Everything looks better after a good nights’ sleep.
But getting those zzz’s can be elusive! Creating a nighttime ritual helps to smooth the way into a peaceful slumber. Here are some rituals that have worked for me. Sometimes I use all of them, sometimes only one or two, but they all set the stage for a restful night.
Thirty minutes before bedtime, power down all screens and switch instead to a simple, relaxing activity. This could be reading a chapter or two of an uplifting book or a magazine article, praying or meditating, knitting, a hand or two of solitaire (with real cards), or a hand or foot massage.
Write a ‘Wins” List
List the accomplishments of the day, along with things that went well. This gives me a feeling of contentment and closure. Even in the most ordinary day, many good things happen and could go unnoticed if they aren’t written down.
Try Legs Up the Wall
A yoga pose meant to relax and calm the nervous system, putting legs above the heart brings fresh oxygen and blood flow to the organs. Look for a video on YouTube. (Check with your doctor first).
Keep a Notepad Handy
Leave a pad and pen by your bed. If you wake during the night with mind churning, jot down those to-do list items or other concerns. You can then go back to sleep knowing you’ve taken some action and you can get to those things the next day.
Exercise: Give yourself fifteen minutes to write. Do you have a bedtime ritual? If so, write about how you feel it’s working for you. If not, what kind of ritual would be best? See if you can incorporate some new ideas, or celebrate ones that are working, in the coming week.