How To Switch Off From Your 9-5: Five Tips That Have Worked For Me
Sometimes when I sit down to write a blog post, I almost feel as though I'm suffering from writers block. Ideas pop into my head at the most inconvenient times say when I'm waiting for a train or mulling over a food purchase in the supermarket aisle. As a blogger, I love talking to you guys about trends, new brand discoveries and the pieces I'm currently coveting. With that said, I worry that I sound too repetitive at times. There's only so many times you can refer to something as amazing. Whilst I am a huge fan of this bomber jacket, cami and distressed shorts combo paired with my classic old skool Vans (FYI these are a new addition to my shoe collection and I had no idea just how comfortable Vans were) I thought I would shake things up a bit.
For the purpose of todays post, I thought I would share with you how I personally try to switch off at the end of a busy day. I touched on my job and what I do on a day-to-day basis which you can read here if you're interested. After all, having a few hours to yourself really is the best medicine in keeping some level of sanity, especially amongst the hustle and bustle of London.
For a few weeks now, it has become a regular occurrence of waking up feeling exhausted due to a poor nights sleep. I've been finding it increasingly more difficult to get off to sleep even though I quite frankly feel exhausted. At first I put it down to potentially too much caffeine or being stressed or even the hot, muggy weather but less caffeine and even a fan weren't helping. On reflection, it appears that I'm actually not giving myself enough time to really wind down. I often check my phone and social media apps minutes before going to sleep, which is probably the worst thing to do. I was snoozing through my alarm longer than usual, feeling lethargic and waking up enduring low motivation. The latter was the hardest to deal with as with my line of work, it's fundamental that I try and keep myself motivated to complete my daily to-do list. With that said, I knew it was time for a change.
I absolutely love my sleep and have made some recent changes to ensure I get those much needed Zzzzzz to recharge my batteries and make me ready to take on the day ahead. The below have personally helped me to unwind and get the rest I need for the day ahead which is why I thought I would share my tips with you guys just in case like me, you have been suffering from this too.
1. Turn your phone over and on silent at least 30 minutes before you plan to go to sleep.
As simple as this sounds, not checking my phone prevents me from thinking about things that can wait until the next morning. If I have nothing to reply to or engage with this is more likely to stop me from over thinking and will clear my mind before it's time to sleep.
2. Take up reading a good book.
Now I love a good Netflix series as much as the next person but the more disturbing episodes can leave me tossing and turning. I have a pretty vivid imagination and yes at 25 years old I am scared of the dark. As sad as this sounds, I find it hard to remember when I actually sat down and enjoyed a good book. I often don't have the time. Come to think of it, it must have been my holiday last summer! Terrible I know. As a child this used to be a bed time ritual and I always used to sleep like a baby. Reading a book has allowed me to really feel tired, my eyes naturally close making it that much easier to drift off to sleep.
3. Take a hot bath.
I read somewhere that your body temperature naturally dips at night around two hours before sleep. By taking a hot bath this raises your natural body temperature and promotes a faster dip allowing you to feel more sleepy and fall into a deeper sleep. Theres a little science lesson for you there and a throw back to when I studied sleep during my Psychology degree. There is nothing more relaxing than a hot bath and I've been making a conscious effort to switch from having a quick shower to a bath as part of my night time routine. It also gives me an excuse to buy and use some Lush bath goodies. Trust me this really does work and I've been feeling much more sleepy after a good bath.
4. Brew a cup of tea.
I don't mean your good old PG Tips kind either. Switch to herbal teas with no caffeine there's really so many to choose from. I've been loving Camomile tea and I'm sure I will welcome this more when the weather gets colder. I've also been drinking a night time time by Nature's finest which is infused with camomile, spearmint and orange blossom. It's definitely relaxed me and by drinking this has made my body somehow more ready to wind down and get the rest I need.
Not right before bed, but exercising in the evening can make me feel more tired making it generally easier to get off to sleep more quickly. Exercising at 6pm is supposed to be the best time for your body too. As a rule, I prefer to go to the gym in the morning as it makes me feel more motivated during the day but for the past few weeks I have been waking up feeling more tired than usual so an evening workout has fit better into my routine and had the added benefit of making me more tired when it's actually time to wind down.
The above really changes have worked for me so if any of you have also been finding it increasingly difficult to wind down after work maybe give all or even one of the above a go and see if it helps. If you also have any other tips that have worked for you, I'm all ears and would love to know. I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend.