I’d love to say that I do this everyday. Wash my face, put on a age restoring mask, meditate, journal, and then tuck into a lavish and fully made bed before kissing my husband good night and drifting off to a peace and dream filled 8+ hours of sleep.
But after working all morning on life and Enotrias related tasks, before driving an hour to and from my restaurant job from roughly 3pm-11pm, I barely have the energy to feed the dogs, take off my makeup with one of those environment killing towelettes, pop a chocolate melatonin candy, and slide on an eye mask after cruising facebook because FOMO from our partially made bed before falling asleep mid-scroll.
It’s a new year, a new decade! I can do and be better! So this is my guide to my night time ritual (or the one that I aspire to). And duh, you should leave your phone charging outside of your bedroom, but that aint gonna happen anytime soon for this gal.
1. Let That Ish Go
It took my years and years and years (and years) to learn to leave work at work. Especially in such a personal environment as hospitality. Your boss can be on a warpath, a guest can be horribly rude, another guest can be amazing but leave you a verbal tip instead of one that will help to pay your mortgage, your coworker can be toxic to be around, the list goes on and on.
How do I do this now? Some nights I get a little help from plant medicine, some nights it’s listening to an incredible audiobook or podcast that consumes my every thought, and sometimes it is repeating the Let That Ish Go mantra as I cross the bridge home.
The important thing is knowing that your time is your time. You clocked out, and they do not have the right to take up any of your time or energy until you return, so set your boundaries! (THIS GOES FOR VACATIONS TOO!)
2. Wash Your Face/Prep Yo’self
As Rachel Hollis says in her bestselling book Girl Wash Your Face...
I’m legit terrible at this, but I’ve gotten better! So as not to waste a ton of water waiting for it to get hot, I’ve moved my face washing routine into the kitchen, where the hot water reaches fastest, and the warming water can be collected in the water pitchers. I’m a shower in the morning gal, but if you are all about washing the day off entirely, do yo thang.
Put on the night time serums that you can only put on a clean face (ie all of them). Lotion yourself, give yourself a little massage, whatever you need to shift from daytime hustle mode, to night time chill mode.
3. Make Sleepy Tea, Pop Some Melatonin, Involve Plant Medicine
By now hopefully you’re less than an hour from dreamland and making a cup of relaxing tea, taking a tab of melatonin (I’ve found that these chocolates are THE BEST, and you only need one to get a full night sleep, or you can pop one if you find yourself wide awake at three in the morning), or a couple of puffs of indica that will start affecting you in the amount of time it takes to complete your routine.
4. Meditate/Journal on Gratitude
There are so many great apps for meditating out there now, as well as youtube channels, music stations, etc. My favorite is Insight Timer, with Calm coming in second. I highly recommend concluding your day with a stress relieving guided meditation. One of my meditation hacks for my bonkers monkey mind, is to have a journal beside me when I’m meditating. I threaten my monkeys with action. If they’re going to shout brilliant ideas and things to add to my to do list while I’m trying to quiet my brain, I’m going to write them down as they come up so I don’t have to be distracted with trying to remember them as the seconds tick down.
If I feel compelled, I’ll journal for a bit on anything that came up in the meditation, or just things I need to process versus having bounce around my subconscious all night.
I started a new journal this year called Commit 30, and so far I’m loving it. It’s more of a goal oriented workbook than a traditional journal with pages to fill with brain dumps, so I also have my regular journal that I use for those.
One of the most powerful exercises of my life has been to come up with three things I’m grateful for right before I end my day. My dad started this with my brother and I when we were kids (I remember him doing it when he and my mom were going through their divorce), and I started it again with a vengeance when I was going through mine. Now it’s part of my nightly routine no matter what. Even if I’ve had the shitiest of days, I can be thankful for my bed, my home, and my dogs. I now write my top three gratitude's down in the daily column in my Commit 30 Journal, but still end up sneaking in some head on the pillow gratitude's too.
5. Prep Yo’space
There’s a reason spas smell the way they do. They get you in utmost relaxation mode before you even hit the massage table. I have an essential oil diffuser in our room that I fill with Sweet Dreams essential oil from Pharmica that has a similar effect.
Your bed should be as comfortable as bugetly possible. I have pillows that I swear by, clean and soft sheets, warm layers (I turn the thermometer down to 68 unless the husband catches me and turns it up), and anything that I need within reach (melatonin chocolates, a good book, my journals, reading glasses, etc.).
I also love good jammies, and I’ve found my favorite ones from Target.
My God, I wish I was better at reading books instead of Facebook at night. When I read before bed, I sleep WAY better, I DREAM, and I feel a ton better about myself. I’ve even gone so far as to get reading glasses with tiny LED lights in them so that I don’t have to worry about a flimsy book light that never seems to work well enough for me to bother with. I might only get through a few paragraphs, but it always does the trick.
For me, I’ve become super sensitive to light and sound, so I use an eye mask (note: I just figured out that the one that I have been using for years that my guru Tim Ferriss recommends has been effing up my eyelashes, and just by sheer luck I ended up with a free set in my travel pillow package that has immediately changed my life! It seals out all the light, and I swear it looks like my eyelashes have grown three times the length in the first week of use since it hovers above my eyes instead of laying directly on them), and sometimes we use these fantastic earplugs that I discovered during a recent float session (but my husband and I both noticed that using them several days in a row was resulting in some sinus issues, so maybe only use them when totally necessary).
I think it’s really important to tell who (or what) ever you are sharing your bed with that you love them before you fall asleep. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, and having “I love you” be the last thing that you hear before you dive into dreamland is a lovely way to end your day.
Am I missing anything? What processes or products do you swear by? Maybe a little legs up the wall? A favorite bedtime story?