6 Evening Rituals to Help You Nourish, Unwind and Restore

Netflix-before-bed is a horrible habit, but it’s a hard one to kick. Attention-demanding technology has infiltrated every part of our lives—even the sacred bedroom.

But spending your nights ‘unwinding’ in front of a screen doesn’t make anyone actually feel great. It is easy and mindless, but it actually harms your recovery from a stressful day more than it helps, especially since blue light screws with our sleep cycles. Instead, here are six more soothing, mindful evening rituals to get your eyes off a screen and help you truly refresh and unwind after a long day.

6 Evening Rituals to Help You Nourish, Unwind and Restore

1. Take a magnesium-rich epsom salt bath.

If you’ve had a particularly stressful day/week/month, odds are your magnesium levels will be depleted. It’s also likely that you need a good, cleansing bath. Solve both problems in one swoop with a steamy epsom salt bath!

Epsom salts are loaded with bioavailable magnesium to replenish your body’s stores and help you feel more centered and calm. It’s also crucial for myriad other functions in the body, so magnesium is pretty important for overall health and wellness, too.

Indulging in bath salts is never a bad idea to encourage a restful, balanced body.

2. Create a stretching and self-massage ritual.

Most of us don’t stretch enough. We sit curled up at desks, couches, and beds all day. Because of this, we tend to store a lot of emotional energy and stress in our tight, inactive muscles. So, set aside 15 to 20 minutes each night to do some restorative stretching, focusing particularly on the front of your hips, your restricted neck, and your glutes.

You can also add in more focused work by rolling on a foam roller or using a tennis ball to break apart any fascial adhesions that restrict your range of motion. It doesn’t have to be intense and regimented, but you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel in your body and your mind after only a week of regular stretching. It’s potentially life-changing.

6 Evening Rituals to Help You Nourish, Unwind and Restore

3. Sip some herbal tea with raw honey.

Having a cup of warm herbal tea every night is a great way to signal to your system that it is time to unwind. If you stir in raw honey, you get the added benefit of its sleep-promoting qualities. Raw honey actually improves your brain’s uptake of the sleepytime amino acid tryptophan, which gets converted into wonderous melatonin in your brain at night. It’s like an anciet natural sleep aid—all it takes is a teaspoon to ensure you sleep more deeply and soundly.

If you are looking to really unwind and let go of stress, CBD-infused honey is a dreamy option for balancing the body and encouraging overall relaxation. My favorite hemp-based honey product by far is called B.Chill, from Beekeeper’s Naturals. They use sustainably-sourced raw honey and blend it with a little bit of MCT oil to improve the bioavailability of CBDs in the body. It’s become a staple of my bedtime ritual.

4. Practice abhyanga.

Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of slathering warm oil—often sesame—over the entire body daily. Not only does it hydrate parched skin, but it functions as a gentle lymphatic massage, which can encourage your body to process and get rid of toxins faster. Plus, it feels luxurious.

If you don’t have warm sesame oil, coconut oil is a wonderful option, as it doesn’t absorb too quickly into the skin, giving you time to glide and indulge. Treat yo’self.

6 Evening Rituals to Help You Nourish, Unwind and Restore

5. Light a candle and read a book.

Ah, the original Netflix. The beautiful thing about candles is that they don’t emit much blue light, unlike computer screens. Blue light is a major culprit in disrupting our sleep cycles, so your morning self will thank you for the improved night of rest.

And books are even better than Netflix because YOU get to decide what the characters look like, what they sound like, and what their environment is. It is the ultimate form of immersive entertainment, and it expands your thinking at the same time.

Dare you cancel your Netflix subscription? Do it. Rediscover reading.

6. Try therapeutic journaling.

There are all sorts of ways to journal. Maybe you do evening pages, similar to those discussed in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (which I highly recommend for all creatives). Or perhaps you have a five-minute gratitude journal. Or maybe you keep a journal of positive aspects where you exclusively list out the positive aspects of your life and practice positive thinking.

Whatever your preferred style, therapeutic journaling is one of the most restorative and healing practices you can adopt. Let your worries, goals, and swirling internal chatter flood onto the page. The quiet that I experience in my mind after a successful journaling session is tantamount to an hour of meditation. Releasing the mental pressure valve before going to sleep is sheer bliss.

You don’t need Netflix to fall asleep. You need a more living evening ritual.

What are your favorite nightly rituals? Do you find yourself getting pulled into the Netflix and YouTube hole night after night? What small changes are you going to make to improve your nightly ritual so that it is nourishing, restorative, and restful? Jot your ideas down for yourself or share them with the supportive Care2 community in the comments section below!       

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Images via Thinkstock.

98 comments

Mia B
Melisa B24 days ago

thanks very much

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Jack Y
Jack Y26 days ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y26 days ago

thanks

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John J
John J26 days ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J26 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W26 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Kevin B
Kevin Babout a month ago

thank you for sharing

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N T
N T5 months ago

great suggestions!

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Lesa D
Past Member 6 months ago

thank you Jordyn...

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 6 months ago

very good thanks for posting.

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