Embracing Your Day: The Evening Ritual
How It Works
If you're looking for balance and wisdom at the end of the day, then embracing the events and your self before going to sleep is a wonderful tool to put your mind and body at ease. Just like the morning routine, an evening routine can contribute in fantastic – and unexpected – ways to your inner growth and all-around well-being.
There are no rules to the routine: you can create one that's uniquely you or borrow from others, such as Arianna Huffington's bedtime ritual. All that matters is that it feels good and beneficial to you – if it doesn't, change it: you are the master of your ritual, not the other way around :) .
Here is a journaling exercise I practice before going to bed. It has helped me calm my mind and value myself again during my burnout healing journey.
You can make the activity as long or short as you want. For me, some evenings there will be lots to put on paper, other evenings I don't write more than a couple of words. There's nothing bad about writing only little. Nor is there anything wrong if you can't think of anything to write at all for a specific prompt – or all of them. And it is absolutely okay if the same answer comes up repeatedly.
The main point is giving yourself the prompts noted below and to wait and see what your mind has to offer. And don't be afraid of any words that pop up – don't judge them or yourself, don't censor anything. Just let it be.
Are you sitting comfortably on your bed or somewhere nearby in your favorite chair? Have your pen and paper? Great, then you're ready.
Here are your “Embrace Your Day” prompts:
(Write today's date and then write down the first prompt. Note your answers and then continue to the next prompt. You can return at any point to any prompt.)
I am grateful for...
I am proud of myself for...
I am forgiving myself for...
Now I am looking forward to...
Try this practice for at least a week and watch your mind, heart and soul open up.
What You’ll Need
- Pen or pencil
- quiet space for yourself
nor hard Somewhat
While we don't want to feel pressured when practicing something that is supposed to bring calm, balance but also growth, it's a commitment to progress that can make practices more effective. And so I had promised myself to find at least 2 entries for each of the journaling prompts when I first started it – it pushed me to look at those “little” things or events that one often doesn't deem important enough.
Do I always journal? No, there were (and still are) times in my life when journaling didn't feel right. Yet that doesn't mean that we have to give up on the wisdom and insights we could glean from the beauty of journaling prompts. Instead of writing, we could simply speak – either out loud or, if we are uncomfortable with others hearing us, in our heads.
So if you're not the journaling type or simply want to switch your routine for a while, try this: mirror work. And yes, it's for the brave! Here's how you do it: use the same prompts as above but look into a mirror, right into your own eyes, when you say or think the prompts and give your answers.
It might feel odd at first, and that's where courage comes in: it can be harder telling these things directly to ourselves than writing them down on a piece of paper. Louise Hay has been advocating mirror work for a long time as an effective self-development tool since it involves getting close and very comfortable with our selves.
Last but not least, I close off my evening routine with a brief but firm statement of personal accountability that reminds me to let go (as much as possible) of any emotions that might hold me back tomorrow:
“I embrace all of today's events and release this day. It is done and now I rest.”