I am a big believer in the importance of relaxing and recharging in order to be at your best. Prioritising and making the most of my down time has become a real focus for me now that I work full time and then work on the side, either designing or working on this blog. I’m in a position, like many people, where I could very easily slip into working all of the hours in the day and then some. I’m also an introvert who works in an industry led by communicating and having a jazz hands personality, so when I get home I am socially exhausted. So, I thought I would share my recharging routine because I think I’ve just about nailed it to the extent that I can get most of the things I need to done and feel like I’m not starting to fizzle out.
I think that having a routine is essential in making sure you switch off at the end of the day. I promise I’m not just saying that because I’m a bit of a control freak who loves routines. Having a regular set of things you do to unwind at the end of every day, or when you really need to relax helps train your brain to chill out. A routine doesn’t have to be inflexible. If you’re someone who works odd hours and can’t commit to having a set wind down time, just try doing the same 2 or 3 things before you have your recharge. If you can’t commit a lot of time just try having 10 minutes without your phone or a screen every night, or using an app like headspace to meditate. If you think you’ll get bored by doing the same thing every night, try just setting aside a period of time every evening to do something relaxing like a craft or reading that you can change up as and when you get bored.
The nosey among you have probably skipped over that long intro in order to see what it is I actually do, well the wait, and the scrolling, is no more. This is the routine I normally follow on weeknights:
I try to start unwinding by about 9pm on most nights, but that can definitely fluctuate. I’ll normally start by tidying up my desk and anything I’ve just dumped when I came in after work. Then I put out my clothes for the next day if it’s a weeknight, and put anything that needs to be in my bag in my bag. Once I feel like I’m all settled and everything is in order, I’ll write my one good thing in my journal and do a little 2-minute painting in my painting every day book.
After I’ve done those bits I feel like I’m ready to actually start to unwind so I’ll light a candle, or put on my essential oil burner, and change up the lighting in my room by turning on my fairy light and turning off the big overhead lights I have. Then I get in the shower, which is 100% my favourite part of this. If it’s a special occasion or I’m not feeling great, I’ll put on some music while I’m being my best self under the hot water. Once I’m all clean, I get into my pjs, slip on my slippers, dry my hair, then wash my face.
If I’ve not spent waaaay too long in the shower by about 10PM I’m ready to make a mug of camomile tea, my favourite is Clipper’s ‘Snore and Peace’ blend. Tea in hand I get comfy and watch some rubbish TV, I’m talking superheroes or over worn detective shows that I don’t have to think about. If I haven’t done it already I’ll write my to do list for the next day.
Once I’m suitably zombified by a show governed by 8 second scene cuts I brush my teeth and sit down in my bed to do a quick meditation to sort out my thoughts. I then like to read my book until I feel my eyelids start to droop, marking that I am truly ready to go to sleep.
I realise that this is quite a long routine, that I’ve detailed quite extensively, but I thought it was best to be thorough here. I really enjoy the process of winding down and I’ve found that taking these 2 and a half hours out of my day has become essential to my being able to function at my best. That said, everyone needs to wind down in their own way, if you’re an extrovert you might want to do things with friends, if you hate TV you might not want to watch Arrow, if you’re a parent you might not have time to do half of this. But I hope you do have something that is your own that helps you destress and recharge. Whatever it is I’d love to read about it, I find these posts/videos weirdly calming in their own way – so please share them in the comments!