As our blog series on Stress Awareness Month comes to a close (recap parts one, two and three), Senior Trainer Nicola Baillie looks at adapting our evening routine to ensure we fully wind down from the day and enjoy an interruption-free, quality night’s sleep.
Complete your wellness toolkit
Our Calm Study revealed some worrying statistics around the stress we face in our modern lives. Specifically for this time of day, a staggering 92% of those we spoke to reported feeling stressed before they go to sleep while 64% woke at least once in the night due to stress. Aside from this, 47% didn’t spend time in the evening trying to create calm.
With all this in mind, add these actions to your wellness toolkit and ensure a calmer close to the day, a better night’s sleep and a brighter, composed and energised morning.
- Working late? Switch off | Dinner is done, the children are in bed and you automatically turn back to the laptop to continue your work day. But let’s be honest… how much pressure to do this do you put on yourself? Striving for perfection and setting yourself unrealistic goals for project completion will leave you incapable of relaxing in the evening. Acknowledge that you’re doing your best, take the pressure off and dedicate some time to relaxing during the evening – it’s vital in helping you function the following day.
- Feeling tense? Unwind | Just like the essential oils we talked about in part one can really awaken your mind and body in the morning, immersing yourself in a warm bath infused with Rose, Chamomile, Bergamot or Lavender Essential Oils in the evening is a sure-fire way to overcome feelings of isolation, lift spirits and prompt your brain to start producing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Run a warm bath and add a couple of capfuls of Restorative Bath Oil. Next, stand in the bath and massage Relaxing Salt Scrub over skin – this soothing exfoliator will cleanse away a stressful day while calming senses with its blend of Bay and Lavender. Finally, enjoy your bath for 20 minutes and you’ll be delighted at the improvement to your quality of sleep.
- Beating yourself up? A little gratitude goes a long way | When pressure mounts, it’s hard to see past the negative things that are going on… putting us in a stress-inducing spiral. Instead, end the day remembering the good things that happened – a better-than-expected commute, the tasks ticked off your list, praise from a colleague or manager, a beaming smile from your child, a catch-up with a friend. It all adds up to a calmer, more positive frame of mind.
- Busy brain? Write it down | In part two of this blog series, we talked about writing down any priorities so that you can use your commuting time more positively. The same applies here. If you’re one of the 92% feeling stressed before you sleep, you’re clearly not shaking off the day enough. Keep a notebook by the side of your bed and if you’re worrying about something you’ve not completed or achieved that day, simply write it down. Tomorrow is a new day and you can tackle it then once you have rested and recovered.
- Anxiety still high? Slow your breath | I’ve mentioned the importance of breathing a few times in this series. When you’re sat or led in bed, turn your attention to the rate at which you’re breathing. When we’re feeling stressed, we tend to breathe short, quick breaths – this limits the oxygen we take in, worsening the issue. Be mindful of the pace, work consciously to slow and deepen your breath. Let your shoulders relax and drop as mind and body are gently coaxed to sleep.
Boost the calming, sleep-inducing effects of some deep breathing with essential oils. Warm a few drops of Restorative Body Oil in your hands, cup them over your nose and let the aromas of Sweet Orange, Rose Geranium and Lavender ease anxieties away with every breath. Alternatively, keep our Restorative Reed Diffuser in your bedroom, creating a perfect sleep sanctuary by continually filling with these naturally comforting and quietening scents.
Retreat to wellbeing
Escaping for a day, weekend or week works wonders longer term for your inner calm. It might be a short family break or day out, a countryside walk, spa day or a wellness retreat… there’s so much out there on offer. Essentially though, something is better than nothing. Commit to your own health and wellbeing today, learn what works best for you and here’s to calmer, happier and healthier times ahead.