I was speaking with a coaching client this week, and as I listened to her fire off a list of things she’d done that day, I literally sat back in my chair and exhaled FOR her! She was so wound up I thought she might take off into the air right before my eyes. It was like a triple-caffeinated toddler had taken her place for the day.
As she ran through the list of things still to be done that day and lamented how late she’d probably have to stay up to finish it, I posed a question that stopped her in her tracks.
I may as well have asked her how she planned to master time travel! She looked bewildered.
I wasn’t surprised.
But there are few things that will do more to help you get a good night of restful sleep and a jump start on the next day than this important ritual.
If you’re currently spending the last hour of your day:
- catching up on work on your laptop or iPad
- doing housework
- arguing with someone
- running errands
- scrolling through your social media feeds
- watching TV
…then YOU need a wind down ritual!
To craft one, take a look at this starter list I put together to inspire you, and then adapt with your own ideas.
- Clear the space of clutter
- Dim the lights and pull the shades
- Turn off the TV, the computer, and the phone
- Turn on soft music or white noise (I use the Spa music channel on Pandora)
- Make a cup of herbal tea or hot lemon water
- Take a bath or a shower
- Take off your makeup and use an amazing moisturizer
- Get into the coziest, softest clothes you own
- Use a fragrance diffuser or linen spray that you love to signal that it’s time for rest
- Read an uplifting or inspiring book – nothing too heavy or too dramatic
- Journal – at a minimum jot down three specific things you are grateful for
- Spend a few minutes in silence – meditation, prayer, or just being quiet
- Drift off to sleep
In practice, I mix up my wind down ritual from time to time so that I don’t get bored with it, and of course, there are nights when I short-change it because I have an event to attend or a project to finish.
But I can say with absolute honesty that I sleep like a baby every night that I take the time to do it well. And as an extra bonus, that restful sleep is like a secret weapon when it comes to my productivity the next day,
So try it! Design your own wind down ritual. And when you have it sketched out, share it with us in comments. I’d love to hear some of your creative ideas so that I can try them for myself!