I have a confession; I’m a bit of a granny, but a ‘self-proclaimed happy to be a granny’ granny. At the ripe age of 21, I’ve let my older head get the better of me and I’ve settled into a comfortable routine of switching myself off early and prioritising a good relaxation before bed over watching TV or scrolling the internet for hours (although, the odd occasion does occur because, the internet is fabulous).
The sounds of a 9pm bedtime might not be appealing to everyone, but the run up to jumping into your duvet is a very important one – it sets the tone for your sleep, it helps you finish off the day, and it just gives you a bit of ‘me time’ after a full day of business or maybe a day of chill, because you still need to relax after a relaxing day! So settle back this weekend, and make sure you treat yourself to the best sleep and evening ever with my easy ways to switch off!
Turn off your phone and computer
Living in such an internet world, this can be hard – late night WhatsApp conversations, joining in a hashtag from your fave TV show, or even some late Bloglovin’ reading, but turning off all electronics an hour or so before you go to sleep can be good for your brain! There was a recent article in Cosmo that said having your phone left on next to you overnight can overstimulate your brain and can lead to insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns. The blue light emitted from phones and TV causes your brain to stay active, so after your last Twitter chat or Netflix episode, switch everything off and try the next few steps…
Do some Meditation or Yoga before bed
I am all about yoga these days thanks to Yoga with Adriene, and now I’ve mastered a few moves I like to create my own creative workout to release all the tensions and trapped energy of the day before I pop off to sleep – it also makes me super sleep so within a few minutes of hitting my pillow I’m out for 9 hours (bliss!). Sun Salutation is a great basic to start with, and there’s nothing better than some Cat/Cow, Downward Dog, and Savasana – corpse pose, the only pose you need! These are great practises to calm your mind, help you switch off and relax, and also relieve some tension in your body to help you sleep calmly.
Have a nice hot bath
Something I don’t do often as I am more of a shower person, but if you read my How To Prep for a Spa Day post, you’ll know that a salt filled bath with some calm essential oils can really do the trick. Epsom or Himalayan salts help relieve and detox to body and muscles, leaving you feeling very heavy and drowsy (perfect for sleeping) and it also helps work out those tired muscles. The heat combined will make you chilled (not in temperature) in no time, and the essential oils such as Lavender will help you relax and send your brain to sleep.
Give yourself some pamper time
I always work until 6 and then have to make dinner, have some time to sit down, and then usually get involved with a Twitter chat, so sometimes I can have between an hour or 30 minutes to myself in the evenings. To make the most of the time spare, I really go for it on the pampering – a full on facial massage with the cleansing balm, layering oils and creams, a good clarifying face mask and maybe I’ll paint my nails if I feel crazy with time! Just these simple tasks make you feel good, and as a little reward to giving yourself a break you’re boosting your mood too by treating your skin!
Have a massage
Similarly to the pampering, a nice little massage can do wonders to switching off your mind. I like to massage my head gently to release any tension, and sometimes a leg massage can make you feel so chilled out too – unless there’s a partner or pal you can rope in then get them to give you the full massage treatment from your head to your toes 😉
Light a relaxing candle
If you haven’t already seen in my latest video, I am obsessed with candles and anything of the burning scented variety. I picked up this amazing Calm Candle from Parks (via Homesense, of course, my candle kingdom) which smells like fresh man mixed with deep heady oils that just make you instantly relax in your body – when I was feeling a bit stressed recently, I took a big whiff of this and I was instantly zoned out. Another great tip is to use lavender, and I have this Lavender Reed (also Homesense) which I turn nightly and pop by my bed to help send me off into a relaxed slumber. The oil is so potent that I can just inhale the lovely soft scent in each time I breathe, and I’m soon fast asleep.
Invest in ear plugs
This is probably my most favourite find – I’m quite sensitive with sleep and wake up easily (especially with noise) so I bought these BioEars Ear Plugs from Boots in a recent deal. They are a mouldable waxy texture which can cut out noise up to 23 decibels and also work for swimming underwater as they seal the ear completely. I love wearing these despite my ears feeling hot in the morning, but I pop these in as I do my evening routine and I cannot hear a thing – I wash my face, do yoga, and drift off to sleep without hearing a peep from a few cm away.
Have a calming cup of tea
A cup of tea can solve a lot of things, and a relaxing tea is even better. Chamomile is a fabulous soother, which is probably why I love Pukka Herbs Night Time Tea; it’s the perfect blend of relaxing herbs such as chamomile and lavender with liquorice and lime flower to help lift and warm the senses. I usually have about two mugs of this between finishing work and going to bed so that I can get my body into a state of total warm relaxation – always a treat.
Read a book or do some writing
When I have a free evening, I like to sit in a calm space and complete a task I don’t have much time to do. For me, it’s reading books, and I always forget how much I love to read until I end up finishing two in two days, I just become completely absorbed by stories. Another thing to do is write, and whether this is writing notes on ideas I have or to just note my feelings, it helps my brain relax and release some of the tension and activity going on inside, and make me feel a lot calmer too.
Take a deep breath, and just let it all go
This is probably the most important step, and one I really encourage you all to do – breathe. Just take a moment outside of the situation or after you’ve stepped away from your normal day mode, take a really deep breath in and then let it all out slowly. You’ll feel in your chest all the resistance and stress draining away, your muscles will relax, and you’ll feel a lot more grounded in your body. Take three of these breaths, and then carry on with your relaxing routine whatever it may be.
Relaxing is something we don’t do often enough, and should be seen not as a treat but a daily activity. Being able to relax and detach yourself from the routine and events of the past 8-10 hours makes you feel a lot more calm as a person, it helps you feel better in the days progressing. I encourage you to all try a few of the things on this list, and see how you can switch off from the noise and switch over to some truly indulgent nightly me time. Go on, you deserve it.
How do you like to relax? Are you a late night scroller or do you switch all your technology off? Will you be giving any of these tips a go?
Lots of Love,
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