Special evening rituals. To unlock your harmony and slow down. To appreciate special moments from the day and tranquilize after hectic ones. A few evening rituals are like a perfect summary of the day, preparing body and mind for relaxation at night.
Rituals are the formulas by which harmony is restored.
Together with morning rituals, evening activities can give an excellent feeling of completeness and harmony to our daily life. Somehow we tend to remember more about our Morning Rituals for a Beautiful Day Start (read my previous post to find out more). And as the day goes by, we may forget to finalize our day in a meaningful way. It gets busy, or we are just tired to do anything extra. So what are the special evening rituals that are simple enough to incorporate yet very beneficial? Body, mind, and soul will appreciate this focus in the evening!
SPECIAL EVENING RITUALS
Three things influenced me to write this article.
Firstly, I want to continue to topic from my previous blog post, Morning Rituals for a Beautiful Day Start. Secondly, my Better Half recently sent me a quick video of Sadhguru that talked about five things before sleeping. And finally, having family, especially a small baby, I realized how important it is to finish the day in a meaningful way and reconnect with self.
A daily routine or ritual is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind and consciousness.
Also, on my bedside table, I keep a “The Little Book of Hygge” book. It is one of my favorite books for late evening reading. Its content refers to the overall approach towards a happy life. In my eyes, it matches perfectly also to relaxing and cozy evenings.
SADHGURU – 5 THINGS BEFORE SLEEPING
Eat 3-4 hours before going to bed
“Before going to bed, drink a certain amount of water and go to bed. You will see it is taken care of just like this.”
Take a shower
“You will sleep better because it will take away certain things.”
Light an organic oil lamp
“Just burn one little lamp somewhere in the room where you sleep. You will see these things will completely disappear.”
Chant or practice yogic processes
“Sit on your bed and do this practice.”
Remind yourself: “I am not this body. I am not this mind.”
“Before you go to bed, spend at least 12-15 minutes reminding yourself you are neither this body nor this mind.”
THE HYGGE MANIFESTO
- Atmosphere: Turn down the lights.
- Presence: Be here now. Turn off the phones.
- Pleasure: Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy. Gimme!
- Equality: “We” over “me”. Share the tasks and the airtime.
- Gratitude: Take it in. This might be as good as it gets.
- Harmony: It’s not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements.
- Comfort: Get comfy. Take a break. It’s all about relaxation.
- Truce: No drama. Let’s discuss politics another day.
- Togetherness: Build relationships and narratives. “Do you remember the time we…?”
- Shelter: This is your tribe. This is a place of piece and security.
Hygge Emergency Kit: candles, good quality chocolate, favorite tea, favorite book, favorite movie or movie series, jam, set of woolen warm socks, important letters written on the paper, notebook, lovely blanket, paper and pencil, music, photo album.
MY EVENING RITUALS
CANDLES & light
Usually, I start an evening by dimming the lights at home and turning on the candles. It gives me a feeling of relaxation and coziness. It also builds a connection with people who are not next. The more candles, the better! I love the.
Suggestion: Select organic and natural candles, also known as ‘clean candles’. Some candle brands still use refined paraffin, a petroleum-based wax. When burnt, it may release carcinogenic soot and synthetic fragrances. They can emit potentially dangerous VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Evenings are a great time to relax after an active and often hectic day, full of family activities and responsibilities. When our Little One and Bigger Angel fall asleep, finally, we have a bit of silence and time for ourselves. And even if I often end up writing the blog, I try to find a bit of time for my Better Half. A glass of wine together?
Suggestion: If you have small children, using a video baby monitor with a camera can be very helpful, especially when having multiple floors or remote rooms. A video baby monitor might have a reach of ~300 meters (1000ft) so, you could even visit your neighbors!
Wine or mango juice! That’s my typical evening. A glass of red wine is a perfect accompaniment to a relaxing evening. Luckily, I do not need to drink a lot. It is more about the taste and the evening atmosphere. I like to believe in a study that says: “Drinking Red Wine Every Night Can Help You Sleep Better and Live Longer”. And what do you usually drink in the evening?
Suggestion: Do not mix drinking and driving! No matter the legal limit.
Watching sunsets: who doesn’t love it? There is something special in every sunset, that moment and scene. So relaxing and calming down, an ideal combination of completion and hope for the next day. These are also the moments when nature shows off its scale of colors. Do I watch sunsets every evening? No, I do not manage to do it daily. But I love to, at least, look at the sky and search for the pink shade that promises good weather the following day.
Suggestion: Read my previous article Watching Sunsets: Dusk Moments to discover my memorable dusk moments and sunsets’ bucket list.
Since having a family, I find it beneficial to have a little plan for the following day. Before, it was more spontaneous. So I like to ‘interview’ my Better Half every evening and plan the next day a bit to maximize the outcome and daily happiness! As simple as a surprise lunch or finding more free time during the day.
Suggestion: As the day might get a bit hectic for me, especially with the Little One, I started to set up a few alarms during the day. That’s not to forget to find time for my yoga, studying Hindi, or blog writing.
While chasing life’s moments, we tend to forget about the most important person: ourselves. We keep on running, taking care of our families, trying to do our best at work, doing things for others. Sometimes my days are like this. That’s why every evening, no matter the hour, I spend a bit of time with myself only. It might be the last 5-10 minutes of the day to reconnect, slow down and gather back the energy.
Suggestion: Want to discover 50 ideas for the “me time”? Check my previous post, Me Time: Spend Time with Yourself. A lot of details there!
BATH OR SHOWER
I fully agree with Sadhguru on the shower item. Every evening, just before going to bed, I take a bath or shower. Apart from the basic need for washing, I find two important benefits in it. Firstly, it is to relax, calm down both mind and body. It might be by lowering the temperature of the body or increasing it, depending on the season (and location: Poland or India 🙂 ) Secondly, it is to wash off any thoughts or feelings that I want to let go. It helps.
Suggestion: I like to add bath salt or essential oils to the bath. My favorite bath salt? The natural bath salt from the Dead Sea. My favorite brand: Ahava with its Natural Dead Sea Sea Bath Salt. Try it!
Do you like to read in bed before sleeping? I like! But for me, it is enough to read 2-3 pages and fall asleep! That’s the impact that book reading in bed has on me. Still, my bedside table is full of books! When I have a bit of free time or when I know I will struggle to fall asleep, I pick up a book, read a few pages and close my eyes.
Suggestion: This time can you suggest your favorite books to read in bed before falling asleep? Add in comments below! 🙂
In the picture, you can also see some of the recommendations from my side. A few of these books are currently “work in progress”. When our Little One saw me preparing the books, she also contributed with her titles to the photo! 😀
PRAY OR MEDITATE
I like to do a little prayer before sleeping, appreciating all the good that happened during the day. Gratitude is one of the qualities I want to nurture more. Sometimes I also try to meditate or do pranayamas when listening to mantras. It is a relaxing and healing time.
Suggestion: I do not want to suggest anything here. Both prayers and meditations are too personal in my view to share any recommendations. Connect with yourself and follow your soul.
4 APPS TO explore
‘Want to sleep better, be more mindful, improve your relationships, and become just about ten percent happier? This is the app for you. Guided meditations, videos, talks, and sleep content will help you build (or boost) your meditation practice, and stick with it.’
‘Using the latest clinical research, the app’s patented system plays you “dreamscapes”— a sleep-optimized mix of music, voiceover, and sound effects that change each night, to quickly quiet your mind, put you to sleep, keep you asleep, and then wake you up feeling refreshed.’
‘Calm is a leading app for meditation and sleep. Join the millions experiencing lower stress, less anxiety, and more restful sleep with guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, masterclasses, and relaxing music. Recommended by top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts. Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users.’
‘Track sleep using your phone and start your day feeling energized with an intelligent alarm clock and sleep tracker. Its unique design only wakes you up while you’re in your light sleep phase. Plus, you’ll get detailed reports as Sleep Cycle monitors your sleep patterns, from bedtime until you’re waking up. Track sleep and use the data to help you sleep better today!’
What are your special evening rituals? What helps you to restore your tranquility and slow down? Or maybe you prefer to gather energy for the new day and shine in the morning? Share below! Sharing is caring!
Moments that matter, no matter the ritual.