We all lead busy lives. It’s hard being a mum/student/working person/human being, and we all have those days where we stagger through the door, kick our shoes off and all we want to do is go to sleep right there and then. Sometimes we do that (not that I would know). Sometimes we’d rather spend some time unwinding and pampering ourselves before we hit the sheets. Here are some of my favourite ways to relax in the evenings that almost always help me get a good night’s sleep.
This one’s a bedtime favourite. Read anything you like – a novel, the newspaper, Vogue, a favourite blog (teehee). Allow yourself to be transported into another world where you can completely forget the woes of daily life, even if for an hour. Great way to educate yourself about the world and quite literally learn something new every day.
Listen to music.
We all know that the power of music transcends language, etc. Put your favourite playlist on and get your boogie on. Or be like me and put your favourite film scores on loop. Pro tip: do it whilst you’re enjoying a bath – go on, spoil yourself.
Do some exercise.
A great option if you’ve had a particularly bad day and you want to take it out on someone/something. Don’t do that – hit the treadmill instead. That being said, there are plenty of exercises that you can do without going to the gym, all you need is yourself and a good amount of floor space. You’d be amazed at how much better the workout feels when you’re furious at the world.
Write about your day.
I used to keep a diary. I would write every single day and pour all my teenage emotions out onto paper. It’s incredibly therapeutic, even though nobody’s going to read it but you. Or you could tweet passive-aggressive one liners and find solace in the Twittersphere.
Re-watch a favourite film.
Rom coms, here I come. Legally Blonde is a favourite if I’m feeling particularly down and need perking up. Get all cosy under your duvet and make a huge mug of hot chocolate. Self-therapy at its finest.
Call a friend/family member.
Pick up the phone and call your best friend from school, or call Mummy dear. Don’t be the one waiting for them to reach out first, you make the first move. Talking about things tends to put them into perspective, and it can be unhealthy to get so consumed in your own thoughts that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
Laughter really is the best medicine – all those neurotransmitters are literally doing a happy dance when your mood lifts. Watch your favourite comedian on YouTube, or watch a funny film. Do your belly laugh with the loud snort that you’re too embarrassed to do in public. A very wise person once told me – never go to bed angry. It’s certainly worked for me.
Write a song, draw a picture, bake cookies, write a blog post – creativity is at the heart of almost everything we do. Don’t worry about being perfect, just allow yourself to get swept up in the creative process and be proud of whatever you’ve made. Then all you have to do is sit back, admire your work, marvel at how your stress has magically disappeared, and go to sleep with a smile on your face.
What about you? Had a stressful time in your life recently? That annoying coworker been getting to you again? I’d love to hear how you dealt with it without punching the culprit in the family jewels. You go girl.