Most people take 'me' time every night by spending time on their phone, iPad or computer.
We all need relaxation time, but the fact is that spending time online generally doesn't leave us feeling peaceful, happy and energised. It's just something easy.
I think many of us have forgotten how to wind down and create evenings that make us feel really good, instead of the groundhog day of work, eat, go online, sleep, go online, repeat (add parenting or hanging out with partners and friends occasionally).
I've developed a great way to create a rejuvenating and awesome night, every night, or whenever you wish...
It starts with giving your devices a bed time.
Turn them all off and do it a good hour or more before you'd like to go to bed.
Once they're switched off, you might feel a bit weird or lost.
Don't worry, I've got you covered.
Here's four easy steps to creating a kick ass night for yourself!
1. Do something Fun.
What do you find fun? It can be as random or as commonplace as you like. At home, it might be watching your favourite show or reading a new novel. Drawing, dancing, going for a walk or painting your nails (this all applies to guys too!). Rearrange the room or redecorate (am I alone in loving this?!). Go for a run or do a group exercise class. Whatever floats your boat and leaves you feeling *HAPPY*.
2. Do something that makes your life Easier tomorrow.
Do something that takes about 1-10 minutes but doesn't take over your night. Get your clothes ready, pack your lunch, do anything that will take a bit of pressure off. You'll be happy with yourself tomorrow.
Water is so relaxing. Take a bath or have a shower to wind down. Soak your feet in warm water.
Listen to whatever music matches your mood (okay, so this might require a device, just use it mindfully for music only - don't multitask with it).
If you live with someone, give each other a massage.
Do an activity that you find makes you chill out - this might also tick the Fun box :)
4. Connect with yourself and/or others.
Take some time to be in your own company. Sit quietly, write whatever comes to mind or go for a walk. If you don't have much time to yourself normally, you might find that a lot of things come to mind that you need to do. Just jot them down and carry on. Bath time or a shower, as well as listening to music can also be a perfect way to connect with yourself.
Connecting with others! How many of us don't keep in touch with friends or family we dearly love? Give someone a call or Skype, write an email (try doing it in MS word so you don't end up drowning in emails) or even go old school and write a letter. Go out for a meal or a movie. Whatever!
Connect with who you live with. I must admit, for me these FERC activities mostly occur after my daughter is in bed, though sometimes they overlap. I'm more talking about housemates and partners here. Have a good chat. Do something together without also being on your phones. PUT THE PHONES AWAY.
I don't think it's too crude to say that if you're on your phone, you're not creating the kind of intimacy that leads naturally to other kinds of connection... wink wink nudge nudge. So that activity will also tick the fun and relax box!
When you FERC your night, you might find that you are tired earlier than you would think, because you usually ignore it and stay online. This means you might go to bed earlier and get out of a cycle of fatigue. Totally life changing.
You might also find you sleep better, without the blue light mucking with your melatonin.
So there you go! FERC your night whenever possible and you'll find that you look forward to it. You'll have more fun ideas (what you pay attention to grows) and your relationships will get more TLC.
All of this promotes your mental wellbeing and brings energy and clarity into the rest of your life.
Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.