The kids are asleep and you have a small but precious window of time before you go to bed. Here are the seven powerful things I suggest doing with the last hour of your day.
- Prepare. Set yourself up for an easy morning. Whatever aspects of your morning routine can be done ahead of time are great to finish at night, so dedicate 30 minutes to set-up and prep tasks related to the next day. You’ll feel better when you lie down to go to sleep knowing that the morning is as organized as it can be. So finish tidying up the kitchen, start some laundry, pack your bag for work, plan or make breakfast/lunch, and so on. But don’t do endless chores – just the most essential for later ease.
- Declutter your brain. Sit down in front of your computer or a notepad for 10 minutes and update any to-do lists you maintain with whatever’s rolling around. Turn off any work computers or devices if you can, or set them up so that you are paged only in an emergency.
- Nurture yourself. Focus on yourself fully for 10 minutes. Do something peaceful and relaxing that does not involve accomplishing things, talking to other people, or exposing yourself to screens or books. Need some ideas? Take a bath, dance by yourself to a few songs you like, do some yoga or stretching, go for a walk, meditate, doodle, or write in a journal.
- Talk. Spend 10 minutes connecting with your partner, talking about your respective days. Focus on sharing and listening, not logistics or planning.
- Be grateful. Spend just one minute thinking about a few things, large or small, that you are grateful for in your life.
- Smooch. Give your partner a kiss that lasts at least six seconds.
Allow enough time in here to get started on all this before you begin your basic before-bed hygiene stuff and then actually go to bed on time. Remember that getting enough sleep also makes a huge difference to your happiness, health and energy. Although my little routine above has already gone one minute and six seconds over, but really, who’s counting?
What are some powerful acts of smart self-nurture that you like to end your day with?