I think mornings are important. But, being happily not a morning person, I am more focused on my bedtime evening rituals. Tea before bed, and my other bedtime rituals, lead to deep mindful sleeping, and giving your unconscious mind some prep for solving problems in your sleep.
There's no one-recipe-fits-all set of rituals for the best evening cool down. Here are some of my favorite bedtime rituals; try the ones that call out to you and see what works best for you!
Tea Before Bed
Of course, my favorite bedtime ritual is tea before bed! I mostly drink tea in the evenings, and that's why we have so many great teas for just that. Evening in the Garden is a delightful floral tea, with rose and lemon and elderflower, that feels calm and refreshing.
We also have our "Cuddletime" chamomile tea, with vanilla and peppermint, a more traditional type of bedtime tea. Chamomile is very calming and helpful for sleep. I also suggest our Self Care Tea (apricot/elderberry) for something slightly sweet and nourishing, and our Calm Chamomile Bloom herbal tea is filled with healing and calming herbs.
Your tea beverage can also be iced if you don't like a hot drink at bedtime or you want to keep your ritual intact during the summer months. Make tea before bed a stopping point each day where you check in and transition from your hustle and bustle to evening calm.
You know here at Plum Deluxe we love journaling. We had a podcast about journaling, we have many journaling prompts, and we can't stress enough how cathartic and useful pre-bedtime journaling can be.
Grab your tea before bed and try some of these excellent journaling prompts for a mindful evening cool-down:
- Today I'm grateful for...
- Problems I'm going to leave here in my journal and wake up with a fresh perspective on:
- I can't forget, the priorities in my life right now are...
- If I could escape life's obligations for a day, I would...
You can also journal free-form or journal on specific problems, topics, or issues on your mind.
Meditation can be a great bedtime practice -- though it can also wake us up with brain activity, so I encourage shorter, more simple meditations than you would normally do in the morning. We actually have a free 3-minute "evening cool down" meditation here you can download.
Specific meditations I like in the evening are visualizations (picturing how I want tomorrow to be awesome, or reflecting on the day's events) and gratitude practices.
Nothing feels better physically than stretching before bed; it helps shake off the day and limber you up (especially considering you're about to lay flat for eight hours or so). Our set of ">immunity boosting yoga poses are good for sleep, but you can do something simpler like rolling out your back on a foam roller, or using focused stretches on problem areas. This is where asking someone at your yoga studio or gym for recommendations for your body can be helpful!
Another way to stretch is to go on an evening walk. I love walking after the last meal of the day to get my digestion prepped for bed. You don't have to walk miles and miles -- 20 minutes works wonders for body and mind.
I'm such a proponent of reading more, both for getting yourself educated as well as helping ground yourself and calm your mind. Get a library card if you don't have one! Just 15-30 minutes per day and you can read a book or two per month. I read for about an hour, and at the end of it I am totally clear of my day's problems and ready for bed.
Last but not least, on occasion I like to do a creative project to help calm myself in the evening. Some great projects that pair with tea before bed and journaling or reading include painting (I love watercolors), jigsaw puzzles, cross stitch, or crochet. Pinterest is a great place to get inspired on ideas.