t the night before Christmas, you have your extended family turning up in the morning, presents that aren’t wrapped and a roast turkey that still won’t fit in your oven, it is the perfect storm. With stress mounting around this time of year, what better time to kick start your evening wellbeing ritual that you can carry into the new year?
What is a ritual?
There is a big difference between a routine and a ritual. A routine is something you do mindlessly every day, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. A ritual however, is something you consciously decide to add to you day, week or just certain times of the year. By definition a ritual is something we add to our lives that is good for us, either mentally or physically. Your ritual can be anything from writing down something you are grateful for every day, taking up a new hobby such as meditation or simply switching up your breakfast for something healthy.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Instead of saying to yourself ‘I’ve got to be in bed and asleep by 10 so I can be awake and ready for Christmas in time’, try creating a soothing evening ritual that will mean you’re ready and wanting to fall asleep at 10. Thinking about everything that needs to be done for the next day can leave you frustrated and packed full of adrenaline. This will keep you awake longer and leave you feeling groggy and stressed about the festivities ahead. Getting a good night's sleep is an important ritual that will help you feel less stressed, more productive and positive when you wake up. So how can you achieve such a thing the night before Christmas? The answer is a positive and calming evening rituals such as...
Start your evening ritual early
The key to a relaxing and calming evening ritual that will send you off into a restful sleep is, start early! Trying to cram in all of the things you’d like to do before bed into a short period of time will be counterproductive and inevitably lead to more stress. By starting your rituals early you will be able to take your time and unwind from the days events and prepare for the next… Christmas.
Minimise screen time
Whilst checking your phone on Christmas Eve is tempting, you want to see who's at what party with who, it is important to turn off your screens at least an hour before bed. The light emitted from our phones and TV’s stimulates our brain and sends signals to keep us awake, the last thing we need the night before the big day! Christmas is also that magical time of year that allows us to spend precious time with our loved ones and be present, do you need another excuse?
Spend time with family
Whilst your phone is away, it’s the perfect opportunity for some quality family time. Any chilled out, relaxing family games or rituals you love will do. How about a game of Monopoly, or reading your favourite Harry Potter book together? Another great pre-bedtime ritual you can all do is talk about the favourite parts of your day. With all the excitement around Christmas I’m sure you won’t be short of things to say! This is a ritual you can easily add into your evening ritual in 2020.
When we think of meditation, we usually think of sitting still, in an upright position and remaining silent for hours on end. However, meditation can be a ritual you can do wherever you find yourself most comfy and can fit into even the busiest of schedules. Meditation is also the perfect wellbeing ritual to do just before you drift off for the night. When you are settling into bed for the night, light your favourite aromatherapy candle, dim the lights and take a few minutes to feel the rhythm of your breath. Your conscious breathing will slow your heart rate down and put you in the perfect state for a good quality night’s sleep.
Create your own rituals
It is important to note that everyone finds different things relaxing for different reasons. We all have our own bodies, minds and resources, so why shouldn’t we have our own rituals? Whilst these are a good place to start on Christmas Eve, going into the new year it is important to find and evening ritual that works for you. Your life won’t change in a day so choose an achievable ritual that will bring you peace, joy, positivity, or all three!