Tambako the Jaguar
All too often we hear about ways to start the day, with habits and routines we should implement in order to have a good day. What is often missed out on is finishing the day which is a hugely important time to wind down and set yourself up for a good nights sleep and the day that will carry along from that.
1. Have a hot bath or shower
The best thing about a hot bath or shower is that it will relax your tensed muscles. No matter what kind of day I have had I will always try to have a hot shower about 30 minutes before sleeping. It helps calm my mind, plus soothe my head and shoulder muscles. You will also find it easier to nod off if you are warm.
2. Make a warm glass of milk
Sometimes before bed we can get a slight hunger pang, not enough to warrant a meal or snack even but rather to nod us off to sleep. Try lightly heating a small cup of milk, stir in some cinnamon and raw honey and sip on it before going to bed. The milk will help calm the stomach and give a sedative effect, so don’t be surprised if you start yawning soon after.
3. Read something relaxing and inspiring
Firstly and most importantly make sure it is something that interests you. This normally comes hand in hand with relaxing and inspiring. A good book before bed will calm the mind and fill your mind with positive ideas and hope for the next days. Here are a few of my favourites at the moment;
The Miracle of Mindfullness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea
Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul (And, of Course, Surfing)
The 4-Hour Workweek.
Those are some of the best easy reads I have had in the last month or two. So take a look and see if you enjoy any.
4. Visualise the next day
This takes just 10 minutes and can set things up for your next day. Try just laying down closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Then move into visualising key points and things you want to achieve the following day or even that week, make sure your visualisations are positive and make them play out to be ideal. Of course this guarantees nothing but it certainly helps. This is a tip from one of my favourite books PshycoCybernetics.
5. Write down what needs to be done tomorrow
Clear your mind, get things off your chest. By simply grabbing a pen and paper and listing out the following:
- What needs to be done
- The order in which you will try to do the tasks
- What’s on your mind
You can clear a load of clutter in your mind that might normally keep you up at night ruminating and worrying.
6. Make a gratitude list
This goes back to habits, by simply noting down at the end of each day a handful of things you are thankful for you will feel much better.
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. – Buddha
You don’t need to spend much time on this just note down four or five things that went well today and store them in a journal on your bedside.
7. Do some basic stretches
Stretching before bed is very relaxing. Nothing too stimulating should be done just a few simple yoga poses and stretches will do fine. This is especially useful if you have a desk job or something that has you sitting around all day. It can make your hip flexors and abductors very sore as well as crushing your lower back. So lengthening stretches along with something for the legs are great.
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