Bring each day to a close with a calm mind and a grateful heart by including some of these simple holistic rituals in your evening routine
The way we close one day will determine the way we greet the next. If we end our day on an organized note ready for the following morning with a calm mind and grateful heart, we give ourselves the best chance of a restful night’s sleep and a smooth morning the following day. Here are some simple yet effective evening rituals to help you unwind as you nurture your mind, body and spirit.
Prep for tomorrow
Ok, so I’m adding more things to you to-do-list but most of us have so much going on in the mornings, that it’s a good idea to spend free evening time to ease the pressure of the morning rush. Imagine how fantastic it feels to open the fridge in the morning and be greeted with a delicious Bircher Muesli that has been soaking all night, a mason jar packed with healthy salad or a flask of homemade soup you can take with you to work? Get into the habit of checking the weather and diary and setting out your clothes or workout kit for the next day. Pro tip: leave your keys on top of anything you don’t want to forget, whether it’s a snack or an important work presentation.
Double-cleanse your face
Everyone knows to cleanse their skin twice daily, but most people don’t realize that a single cleanse with a surfactant or cream-based cleanser still leaves behind a film of oil-based debris, such as sunscreen, long-lasting make-up, pollutants and your skin’s own sebum (oil). How does it happen? The oil-based debris on your skin creates a barrier that your usual cleanser simply cannot fully penetrate. The result is a dull, congested complexion. Double-cleansing really helps as does taking time to massage your cleanser into your skin before removing plus the ritualistic aspect of removing the day’s grime is very calming, intimate and restorative. Best still – use a Japanese cleaning oil as your first cleanse, followed by your regular cleanser.
Take a bath
At aromatherapy bath is a delicious way to say goodbye to the stress and pressures of the day. The warm water eases sore muscles, and you can enjoy experimenting with essential oils, such as lavender, jasmine, sandalwood or lemon, that are known to encourage feelings of peace and serenity.
Meditation allows us to notice our thoughts, rather than judge them or get lost in their power, plus there are so many wellness benefits associated with regular practice. Dedicate a specific corner of a room and make it your own meditation sanctuary. Light a candle, sit comfortably and just follow the ebb and flow of your breath.
Instead of scrolling through social media posts or the news on your phone, read a magazine, newspaper or better still a volume of poems you love, or a book you are enjoying. Reading activates your imagination in a positive way. Just like the body, the mind needs to be fed every day. You don’t have to read something new everyday, but reading something that you love and that puts a smile on your face will help you get into the right frame of mind for sleep, as well as help you greet the next day with a brighter outlook.
Start a journal
Journaling is a simple activity that encourages self-reflection and gives us a place to dump all our high-charged thoughts that go hand in hand with those all too frequent stressful and chaotic days. Even on bad days, journaling allows us to vent and gain some perspective regarding our current situation. Journaling can help if you feel wound up and worried about all the things you did “wrong” or didn’t actually even get round to doing during the day. A journal is a great place to put down thoughts, both positive and negative, somewhere you can anchor them and leave them safely, to deal with on another day. You can also use your journal for ideas you don’t want to forget overnight. If you’re feeling creative, journaling can help the sparks flow and rejuvenate the imagination.
Connect with loved ones
Skype a long-distance friend, call a family member who you haven’t spoken to in a while or write a letter to a relative. We’re on this earth to connect and foster relationships, so reminding the people you love that you care about them will help the both of you feel wonderful.
Sip a sleepy tea
Caffeine's a no-no, but caffeine-free herbal tea may actually help you sleep. Many "Sleepy Time" teas are made from the same compounds used in supplements that promote sleep, like Valerian or Chamomile. There are so many bed-time teas to choose from but look for these slumber-inducing ingredients - Lavender, Chamomile, Mint, Lemon Balm, Fennel, Licorice, Rose, Valerian. Plus, there's something inherently calming about a cradling a warm cup and sipping tea slowly before going to bed.
Make a gratitude list
Gratitude leads to happiness. Try writing down or simply acknowledging in your mind what you are grateful for today. Whether that is your partner, your job, your health, your children, and your body - noticing your blessings inspires feelings of overall well-being.