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Mindful Living

How to create a happy evening ritual for your family

family reading together
Martine Foreman
Martine Foreman June, 28, 2019

Book-lover, mom, kickboxer, motivator, dreamer 

We've all heard the old adage "happy partner, happy life" at some point. That may not always be true, but do you know what is? Happy parents = happy home.

There's no question that parents who are able to consistently focus on self-care are happier and more equipped to give their children their very best. And with a hectic schedule (and a to-do list that never seems to end), the best way to focus on self-care is to create an evening ritual!

Creating a routine that helps everyone thrive

You may be thinking, I am way too tired to do anything for myself in the evening.

And that's understandable. After all, juggling so much all day — especially if you have little ones running around — takes a toll. But what if developing the right evening routine could actually help you sleep better, feel happier and be a better parent. Would you be in?

Of course you would. You'd be all in!

Here are four simple ways to create an evening ritual for your family that makes you feel happier and more rested than you've been in years.

1. Give aromatherapy a try

Taking a shower or bath comes with a number of benefits, like reducing inflammation, improving circulation and reducing stress. Research even suggests that a hot bath can reduce blood pressure. If you feel like you're too busy during the week to enjoy a relaxing soak, the weekend is a great time to set aside some "me time" for yourself.

beautiful woman in the bathroomOne thing that can help you further boost the restorative effects of a hot bath? Adding essential oils. Studies have shown that using essential oils can help manage anxiety and improve sleep. Lavender, frankincense and cedarwood are three essential oils that are commonly used as part of bedtime oil blends.

If you would rather not make essential oils a part of the bathtime routine, you've got a few other options. You can always use a diffuser, candles or lotions and creams that have been infused with your favorite essential oils. It may take some time to find the products that work best for you — but once you do, it could make your evenings so much more relaxing.

2. Devote time to unwinding

Buzzing devices. Crying kids. A stressful day at work. It can add up quickly! And as much as you might want to crawl under the covers and just forget about it all, your best bet at getting a restful night of sleep is taking some time to decompress.

Although you shouldn't spend too much time on your phone before bed, setting aside a couple minutes to use an app like Calm can help everyone unwind. You and your family can choose from hundreds of relaxing bedtime stories and all listen to one together before drifting off into a peaceful slumber.

Not your cup of tea? Try an actual cup of tea! Teas like chamomile and peppermint have a calming effect and they're super tasty. Enjoying a cup before bed can really help you unwind and allow the day's stress to slowly melt away.

3. Focus on preparing for the next day

Pick out your outfit. Figure out what you'll make everyone for breakfast. Look at your family's calendar. Make a list of the most important tasks. Take the time to do everything you can to help start the next day off on a good note! This can help ensure you've shaken off any lingering stressors before you enter dreamland.

Keeping a planner can help keep things moving along smoothly. For instance, if your family has a busy couple of days ahead, prioritize the most important stuff and make a few fallback plans. You can also write down your thoughts about the day you just had and how you want the next one to be better. By doing so, you can literally close the book on your day — and create the perfect setup for some beautiful next chapters.

4. Go to sleep on time

Do you wake up at 5 a.m. every morning? If so, you should be asleep well before midnight. After all, the most important part of any evening ritual is going to bed! When you have a million things on your plate, cutting down on sleep seems like an easy way to steal back lost time — but that isn't setting yourself up for success.

If you find that bedtime often sneaks up on you, try setting a reminder on your phone. Many fitness applications have this feature, or you can set a daily alert that reminds you to start your bedtime routine. If you start to feel stressed out about your bedtime (because things you typically do at night aren't getting done), it may be time to reevaluate your daily schedule and determine if you can shift anything around, get more help or step away from some obligations that aren't necessary.

When you get the rest you need, you're more likely to have a joyful and productive day when you wake up! The results are a better evening routine the next night, both for you and your kids.

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