Between work, exercise, running errands and housework, sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to really relax and switch off at the end of the day. For a long time I would get home from work and sit down on the sofa and instead of relaxing I would find myself dwelling on things that had happened throughout the day or checking work e-mails. I would even lie awake at night making a mental to-do list for the following day – not good!
Eventually I realised the importance of making time to relax and unwind on an evening. Not only would it help me sleep better but it would mean I could be more focused and refreshed the following morning. Now, I am the first to admit that this isn’t always possible, especially when people have children and other big commitments, but even setting aside a couple of nights a week follow these steps to relax and clear your head will make all the difference!!
1 – SWITCH OFF!
I know it’s tempting to sit staring at your phone or laptop all night checking social media and catching up on e-mails but it is so important to have at least an hour of no electronic devices before bedtime in order to really switch off and clear your mind. This also goes for the TV, and lets face it, these days you can catch up on your favourite shows anytime, so try not to make it the hour before you go to bed. Give yourself a reasonable bed time and work back from that for your electronic shut down.
2 – RUN A WARM BATH
There is nothing more relaxing than a long soak in a warm bath. Pour in some of your favourite bubbles, a cup of epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil and you have the perfect recipe for ultimate relaxation!
3 – TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN
Turning the lights down will make your body realise it is time to start winding down for bed. Dimming the lights and lighting some candles will create a relaxing glow that will help you destress.
4 – STRETCH
Some light yoga or pilates always helps me get a good night sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. You don’t have to do anything too intense, just some basic stretches should help. Youtube has loads of beginners tutorials to get you started.
5 – DRESS RIGHT
I absolutely love getting out of a bath and into a lovely, freshly ironed pair of pyjamas. It instantly makes me feel comfy and cosy. Don’t forget a pair of fluffy slippers for the colder nights!
6 – SET THE SCENE
Having a comfortable, welcoming bedroom makes all the difference to getting a good night sleep. Clear out any clutter, and invest in comfy bedding, soft pillows and throws. A calming colour scheme is very important too and will set the mood. Adding a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow or having a lavender candle on your bedside table will also help you sleep.
7 – MAKE A BREW
Pour yourself a warm drink. Warm milk, camomile or peppermint tea or Horlicks all help me to unwind and feel sleepy.
8 – BACK TO BASICS
Rather than staring at your phone screen for hours before going to sleep, curl up in bed with a traditional paperback book until you feel yourself gently drifting off to sleep. Don’t go for anything with a heavy storyline or something that takes a lot of concentration. Something light and easy to read is perfect.