Unwinding and relaxing after a long day is something I really struggle with. I have a love/hate relationship with relaxation. Most people would dream at the thought of relaxing on the beach or spending the day at a spa but not me. I like to be busy, on-the-go and always have something to do.
Weird? I know, but what’s new really.
For instance, I start working at 10 am. Next thing I know, I’m looking at the clock and it’s 2 am. It was then I realised I might have a real problem with winding down. Not that the thought of switching off my computer and switching on Netflix isn’t appealing, but it’s almost like even when I do, my mind is still in other places. I just can’t switch off. I always feel like there’s more I can do. But I’m slowly accepting that relaxation is beneficial.
If you’re like me & can’t grasp the fact that it’s time to SHUT OFF, here’s a few things that have helped me immensely.
The amount I go on about magnesium is kind of annoying. The stuff is seriously magic though. Ever since I started taking magnesium every night, I’ve managed to sleep better, crave less sweets & my mood swings are much more under control.
I take magnesium in two forms:
Magnesium supplements. I take 310mg a day, but you can check this chart to see how much you should be taking. I always recommend taking them at night as it helps muscles relax, giving you that calm “sleepy” feeling and helping you unwind after a long day.
Magnesium Natural Calm tea. Natural calm is the only water-soluble magnesium powder containing all natural ingredients. I rave about this to literally every single person who tells me they’re anxious, stressed and/or have trouble winding down at night. I add a bit to hot water or green tea every night and it just slowly drifts me off to sleep. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever bought.
When your environment is chaotic, it’s so difficult to feel relaxed. Making small changes to your surroundings can help your home feel like a refuge from the chaos, rather than part of it.
Candles / dim lighting
My first step into relaxation is dimming the lights, lighting a few candles and drifting off into a state of utter bliss. Something about lighting a candle triggers a sense of calmness. My love for vanilla candles runs true & deep, but recently I haven’t been able to stop burning this one. It smells like the ocean, but better. Sort of like if I close my eyes I could be swaying gently in a hammock with a light sea breeze sweeping by.
You know, the usual.
This is the hardest thing for me to do since my job is all about connecting online. I’m guilty of scrolling through my phone & replying to emails in bed which I understand has a terrible impact on sleep and health. I’m really trying to enforce a technology curfew, meaning all technology must be switched off by a certain time.
The light from technology promotes wakefulness and engaging with technology lowers your melatonin levels, making it much more difficult to drift off and cause disrupted sleep.
Bottom line: set a time to turn off your technology and maybe switch to a book instead!
I’ve been very into essential oils as of late, particularly ones targeted to provoke relaxation. Just after dinner, I start burning home oils on an electric oil burner. It’s so much easier to use than the traditional tea light ones – just a flick of a switch and a few drops of oil!
Skincare / pamper routine
A gentle, moisturising skincare routine always gets me in the mood to relax.
My first and most important step: a good cleanser. It removes all your dirt & makeup from the day, and just gives you that ‘fresh’ feeling. I will never go to bed without at least cleansing my face. I’m obsessed with this cleanser – it removes all my makeup within seconds. I’m already onto my second bottle!
Favourite beauty hack: mix your foundation with a couple drops of almond oil. THANK ME LATER.
I love using coconut oil on my skin at night as well – just make sure you’re using raw organic coconut oil. I really feel like coconut oil with unnatural ingredients just defeats the purpose of using coconut oil.
run a hot bath
I’m really trying to get on the whole bath thing. I understand that they can help tensed muscles and improve your mental well-being, and the few times a year I have them, I feel immediately calmer after.
Throw in some LUSH bath bombs or essential oils, light a few candles and you’re golden. I feel like LUSH bath bombs take baths to a whole new level.
I’m a big tea enthusiast. Peppermint and green tea are apart of my daily routine, although at night I only drink decaffeinated teas like chamomile. It contains a flavonoid compound called apidenin, which is said to contribute to its relaxing effects.
Although it’s never been proven that chamomile puts you to sleep, it does help you wind down, leading to a more restful sleep. If you’re looking for something a little more effective, you can’t go past magnesium tea. It treats insomnia, stops your mind from racing and puts you into a state of calm.
Valelrian tea is one of the few herbs which have actually found to have sedative properties. It’s been used for centuries to help with sleep and anxiety. I also recently discovered Celestial Sleepytime tea. It calms both the body (if you’ve overeaten) and mind to help unwind. It contains chamomile, spearmint, lemon grass and a bunch of other herbs to help you relax. It’s really brilliant.
Book / podcast
Along with most people, I first started getting into podcasts when the first season of serial was released (although the second season was a complete bore) & now I listen to them everyday.
podcasts to try
Ask Gary Vee Show
He answers all your questions about marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship.
Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
A fictional podcast following journalist Lia Haddock as she investigates the infamous disappearance of a research facility. “What happened to the people of Limetown?”
As for books, well, I’m still working on that one. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.
Now it’s your turn – how do you unwind after a long day? I need all the help I can get.