This post is part of a three-part series from one of my favorite bloggers – J of Sparklingly! Just started reading the series? Check out part 1: Tips for a Gentler Morning and part 2: Tips for a Gentler Work Day.
For a gentler evening:
– Put your phone down: Especially if you live with others. There’s so much we miss by being tethered to our phones—I’m especially awful at following this, but I’m getting better! I do one last check of my phone when I walk into my building and then try very, very hard to not look at it again until dinner’s over. And, I also try to make the last time I check any electronic device as far away from my bedtime as possible—those flickering lights immediately jolt your system out of its wind-down process and make falling asleep when you get into bed even harder.
– Try to keep track of your groceries: I don’t plan out my meals every day, but when I realized we were letting too much of our produce go bad, I started making an effort to figure out how we could use what’s in the fridge to make good dinners towards the end of our grocery cycles. When I do do this, I pop the “menu” on my Google Calendar—this helps us not to waste food AND it’s something nice to look forward to (which makes my workdays go by faster!).
– Double your cooking: Before I was married I hardly ever cooked for one—I’d always throw enough in the pot to make my own dinner, plus fill a few tupperware containers. One always went into the fridge for lunch sometime in the next few days, while any others went into the freezer so I’d always have something for lunch, even if I hadn’t cooked the night before. When I married my Sicilian, the concept of leftovers was completely foreign to him, so after (many) gentle reminders on the nights he cooked to please make more, I’m finally back to always having lunch ready. Bringing your own lunch not only saves money, but it’s so nice to know exactly what you’re eating. The key to making this work is to of course make enough to have leftovers, but also getting nice containers and lunch bags. No one wants to tote a sad, misshapen container, right? I started using Pyrex ones, which are heavy, but I’d prefer to not eat from plastic, and wrapping my containers in matching linens before putting them in my bag. Then I have my lunch and a placemat/lap napkin all in one!
For a gentler night:
– Drink a big glass of water before bed: I never used to wake up during the night, but now that I’m getting older (sob!), I find myself waking up hours before my alarm to reach for some water. To combat that, I drink a big, fizzy glass before bed, with a teaspoon of magnesium.
– Create a ritual: After I wash my face with coconut oil, I dab on some tamanu oil mixed in my palm with lemon essential oil. Technically lemon does the opposite of what you want to do before you go to bed, as it’s meant to help you be alert, but I can’t stand the scent of lavender, which is known to be relaxing. Regardless, that whiff of lemon automatically signals “nighty night” to me and helps me fall asleep.
– Float away on your dreams, not on a wave of electromagnetic frequency: The biggest (and easiest!) change I made to my quality of sleep was charging our cell phones outside of our bedroom. You will sleep so much better without radiation pulsing near your head the entire night, not to mention you’ll be doing wonders for your endocrine and nervous systems by removing that extra truckload of exposure to electromagnetic frequencies. Our bodies repair themselves at night, and we have our own internal electrical system, so constant exposure to an additional source of electrical impulses seriously impedes our regenerative processes. Plus, without blinking lights, the bright screen that confuses our bodies into thinking it’s not nighttime, and the “let me just check onnnne last thing” siren call of your phone, the chance of you actually falling asleep when you want to is so much easier.
I so hope my lists inspired you to make a few of your own tweaks—I’d love to hear any of your new ones, or the ones that already work for you, so please share below. And, thank you so much to Amanda for inviting me over!