Do you slow to a pace every evening that allows you to wind down? Or are you frantically running around tidying, shouting orders and winding yourself up?
Your evening routine, says Wellness Coach James Parnell, should ideally be gentle and reflective. Giving yourself the time to wind down each evening will enable you to be more productive the following day.
Does that sound like an unachievable dream? Here are some things you can do to help.
Slow down, unwind, sleep.
1. Close your work day by noting what you’ve accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back. If you can say you’ve done your best then you can be proud of the day. Jot down what’s important for tomorrow.
2. Try to create a gap (i.e. commute time, a short walk) that allows you to relax and begin to switch off from the energetic or thinking mode you may have needed in work.
3. Be present. Once you arrive home, do something that signifies you are now present. Unpack your stuff – and your mind – from your workday.
4. Switch off. Consider putting the phone – well, mini-computer – in a ‘phone box’, not to distract you again.
How many of us put our children to bed calmly and then switch the devices on and grab the nearest wine glass? Then we wonder why we don’t sleep well.
5. Have a nice meal and some fun with your loved ones. Be consciously grateful for that time.
6. Set up tomorrow morning now and make your new day as easy as possible. Leave out your clothes and prepare food you might need.
7. Wind down rather than up. How many of us put our children to bed calmly and then switch the devices on and grab the nearest wine glass? Then we wonder why we don’t sleep well. Dim the lights, play some nice music, meditate – do whatever soothes your mind, body and soul. If you need to, have a rule, e.g. ‘no devices after 9’.
Reading improves your sleep quality, helps put your consciousness on a different plane, and reduces stress and cortisol levels.
8. Prime yourself for sleep by going to bed at the same time each day. Separate day from night by changing into fresh clothes to signal to your body and mind it’s almost time for a great sleep.
9. Pick up a real book. There is always time – and energy – to read before you nod off. Reading improves your sleep quality, helps put your consciousness on a different plane, and reduces stress and cortisol levels.
10. Be grateful for a good day. Leave a little notebook on your bedside table. Each night, jot down 3 things you’re grateful for before you sleep.
About the Author
James Parnell spent 16 years in Sydney leading, managing and coaching large teams in software and innovation using techniques including agile, design thinking, user-centred design and experimentation.
Returning to Ireland in 2016 he founded The Wellbeing Gym to coach personal wellbeing, productivity and leadership in a corporate environment. He also launched A New Dawn in Ireland, specifically to coach returning emigrants on the logistics and emotional challenges of returning home.
James provides talks, workshops, professional training and leadership programmes blending online and offline coaching and mentoring to groups or one-on-one. James like to facilitate with fun, action and a focus on the person as a whole.