Days are busy with work and family obligations, and it’s increasingly harder to get everything done within those 24 precious hours. We get up, get the kids dressed for school, prepare breakfast and lunches, get ourselves ready, go to work, pick up the kids from school or soccer practice, make dinner, clean up, get ready for bed and hope we sleep well enough to do it all over again the next day. Nighttime is sacred; it’s a time for rejuvenation, relaxation, and restoration. So, before you hit the sack tonight, make sure to attend to a few things first.
Here are 10 things you should do before 10pm:
1. Clean Yourself
You are exhausted and you feel like crap. We get it. One of the signs of emotional pain is that you start neglecting personal hygiene. It is easy to skip the shower and collapse onto the couch. Getting a shower and washing yourself from head to toe will not only clean your body, but rinse off your soul. Let the warm water soak into you and refresh your mind. This small act of devotion to yourself can work wonders on your perspective. Besides, who wants to go to bed dirty? Jump in the shower real quick. You will feel better.
2. Make A List
Make a short list of the things you want to get done the next day. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive. Just make either a mental or physical note to yourself that you have a goal for tomorrow. Setting a goal or goals pushes you to get moving and stay moving until the task/s are complete. A body in motion, stays in motion and a list can give you some early momentum to work with for the rest of the day.
3. Talk To A Friend
Another symptom of emotional pain is for someone to isolate themselves from others. Make it a habit to talk with friends or family, even when you don’t have to. People are social creatures and need social interactions. When we let ourselves become isolated, we cut off mental and emotional lifelines to other people. Talking with friends and family can get us out of our own heads and break unhealthy loops of negative thoughts.
4. Listen To Some Music
Put on your tunes. Rock out for a few minutes to something happy and upbeat. Avoid music with depressing themes as these will turn your thoughts to negative subjects which could interfere with your sleep. Sing something silly with your kids. Plat something nice and relaxing to help you transition from busy day to relaxing sleep. Music can put you in a better mood and help you drift off to sleep.
5. Do Something Physical
Do something to get the juices flowing. Get on the floor and do some yoga stretches. Go for a short run before your shower. Dance with your kids in the kitchen to silly music. Get your heart pumping and burn off some of the stress from the day. Getting the body active releases hormones in your brain that will raise your mood. Free your butt and your mind will follow. Just make sure you exercise before 7pm, or you might be wired when it comes time to hit the hay.
6. Make and Eat Dinner As a Family
Making and eating dinner as a family helps you to bond and share your experiences. Make sure the television is off and everyone isn’t surfing the web instead of talking and hanging out. Just make sure dinner is light as you do not want to load up on carbs right before bed.
7. Get Chores Done
Make sure you resolve any lingering issues before heading off to bed. Leaving things undone could cause stress and anxiety of the uncompleted tasks. Getting those things knocked off the list or at least letting someone know you will follow up with them in the morning can relieve stress and allow you to relax.
We are bombarded with so much information on a daily basis that sometimes we need a break from the information overflow. Turn off the television. Put away your phone or tablet. Pick up a book. Listen to some soothing music. Talk with your partner. Sit on your porch or balcony and watch the sunset. Enjoy the moments of quiet and stillness.
9. No Caffeine After 7PM
Make sure you cut off the caffeine early, otherwise you might be up half the night. Caffeine is a mild stimulant and can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
10. Dim The Lights
People are tied into the cycle of day/night, and the amount of light in our spaces can affect our ability to sleep and wake at the right times. Bright lights from room lights to tablets, phones, computers and television can adversely affect our circadian rhythm. Dimming the lights tricks our bodies into thinking that the day is over and it is time to sleep.