One Thing At A Time
With the demands of modern life we often find ourselves multi-tasking in order to keep up. This pattern of behaviour can trickle into our leisure time and leave us feeling more susceptible to boredom and distraction. Ever be watching a movie and feel compelled to flick through Instagram at the same time? In the era of multiple screens and technological mobility it can be difficult to focus your attention on just one stimulus. When it comes to relaxation time it’s a good idea to practice taking on just one thing at a time in a slow and thoughtful manner. Whether it’s brushing your teeth or painting your nails, use the time to practice being mindful, blocking out all other distractions that might steal your attention.
Often the days can become undifferentiated, one blurring into the next. A good way to curb this is to spend a short amount of time before bed preparing for tomorrow. This might mean hanging up your clothes or preparing a lunch in advance depending on your lifestyle and schedule. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on the day passed and familiarise yourself with your plans for the following day.
Go For A Walk
Whilst it may be difficult to find time to incorporate light exercise into your evening routine, it can be one of the most effective ways of seizing the few hours before you head off to sleep. Going for a night walk is not only valuable for its therapeutic qualities but it will getting the blood pumping and circulating oxygen throughout the body. The refreshing air will help to liven the senses, providing a necessary contrast that will help your body to differentiate from relaxation time to sleep time. Use this time to engage in a few minutes of deep breathing to relax the muscles and calm the mind. Often we will subconsciously hold our breath periodically throughout the day, generally due to intense focus or stress, so this is a good opportunity to release some of this residual tension.
Our physical self can become quite tense during the day as we rush from place to place ticking off our ‘to-dos.’ Doing yoga or pilates before bed can help to alleviate this uncomfortable feeling by stretching the muscles and releasing tension. The hours before you drift off to bed present the perfect opportunity to put on some relaxing music and start practicing those yoga moves. There are a range of guided routines available, some that are especially designed to assist in relaxation and sleep enhancement. But of course this doesn’t have to be too regimented – a simple hamstring, arm, and back stretch will do!
Baths are virtually synonymous with relaxation. There are a few additions that can transform your bath time into an essential bedtime ritual and help to calm the mind and nourish the skin.
- Add a few drops of your favourite oil into the tub. Coconut Oil is our go-to favourite, or if you prefer something fresh and floral try Lavender Oil.
- Light a candle. The scent will fill the space and the light creates a relaxing ambience.
- Do a hair treatment. This is a great opportunity to pull out the products and give your locks some welcome attention.
- Put on a facial mask. Get your hands on a specialised treatment that will target problem areas and nourish your skin while you relax your mind and body.