If you have difficulty winding down at the end of a busy day, create a new evening routine and follow it regularly. Here’s four ideas for you:
1. Transition from the busy day. After work, do something to help you release the stress from the day. Meditating, exercising, stretching, or taking a nap or short walk are all great options to transition. Whatever it is, have a transition routine that tells you the busy day is over and it is time to wind down.
2. Don’t get stuck in social media or in front of screens. Social media and entertainment fires off dopamine in your brain and also increases anxiety, preventing you from winding down. Instead of watching or following anything on a screen, do your hobby, read a book, have a good conversation with a friend. Avoid all screens in the hour before bed.
3. Have a gratitude practice. Write down all the things you learned, accomplished or are thankful for each day. Then, write down what you need to do tomorrow so you can free your mind and relax. Making lists help you relax.
4. Use your home environment to wind down. Dim the lights, play calming music, light candles, and lower the temperature to 68 degrees before bed. Make sure your room is pitch black when you go to bed. And before you fall asleep, generate gratitude and tell yourself the day is done, you’ve done your best, and all is well for now.
If you successfully wind down at the end of the day, the next day you’ll be fully energized and ready to lead #theChargedLife.
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Hey it’s Brendon. Have you ever had difficulty winding down at the end of a busy day and you feel like, “Gosh, I can’t sleep because of it” or you’re not getting great sleep. Or you just feel like constantly frazzled at the end of the day that you just wish you could have some sense of peace amidst all the chaos of the day? Well, what are you going to do?
I got 4 ideas for you today:
The first one is just, you must, you must, must, must set up a discipline, a routine that you do every night if you are ever going to make anything better. The hopes that one day we’re just going to wander into a perfect evening where everything is flowers and calm and meditation practice and everything’s a perfect yoga studio around the house, that’s not going to happen unless you have a distinct set up intention that every night you are going to follow a routine.
You talk to parents and you talk about their kids and when their favorite parts of their childhood is, when the kids finally got on a routine. And when they got on a routine, the parents finally felt like, “Oh, at least we can plan a dinner or at least we know when we’re going to bed.” It’s like, as soon as you establish routines in your life, you start to be able to feel better.
Well, the same thing goes for your evenings. Your evenings shouldn’t be a hot mess of like, “Oh, we watched a show. Now let me go check Facebook. Now, let me do some Instagramming. Now, let me go do this.”
All random. It’s like it’s a bunch of random things at the end of the night. What you’re doing is firing off the dopamine molecule and hormone in your brain that says, “I like novelty.”
And all these new things are firing up your brain, not winding it down. So, the more randomness you have at the end of the night, the less likely you’ll sleep well. The more likely your brain will be activated and want to do more things, it’ll be more difficult to chill out. So, make sure you have some type of routine.
Here’s what I recommend:
The first point: Transition from the busy day. You need to have your transitions. For some people that is, you come home, you get in the house, you go to the gym, you work out, then you come back home. Now, there’s a break from work versus home.
Other people, they drive to their house. They get into the house. They meditate for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 10 minutes; whatever it takes. Other people take a quick nap. Whatever it is. Or even, some other people just take a walk around the house a couple of times and just focus on releasing their thoughts and the stress from the day. Other people, stretch and move. Whatever it is, you got to have that transition routine.
So, what is it? You need to have something that says, “I finished the work of the day. I’m going to wind down now.” And you must activate a habit. For me it’s meditation and a walk. That keeps me sane. So, when I get home from a day’s work, even if I’m working from home but I know I’m done now, I meditate, I walk around the block, and I’m in a good place. It’s just something I immediately do and I highly recommend it to you as well.
Next idea, big idea: Don’t get stuck in social media. Don’t get stuck in front of screens. If you want to wind down, again the way to do that is to avoid randomness and novelty—lots of new things. So, watching 3 seasons of a show is not going to chill you out. It’s going to create a little bit of anxiety and dopamine where you just like activate it.
You want to avoid looking at much of social media. I just tell people, “If you really want to chill out and like wind down, maybe one show that’s okay, cool. But then read a book or go for that walk or do something that removes you from all the, like the crazy stuff going on especially, tweets or Instagrams or scrolling news feeds. All that’s only firing you up not winding you down.”
Third big idea is: Make sure you have something that you do for gratitude practice. One great way to increase your happiness but also help you calm down is gratitude. So, do you have a gratitude journal you can do at the end of the night? Do you have a moment where you can just take and just write down a few things you are happy for, from the day? Maybe a few things you learned.
And some people, if you just can write down a few things you got to do the next day, just to get them off your mind, so you’re no lying in bed going, “What am I supposed to do tomorrow?” And then you activate all the things you’re supposed to do.
Get that on a piece of paper somewhere. Just get it off your brain. Put it away and now you don’t have to deal with it anymore.
Last idea: Use the environment of your home to wind you down. Dim the lights, put on the house music that’s calming music. Light those candles if you got the candles. Drop the temperature down to 68 or 69 degrees so your body gets ready for bed.
When you get into bed have your moment of gratitude where you thank and complete the day. Where you say, “This was a good day. This day is now over. I did my best. Everything today did pass. There’s nothing more I can do to influence this day. This one is done. It is complete. Good job. I’m thankful for it. I’m ready for bed.”
Just tell yourself that. Like let your brain go, “The day is done.” And it releases all this expectation that your mind wants to have to keep thinking at night. So, in bed it’s very important. Have that moment where you go, “The day is done. I did a good job.”
Be grateful. Go to bed. If you’re going to have that temperature set down, make sure the room is dark. Make sure you don’t have any of those big alarm clocks that are casting light into the room. Go for a pitch black, dark room at night.
It’s been proven in every sleep study to improve your sleep and the depth of your sleep and rejuvenation. So, make sure pitch black room. No lights, no sound. If you think you need that ambient white noise then there’s plenty of ways you can do that but make sure there’s no screen casting light as you do that.
Drop that temperature 68 – 69 degrees. Enter your sleep from a moment of gratitude. You will feel a lot better tomorrow. You will feel rejuvenated. You will feel ready to go because if you can wind down well at the end of the day then the next day when you wake up you’ll be like, “I’m ready for The Charged Life”.