Here is the third installment of my self care series.
If you missed the introduction or the post about sleep you can find the links at the end of this post.
So today, I wanted to touch briefly on routines. Bedtime routines most specifically.
I know, I know….who has time to start these things? Just thinking about it expends energy that I don’t usually have at 9pm, and already tired from a full day. Believe me, I have tried…..always with best intentions, to start a plan, but then fail miserably after about 10 days. OR I would decide I was going to add things to my proposed routine, that were so unlike me….. that it was doomed for failure from the start. BUT, there is much to be said about “QOL” (quality of life) if we take the time to look at bed time routines as self care instead of another “thing” to accomplish.
For me, getting ready for bed, is the time I want to relax, not be engaged in a check list of “get it done.” While I do have a routine, it has come about organically, changes depending on seasons and focuses in my life.
A good way to start is to simply look at the things you are already doing, as a way of “taking care” of yourself instead of a “TO DO!” The simple act of shifting your thought process to something you already do as an act of nurturing, will make a difference.
Here’s a few ways that I started my path to a bedtime routine. It began with a different way to think.
- Washing your face – We all do it already. Right? The simple act of washing your face, taking care of your most important organ….(skin) is self care. It doesn’t have to be some elaborate 30 minute ritual that costs you a ton of money because you need to have the best skin care products out there…. I timed my face washing routine (for the sake of this blog post) and it takes me all of 5 minutes, and I am not rushing. And my favorite skin care products are simple…. no really….SIMPLE skincare. (note: please do not go to bed with your makeup on…..when you do, I can bet you wake up feeling like “ew”, not to mention how bad that is for your skin ) Even if you are showering, I suggest you wash your face separately. There is something about taking time out for the one thing that stares back at you in the mirror.
- Getting the coffee ready – I do this every night before heading to bed. I used to see this as just one more thing to do after the dinner dishes but then I shifted my process to, how this makes me feel in the morning, when I get up and my “joe” is ready to go. I also, get my cup ready with my little lemon juicer, because I drink a cup of warm lemon water every morning as part of my morning routine. A simple act, that makes me feel like I am looking forward to the next day and giving myself a morning smile. And maybe you don’t drink coffee. It can definitely be something else that you prep your kitchen for, that makes you happy first thing in the am.
- Setting the environment – again this is as unique as the individual, and it could change from night to night, but I like to set the stage for my final count down to turning out the lights. This might or might not include: diffusing my favorite bedtime essential oils, lighting a candle while I put on my lotion, spraying lavender spray on my pillows, or just picking out the perfect lip balm from my bedside collection and applying it.
I really do think half the battle in coming up with a self care routine is re-thinking it and acknowledging that some of the things you already do, is really your soul already acknowledging that it needs some nurturing.
After you have pinpointed a couple things as self care, you already have a start to a plan……….and then you can add maybe a new thing to your practice.
And here are a few ideas:
- replace your fiction book with a self help book.
- gratitude journal
- simple yoga in bed
I would love to hear what things you “already do” that you never thought were self care.
I hope you are enjoying this series and next time I will be writing about morning routines.
With love and adventure,
If you missed the first two posts in this series you can find the links below.