Ellie's Top Five: Things to Do to Wind Down at Night

I know I can’t be the only one to feel as though I’m wound-up like a clock, ready to ring at pretty much any second. I am constantly on the move and desperately need some sort of structure to my day. Between working and being a student in my junior year, both full time, burnout is real. It is necessary that we take time to ourselves to focus on our physical and mental health, and to understand that we deserve it. So, I have crafted a list of my top five ways I like to wind down in the evening after a long day of constant motion. 

1. Taking a shower

I begin my time at night by taking a hot shower and using it as a way to wash off the day behind me. I used to shower every morning, but doing it at night is so much easier and a great way to relax before bed. Also, it’s a great excuse to get me off of my phone or computer for a few minutes. 

2. Lighting a candle or incense

Aromatherapy has changed my life, and my family and I are huge fans of lighting candles, diffusing essential oils, and my new favorite, purifying a room with some incense. My favorite scents are a mixture of lavender and chamomile to relax, but of course I have a never ending list of aromas that have incredible healing properties. I’ll save that for another top five. 

3. Writing in my journal

I’ve written about this before, and it’s no secret that I love a good journal. In fact, I have quite the collection. Whether I decide to document my day, creative write, find things I’m grateful for, or plot adventures, I can promise you will find it all in one of my journals. Also, it’s always important to have a favorite pen, or five.

4. Crafting playlists

Another well known fact about me is my love for music, but I have always been so envious of people’s talent in creating playlists, especially on Spotify. Well, with the extra time on my hands during quarantine in the spring, I found it a great way to sit, relax and focus on a project for the evening. It’s a good way to exhaust my brain, and also to wake up with several earworms. 

5. Planning my day or week

Planning has never been my strong suit - I’m a flexible, go-with-the-flow kind of gal, but it really does ease my brain to write significant events or due dates onto my calendar and maybe even structure my week a little bit. Whether it be updating my Google Calendar, writing in assignments onto my whiteboard, or scribbling plans for each day on my notepad, this is a great way to spend the last few minutes of my night before I turn off my light and close my eyes. 

Whatever you choose to call it: wind down time, de-stressing, self care, meditation, always remember that it is vital to your mental health. We are in the heart of midterm season so now is the time to develop habits to the best of your ability. And, of course, this looks different to everyone, but this list is just my favorite ways that I enjoy spending my night. I wish you luck in your endeavors and hope that you won't forget to put yourself first.