Lavender oil has got to be one of the most relaxing oils I’ve ever smelt! When I read of the benefits of using lavender oil, I decided to try it before bed.
I put it on my wrists, neck, temples and around my nose. I definitely believe it’s one of the biggest reason I sleep better. It instantly calms you.
Take the time to write down your thoughts so not to be bothered by them half-way through the night. You don’t have to write novel-length entries, but make a quick note of to-do’s for the following day; write down thoughts and reflections, prayers, or creative sparks you don’t want to be forgotten.
Trust me, it doesn’t have to be pretty. Most of my entries are nearly unrecognizable scribbles just legible enough to jog my memory of what I intended to say. I find having regular conversations with myself by way of journaling helps me to confront my own thoughts. It allows for that minute or two to be completely honest with myself and to be more fully aware of my personal needs and desires.
So there you have it. If you enjoyed the content of this post, you may also find the video below helpful. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!