Having a wind-down routine is essential

THIRST FOR THRIVING

A regular post by Karyn 💛

At the end of a demanding day it might be tempting to simply crash into bed without giving yourself space to unwind. While this is okay to do sometimes, I am a huge advocate for how helpful it is to create a bedtime routine that lets you decompress from the day. It's a way of saying thank you and goodbye to whatever has happened… A letting go that honours both the amazing and the hard things about your day.

Why be intentional about unwinding? 

Rhythms and routines relax the mind.

Once you start setting aside at least 20-30 minutes to unwind at night, your brain will begin to anticipate going into relaxation mode in the evening. You are training the mind to slow down and feel at ease. One of my favourite authors is Psychologist Rick Hanson, who speaks wonderfully about neuroscience and the benefits of relaxing, and offers simple meditations to "activate the “rest-and-digest” parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and its neural, hormonal, and cardiovascular allies; they calm down the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system". https://www.rickhanson.net/relax-your-body/

You are worth it.

Whether you're immersed in your career, parenting, or studies, your presence in the world makes others' lives richer in many ways. Simply because you exist and are uniquely YOU is reason enough to treat yourself with kindness, consideration and respect.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

– LeoBuscaglia


3 relaxing routines to try:

Dial down.

1 hour before bedtime, turn off all screens and electronic devices. Put on a cozy light and enjoy a delicious cup of  herbal tea and some light reading. Stretch your legs out and breathe mindfully in between sips as you savor the quiet time.

Re-connect.

30 minutes before bed, take your journal or iPad and write down 3 successes from your day. What made you smile? When did you feel capable? Loved?

Give yourself a big hug once you're done:)

Stretch it out.

20 minutes before bedtime, do a few stretches. See where you're holding tension, and focus on 1-2 areas. Opening up the hips can feel wonderful; and often the neck is holding stress. Then spend  5 minutes breathing in a relaxed way. Lie down and imagine that you are drawing breath in through holes in your feet. Fill your whole body up with a slow breath, all the way up to your head. Breathe out fully, to the count of 7.

Do you have a nighttime routine that makes you feel great? I would love to hear about it!

Karyn Davies, Registered Clinical Counsellor 

Karyn empowers clients to live with passion, authenticity, and trust. Her support enhances self-esteem and promotes a regular self-care practice, while celebrating client progress in feeling more grounded, capable, and present to life's joys and challenges. 

http://www.refreshcounsellingvancouver.com

https://www.evokemedicine.com/karyn-davies-rcc