Having two jobs, one that has me up before the sun, you might suspect that bedtime is my favorite time. And you’d be absolutely right. Here are some of my favorite bedtime rituals, besides the hopefully obvious few like brushing your teeth and peeing before you go to bed. Some exceptionally exhausting days may look a bit more like eating dinner in 5 minutes so that I don’t fall asleep mid-bite and then tornadoing off to my bed at only 6:37 PM, but the routine is always the goal. On a peaceful night, where all is right in the world, this is the dream.
Keep Things Tidy
I try to save my deep cleaning for the weekend, so right before bed, I make sure everything is in its place. Tyler doesn’t believe in making your bed because you are just going to get back in it, but having a made bed to get in at the end of the day makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and he’s just going to have to get over it. In the realm of keeping a tidy room, I also try my best to keep a minimal room as well, free from distraction, although, as terrible as it is, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up Netflix in bed. All white bedding is also my jam.
I let my socks follow the season. My favorite pair right now have green witch hands holding martini glasses for Halloween. I also have a pair of banned book socks, one sock with the titles scribbled out, and one sock with the titles listed, loud and proud. English teacher vibes.
Currently Reading: Faith by Sharon Salzberg. I didn’t discover Sharon Salzberg until listening to one of my favorite podcasts, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, of which she was a guest. Sharon became interested in Buddhism in college which lead her to plan an independent study course that allowed her to travel to India in 1970, when she was only 18. There, after running into several hiccups and doubt, she finally found what she had been searching for her entire life: clarity and peace. Her book is her journey in meditation practice and teaching. If you are interested in spirituality, travel, culture, philosophy, or strong women or Ram Dass, it is impossible to put down. Her story has impacted me so much already, sending me on my way of a meditation journey and spiritual search of my own. I’m sure that will come up in future blog posts, but for now, I’m still putting together the pieces.
If podcasts are your thing, listen to Sharon’s episode on You Made It Weird. It’s one of the most interesting things I’ve come across in a while.
My go-to midnight snack is more often than not a banana and peanut butter, and if I have them, I love walnuts on top for a little extra crunch. Sometimes, I will switch it up for some celery with peanut butter, and if I have them, I love raisins on the top because it reminds me of elementary school. For some reason, I feel like if I eat a healthy food with some peanut butter, it takes away all of the sinfulness. You’ll sometimes just catch me with the peanut butter jar in hand, no banana or celery in sight. Or if I’m feeling froggy, I’ll whip up some peanut butter cookies (so easy, egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, that’s it girlfriend). For that, I have no regrets.
Essential Oils have become a vital part of my bedtime routine, one might even dare say essential. I was a skeptic for a long time, until I had a bout with some intense allergy issues. A friend used a breathe blend of essential oils behind my ears and on my neck and proved that these little glass potion bottles hold actual liquid gold. Before bed, I use a blend of lavender and frankincense. I have salt lamps with built-in diffusers, which I believe does something with air quality and healing but I just think they look nice. I also recently bought a mist diffuser from Target for our loft, which I designated as my meditation space. It was really affordable and very easy to use, if you want to give it a shot!
Like I mentioned earlier, I have been getting into meditation. I am in a very high stress season with minimal free time, so meditation has given me a huge sense of peace and has also been a great resource of intentional relaxation. Relaxation is everyone’s favorite hobby, but for me, watching television, or browsing social media almost always carries a lingering thought of all the things I should be doing instead. Unless I intentionally set aside time to engage in self care, it’s only a half effort and I am left feeling tired and unmotivated instead of rested and restored.
Since being intentional with my time is one of my main goals, I transformed our loft into a stress free space for meditation and self care. Having a designated space with specific guidelines, like no phone and no distraction, has created healthy rituals and given me a place for deliberate practice in engaging in wellness.
I bought a bunch of boho curtains and tapestries just for fun and just for comfort, but in all seriousness, the aesthetic of the loft is just another way to set up intentionality. It may be corny, but it helps me. I bought a gosh dang zen fountain. And I love it.
My favorite part of our meditation loft is our shrine. Tyler and I share a glass case that hold our favorite memories and artifacts from our relationship, pictures of our family and friends, pictures of our most influential role models, and all-around helpful items that remind us to live well.
There is a picture of my little brother eating a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar on one of our many trips to Disney world. There is chocolate all over his face, and he is just so unabashedly happy. There is a photo of Ram Dass and Maharaji. There are prayer beads. There is a photo of Jesus. There is a photo of Malala. There are little chubby buddha statues because Tyler’s grandmother thought they were funny and cute. There is a photo of Mr. Rogers washing his feet with the black neighborhood policeman in an effort to speak out against acid being thrown in the pool of a Florida hotel while an African American family swam. It’s a collection of beautiful and impactful artifacts, ones that I like to think about and look back on fondly. Before bed, I make my way up our spiral stairs to think of these things, or just to think of nothing.
If you’re interested in trying out meditation, Headspace is doing a yearly subscription for students for $9.95! Their typical price is $95.88!
Also, my favorite guided meditation right now is called Imagine. It is an immersive project that blends a very unique early 70's Ram Dass meditation with an audio soundscape and it has been extremely helpful for me as I test the waters. Give it a try!