We’ve all been there: Sunday night and the extreme anxiety sets in. Your brain is running through your endless to do list and you can feel your heart begin to race.
If you make it to your bed, you’re still struggling to turn your brain off and sleep. Here are 8 simple steps to ensure you have a restful Sunday night:
Check in with yourself
How are you feeling? What do you need? Try your best to reserve judgment. Whatever comes up, do your best to follow through.
Does a relaxing bath sound enjoyable? Great! Fill up that tub. Even if you don’t have as much time as you would normally like to spend in a bath (or whatever activity is calling to you), a 15-minute bath is better than no bath at all 🙂
Focus on your needs
Making Sunday restful, means you need to be a priority. You deserve to be a priority!
Once you’ve checked in with yourself, it’s easier to focus on your needs. Any thoughts (like watching a movie, having a delicious treat, taking a nap, etc.) that popped into your head while you were taking a moment to see how you’re feeling are a great place to start, especially if they sound enjoyable or soothing.
Make sure every Sunday night you carve out some time just for you. Whether it’s six hours or 15 minutes, honor that “you time”.
If at all possible, do not check your work email or do anything work-related. I’d even recommend not having any work apps on your phone.
Maybe even play around with setting your phone aside for a couple of hours to see if that helps reduce stress. It can be beneficial to spend some time apart from technology, especially if that technology is wrapping us in the tentacles of work stress.
Start small. Take baby steps and see how they feel. Remember this process is to help you, so make sure whatever you’re trying is working for you and your needs 🙂
Slow it down
Go slow and easy with yourself and your commitments. I’d recommend no more than 1-2 activities/commitments/appointments on a Sunday.
Maybe you are a person who needs Sunday free and clear for yourself to rest and reboot. However, if you are an extrovert and social gatherings re-fuel you, please go ahead.
Just remember: when we overbook ourselves, no matter how enjoyable the activities, all together it becomes overwhelming. Look for the balance that’s right for you.
Even when taking all this other advice, it is natural for anxiety to come up. Sometimes we know why and other times its arrival is a mystery.
Try not to judge yourself for it. Instead, I recommend having an anxiety release menu nearby to look at when you’re feeling extra overwhelmed/stressed.
It’s helpful to already have written one out with activities that help you release worry and extra energy (like yoga, jumping jacks, dancing, going for a walk/run, whatever helps you relieve stress).
That way, you can simply select an activity that sounds best to you (instead of trying to come up with what to do when your brain is already feeling overtaxed).
Routines are great assets in the classroom and can also help in our personal lives.
Next time you’re going through the motions of your night-time rituals take a couple extra moments to see how each one makes you feel.
If there are parts of your routine that are amping you up instead of calming you down, see if they can be done at another time or if they should be removed from your routine altogether.
Maybe consider adding some new, supportive aspects to your nighttime routines to ensure peaceful sleep. We recommend: maybe setting an intention for your night’s sleep (like waking refreshed, peaceful sleep, waking up with gratitude, etc.), consider giving your phone a bedtime (a time when it gets put away so your brain can begin winding down), sleepy tea can also help us relax into some restful zzzs.
Deep breathing / meditation
Deep breathing and meditation are great options to slow down the mind and body to prepare for sleep. There are lovely sleep meditations to help you fall into a peaceful, deep sleep.
These are great options if your brain has trouble turning off once you lay down in bed. Even more helpful tips on starting a meditation practice here 🙂
If meditation isn’t your style, deep breathing can be very beneficial. There are lots of ways to incorporate deep breathing, play around with what works best for you.
We recommend trying the 4-7-8 technique; it helps to slow the heart rate. To do this breathe in for a count of 4, hold at the top for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8.
Be gentle with yourself
It might not all work at first. Some things may work better for you than
That’s totally okay. Take note of what is working for you and try those things.
Know some may work one day and not another. Be compassionate with yourself in your inner dialogue.