Rituals To Help You Relax And Unwind
Routines ground us, but they are also often a touch tedious. Feeding the cat, early week grocery shopping, checking emails first thing in the morning… But not everything we do routinely must be a humdrum task.
By adopting rituals that nourish, calm and relax us, we can balance the more tiresome chores with something to look forward to each day.
Here are a few recommendations to consider that promote rest and restoration:
Warm your stomach with a hot drink: Warm drinks comfort us and can help us relax for rest, especially before bedtime. Avoid any caffeinated drinks and instead opt for warm milk with added spices such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg. Ginger tea is a powerful digestive aid too, so a great one for after dinner. For first thing in the morning, try a mug of hot water with the juice of half a lemon, an inch of grated ginger and a squeeze of honey.
Light a candle or burn some essential oils: Particular scents can help focus our thoughts and calm our minds. Either at the start of the day, before the busyness ensues, or at the end of the day when we’re looking to unwind, lighting a candle or burning some essential oils can prepare us for a more focused day of work or calm night’s sleep, respectively. Essential oils that are especially helpful for relaxation include cardamom, geranium, ginger, jasmine, lemon, neroli, nutmeg, oregano, patchouli, rose, saffron, sandalwood, vanilla, and vetiver.
Soak in the bath before bed: Immersing yourself in water is known to be extremely therapeutic and can help you detach from the day’s stress. Water has a way of soothing your mind so your thoughts can become more fluid. Avoid overly hot baths and instead try a warm temperature with added Epsom salts and scented oils for additional muscle relaxation.
Stretch: Stretching, like taking a bath, can help you get loose and limbered up for a good night’s sleep. When done every night, a few minutes of stretching can let your body know it’s time to start winding down. Find a quiet place in your home and allow yourself to recognise how you feel physically. Giving your body a bit of TLC through stretching also helps prevent injury and relieves built-up tension and stress.
Be still: Take some time to enjoy just being still, quiet and alone, with yourself. Alone time helps press that reset button and it also gives you time, either at the beginning or end of your day, to collect your thoughts and prepare for whatever challenge lies ahead. In our fast-paced world, it is all too easy to lose your sense of self, being alone provides that time to have conversations with yourself and concentrate on what you need. Solitude is bliss.