Nighttime can be your most feared time because you are alone with your worries, and you may have trouble unwinding and falling asleep. Alternatively, it can be one of your most favorite times as it can be the time where you get to relax, unwind, and soothe yourself. It can become the time where you expect nothing of yourself except to destress and feel good before you drift off to sleep.
A good night routine allows you to
clear your mind and mentally prepare for the next day
destress and unwind from the day’s events
disconnect from the rest of the world and from your worries
relax and soothe your body
prepare you for sleep
No matter how tough my day has been, no matter what crazy stress I’ve been under, overthinking and major anxiety included, when bedtime hits, and I take my hot shower, I put on my face cream, lotion and comfy pj’s, and then I hop into my bed with a book to read, I feel so good. I escape the rest of the world for the time being. I know I am free until the morning. I am not thinking of my problems. I am not worried about the day ahead.
While I am in the shower, I find myself thinking about things that I didn’t have a chance to fully process during the day. I am taking stock of my feelings, and mentally noting them to journal about in the morning. (Journaling every morning allows me to not overthink at night because I know I will be able to deal with the issue at hand once I pour it out into my journal the next day).
I then moisturize and do my skin care routine. I put on comfy pj’s so that I’m neither too hot or too cold, and thus I am comfortable enough to fall asleep. I get into my bed, and I grab one of the books I’m reading ( I always have a stack of 3 or 4 on my night table), and I read for 10-20 minutes. I find that reading helps me engage my mind in a way that is positive, rather then allow my worries or negative thinking to take over (which it otherwise will). I usually read something that I want to learn about, and thus I feel a sense of satisfaction from learning something new as well.
After I am done reading, I set my morning alarm on my phone, and I put it on Do Not Disturb. I will then put my phone down and hit the lights.
Placing your phone on DND is a game changer. It’s the key in allowing your mind to disconnect from the rest of the world. There is a time and a place for the world having access to you, and when you’re preparing for bed, that is definitely not one of those times. The time before bed, and the time after waking each morning is sacred. This is where you program your subconscious mind, which is what dictates most of what you do in your life. So you really want to filter what is allowed in to your energy and thoughts at these two times.
As I lay down to sleep, I do a body scan meditation, naming each body part while taking deep breaths. I also envision my body filling with white light. I do this for a few minutes until I feel satisfied with it.
I then practice gratitude for what’s going well in my life, and for the people and relationships I am thankful for. I also practice visualization at this time. None of this feels like a chore, because all of it feels really really good. It feels good to think about what’s going well in your life, and it feels even better to envision yourself getting what you desire.
All of this results in positive feelings before bed, and sleep comes much more easily then when negative thinking is your nighttime send off.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts as well as in my podcast (if you haven’t listened yet, check it out here), getting sufficient sleep will be one of the best things you ever do for yourself. A good night’s sleep really is a gift you give to yourself. It’s when your body does its natural restoration, healing, processing, and resets you for the next day. Waking up after a full night’s sleep is life changing. You will feel like a completely different person (in comparison to a constant lack of sleep), you will be more of your true self.
A good night’s sleep really is a gift you give to yourself.
This is also why, when my sleep is disturbed, I know something is up.
Sleep disturbance is one of the first signs that we are not doing OK, that something is going on and it’s taking a toll on us.
When this happens to me (and it has, believe me), I’ve learned to take this seriously, and to not ignore it. Just as we take having a headache seriously, or an upset stomach. We know something is wrong with our bodies, and we need to take care of it. When my sleep is disturbed, I know my mind is working on overdrive, trying to solve my problem for me, trying to figure out the best way to keep me safe, the best way to protect me from whatever I am fearing.
So what I’ve learned to do is address my thoughts and fears in my journal or by talking them out with a friend. This is essential in reducing the amount of worries that are cycling in our thoughts.
Part of self care is being present with ourselves, being our own caregiver, which means treating ourselves with love and respect, which also means nurturing ourselves in every way possible.
Nothing is random in your body, nothing is isolated. I don’t have a degree in nutrition or medicine (I do have one in psychology and education), but I do know that our bodies don’t lie. They tell us straight up what is going on within us. If we are stressed AF, our bodies will show it.
If we are anxious, our shoulders, upper back and neck will tense up, and we may experience pain in these areas, because we are taking short and shallow breaths (from panic), instead of deep, full breaths from our bellies (which are calming and soothing).
Our bodies are always telling us what is up. We can use this to our benefit by becoming aware of them.
By soothing yourself at night, you will not only intentionally return your body to calmness, this will in turn also calm your mind.
By calming your mind, you will experience less negative thinking, and thus less problems (your mind is what causes most of your problems).
By intentionally soothing yourself, you are in fact improving your wellbeing, and thus improving your life, over time.
How does being comfortable at night solve your problems?
Well, what you may not have realized yet, and what I’m here to share with you is, nothing we experience just happens out of the blue, or overnight.
Everything we experience we have attracted in, we have manifested, we have created. With our energy, with our thoughts, with our beliefs, with our minds.
So when we are in a constant state of stress, we are actively calling in more of that to our lives.
If you don’t believe in the law of attraction, let me put it to you like this.
When you are constantly wound up and under stress, you are in a negative thought pattern. And when you are in a negative thought pattern, that is the lens you have on. And through that lens, you are going to notice and see more of the negative things you have been thinking about. And you will not like these things, so you will take further negative actions to try to eliminate them. Actions such as complaining, blaming, arguing, forcing, hurting others, etc.
None of this feels good. and ultimately it adds to the stress you feel and the tension in your body, which adds to the problems in your life. This then becomes a viscous cycle where your negativity and problems snowball and continue to grow until they get so big that something breaks down, ie ) pains, illness, relationship problems, injuries.
By changing the way you love and care for yourself, by intentionally soothing yourself in healthy and not harmful ways, you can turn your wellbeing around. You can feel good inside. You can feel joy. You can feel calm.
By consciously unwinding and allowing yourself to detach from your worries before bed, you can return to the calm that is your body’s natural state. You can do something good for yourself, just be putting on some comfy pj’s and relaxing!
In my most trying times, getting comfortable at night was my saving grace. Even when the world felt like it was against me, I found safety in my soothing night routine.
I hope you can find some peace in creating a soothing night routine for yourself as well.
To recap, a few keys to a soothing night routine are:
Remember not to force yourself into a rigid routine. Being hard on yourself is the opposite of what we want to accomplish here. Be gentle with yourself. The purpose of this is to increase our good feelings and lessen our stress, not the other way around. Start with one key aspect of a night routine. And if that feels good, stick to it. When you’re ready for more, try adding one more aspect. It’s not about being perfect at it, it’s about winding down, relaxing, and feeling good with yourself.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below lovelies 💕.
mental wellness self care self care routine self love self love tips self-help wellness