We’re all acquainted with the joy that comes at the end of a long or busy day. It’s that, “ah thank goodness this day is over” feeling. But sometimes we’re so wired that relaxing or truly winding down is impossible.
You’re sitting on the couch, thinking you’re going to relax, when a million thoughts and to do lists start running through your mind and the potential mania of tomorrow is already making you anxious. Trust us, we know the feeling. So, we set out to find the best and most practical ways to wind down – manageable for even the most highly strung among us.
1. Get ahead of your mind
Before your brain starts ticking, get ahead of the game and spend an hour thinking through all the possible tasks and actions you know are coming up. Once you’ve got the gist try to give the tasks action times. “I have this to do. When am I going to do it if I have the other x y and z things to do?” We’re not saying things will always go to plan, but a rough idea of deadlines and actions might help ease that midnight panic.
2. Try not to bring work home
This one is a little tricky if you’re a workaholic or the type of person that can’t leave things unfinished because there are 24 hours in a day to get things done. If possible, leave work at work – even if it means coming home a bit later. You’ll appreciate the calm of home a lot more.
If you work at home, try to designate one area to your work. These days it’s so easy to bring your laptop to the couch and work from there when you think you need to relax. The problem is that you’re bringing the stressy energy into a place you’re meant to relax. Try to resist the temptation of the plush sofa while you’re working.
3. Switch off to switch off
Our minds are consistently stimulated with all sorts of external influences that we may be entirely unconscious are there. Maybe you’re not big on your phone or computer at all, but even the TV is a trigger for your mind. Try to switch off all technology at least 1 hour before bed – 3 hours before is actually ideal, but it’s easier to start small. How do you fill up that time? Keep reading…
4. Stretch it out
We’re advocates for staying flexible and mobile at any age. Use the time before you go to bed to give your muscles the therapy they deserve. Maybe you’ve been on your feet all day and your muscles are tired, or you’ve been sitting and your muscles have seized. Solution – movement and stretching. Try to do 15 minutes to an hour of movement. Your body will thank you, and so will your sleep. We tend to sleep a lot better when our bodies are not tense and our minds are calm. Give one of our slower classes a try – the Bridging course is the perfect place to start slow.
5. Candles, low lights and aromatherapy
Scents have a large influence on our moods. Certain smells can trigger a range of emotions and memories that can help calm us down. If essential oils and incense aren’t your thing, invest in some candles to place around the house or your bedroom. Here's our article for the full breakdown of scents and their impact on our mood. Your classic calming smells are lavender, lemon and rose geranium. But you can also branch out and try Neroli, bergamot or nutmeg.
Sometimes these things sound silly – why would lighting candles help me feel better? Why wouldn’t working on the sofa be relaxing? As with most new things, test them out for a while before you decide it can’t work for you. We recommend stretching and turning off the tech to start.