Make Yourself a Priority
Everyone has a morning routine, but what about an evening routine? While mornings are all about taking care of your to-do list, evenings should be all about taking care of yourself. It’s time to amp up your self-care after hours. If you are working from home or out on the front lines providing essential services, it can be easy to get thrown off of regular nightly routines. Time to fix that.
After a long day of work (or a long day of Netflix binging, we’re not judging!), it can be helpful to set up an evening routine centered around you. Setting aside time for self-care before bed is a sure-fire way to create a more restful sleep environment. This means that you will be even more prepared for the next day. Who doesn’t want to emerge from their slumber feeling like a rested, self-care deity? Consider adding these elements for the ultimate evening wind down.
Create an Evening Self-Care Routine
Draw Yourself a Bath
If you have a bathtub, an evening soak is the perfect way to kick off an evening self-care routine. Creating the perfect potion of bath time ingredients will gently pull the stress of the day away. Adding sea salt or epsom salt is a natural way to soften skin and relax muscles. A few drops of your favorite (body safe) essential oils can add an aromatherapy element as well.
If you don’t have access to a bathtub, don’t worry. There are plenty of lavender cleansers, steaming shower tabs, and even shower bombs to liven up your evening wash. Make sure to time your bath or shower and hour or two before you plan to sleep. According to the Sleep Center at New York Presbyterian, your body naturally cools down when it’s time to sleep. A warm bath could interrupt that natural cycle, so have one earlier in the evening.
Light a Candle
Lighting a candle before bed is a soft, peaceful way of sending your hopes and prayers into the Universe. Whether you need help with work, a relationship, or just wish to remember someone you’ve lost, a lit candle will signal to the Universe that you need some assistance, depending on the color of the candle. The ritual of lighting the candle will also help alleviate some of the stress from your mind, which might make sleep a little easier to come by, know you’ve sent your concerns into the ether. If you don’t have any candles of the correct color, you can make your own and add some crystals to help give your manifestations some extra power.
Follow a Guided Meditation
Clearing your mind is sometimes easier said than done. If you are finding it hard to get into the groove of routine meditation, perhaps try a guided meditation app or podcast each night. Many people find these guides very relaxing. In fact, some actually cause people to fall asleep in the middle of sessions. In addition to guided meditation exercises, many of these apps have white noise or soothing soundtracks to put your mind at ease.
Make a Cup of Tea
A warm herbal tea can feel like a hug in a cup. Reach for satchels of chamomile, lemon balm, or valerian root to help you fall asleep. These ingredients have been used to combat insomnia for centuries. If you’re not craving something warm, you could also try having a glass of infused ‘spa water’ at your bedside. Find an infusion that you love, choosing ingredients that are calming such as blueberry and mint. Not only is most fruit rich in antioxidants, but many are anti-inflammatory as well.
Read Something Not on a Screen
Now that you are curled up with your herbal nightcap, why not read for a bit? Curl up with your favorite book or opt for a spiritual reading such as tea leaves or a Tarot card pull. You can read to reflect on the day you’ve had or to prepare for the next. If you’d like, you could record these readings in a journal that doubles as a dream diary for each night. Dream journals are a great way to cultivate creativity, memory, and subconscious awareness.
Perform Some Stress-Free Morning Prep
Setting yourself up for a successful morning will relieve so much stress and anxiety. Take this time to set up your morning coffee or tea, set out your clothes for the next day, and review your agenda. Once your alarm is set, try setting your phone down, out of reach from your bed. Studies show that electronics work against natural sleep patterns, so putting them away may help your brain receive natural melatonin.
Take Care of Yourself
Self-care doesn’t need to be relegated only to bedtime, but the end of the day is a great opportunity to revitalize yourself. Give yourself a break, listen to your favorite music, and show yourself some love.
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