Ok, so I am talking from personal experience here, I have two (wild) boys and I am still trying to work from home, do the washing (there is more now), the cleaning (there is more now), the washing up (there is more now)... you get the picture... so by the time the evening comes and we have finally shoehorned them into the bath and then winged our way through a story or 10 (the little one hasn't worked out the read a page, miss a page trick as yet). We then whizz up our own tea followed by round two of washing up, we are just about ready for bed.
But I've always found no matter what time it gets to after the marathon of the day I always like to have at least a good hour just doing ME! Being me, watching my things on the TV, having a nice peaceful brew, reading my magazine subscriptions, playing on MY (not Ted or Max's, as they seem to think) phone, just doing not much at all really. It is B.L.I.S.S.
I know I am not alone; I know most, if not all mums feel like this little moment in the evening is precious. I am not a morning bird, however I know there is another 6/7 o'clock, which if you get up before the kids, I have heard is divine too. I'll trust you on that one. Unless I'm going to the airport on holiday. I'm happy to get up early then.
So you can thank me later - but I have just designed the perfect night in:
STEP ONE (for this to work if you have kids they need to be in bed, and not just in bed, they need to be past the shouting down for random stuff phase and in a deep content sleep... ahh little angels)
Run a nice hot bath - I've been using our English Flora Bath Salts, they steam the room up and make it smell just like a spa plus your skin is left feeling super soft and smelling amazing. Oh and your bath is filled with dried petals which always feels like a real treat.
Next I make a brew - I like a nice normal brew but just recently I have got into nettle and camomile tea (they are 2 separate teas) you use loose leaf tea and a tea strainer and the whole process is actually rather satisfying. I've put all the benefits of the teas here, there is one for everyone. Plus if it is later on at night you are best walking away from the caffeine.
CANDLES - light alllll the candles. In the evening I prefer a lavender based, relaxing/soothing scent. We have just launched our NIGHTTIDE collection of Candles and Pillow Sprays and these are my new scents and products of choice in the evening. (if you order now you also get a box full of surprise treats too, including things such as face masks, hair masks and sweet treats)
Sit - just sit. In peace. For a deeper relaxation and to cut out all exterior lights and sounds I have been using our new wheat masks - I heat mine up and spray with my pillow spray...
STEP FIVE (if you are into TV)
We have watched so many series' now, I've lost track of the best, but ones that captured our attention - Stranger Things, Sabrina, YOU, Dead to Me, After life, Love is Blind, Locke and Key, The Stranger (mainly psychological thrillers yes, but escapism absolutely) all Netflix
Digital Detox your brain - ok, so I know I said have a little play on your phone (you've missed it) but keep it short and sweet, cut down the screen time before you hit the pillow.
Read - Once curled up in your favourite pajamas and snuggly bed socks, you've had your tea, watched some TV, caught up with phone life. It's time to get your brain ready to settle down for bed, let your candles flicker for a little while longer and read a good book. I always read in bed just before I turn the light off. It really helps me switch off and always improves my sleep.
This 'night in' is variable and totally adjustable depending on you, sometimes I put a good rom com on whilst laying in bed, other times we eat with the boys so our nights seem longer. Often there is a little more house work to catch up on, or emails to send but even if you just get 10 minutes peace and quiet you will feel like a fresh new person. Ready to take on another day.
Other ways of achieving deep relaxation and something I try and do (but I have to admit not often enough) is:
- Meditate, it can be hard at first, I've even done a few classes on how best to do it. But it just takes time and practice. There are some brilliant apps you can get on your phone that guide you through meditations and they are best when you are just starting out. Start with just 3/5 mins of meditation and build it up. My favourite app for this is:
- Journaling - some call it bullet journaling, others just their daily diary. Whichever way you like to name it. It is really good for your mind, especially if you worry or get anxious alot. It doesn't have to be all pretty with fancy stickers or tapes, just get a notepad and write down a couple of points you enjoyed about the day, and perhaps a couple of things that you didn't. As well as having the relief of writing it out, it is also interesting to look back on and see if events that effected you a certain way at the time give you the same feelings now.
However you like to relax and unwind, just make sure you do. Most of us are very focused on our physical self; trying to make it fit and healthy. But don't forget about your mental health too. Our mind is who we are, and without it being stable and functioning efficiently we won't be able to do all those tasks mentioned above, the washing, the cleaning, the home schooling... and the vicious circle begins. It's ok to give your mind a little break sometimes, you deserve it.