Last night rest only happened in hour and a half blocks (it is a good thing newborns are so cute, right?). The constant battle the last few weeks has been what to do at about 8pm. Lincoln is fast asleep, baby girl is usually down for a stretch, and I finally have some time to myself. As much as I would love to curl up with a favorite blanket and watch a movie, have a long leisurely conversation with a friend, or make it through the next hundred pages of my current audiobook, I really should be trying to make some progress on my growing sleep deficit.
So, in attempts to maintain a bit of sanity, I’ve been finding ways to unwind at the end of the day that take less than half an hour, a short little party just for me. Maybe you’re also enjoying this newborn stage, or perhaps it’s pretty late after you get home from work and get everything around the house done, either way, these tips for unwinding in less than 30 minutes are perfect for anyone crunched for time or in desperate need of a bit more sleep.
- Write a gratitude list: Just this last week I’ve tried making it more of a habit to document the things I’m grateful for each day. No matter how stressed or frustrated I am (or how long I’ve been wallowing in self-pity about how “hard” this is), just a few short minutes in a gratitude journal leave me feeling a bit more humble and often thankful for the very things I was bemoaning before.
- Find a scent: Whether you’re catching up on instagram or reading a chapter from a new book in bed, adding in a bit of your own aromatherapy is the perfect way to really calm the senses. You can go with a relaxing lavender candle, a scent proven to have soothing and sedative effects when inhaled. Or if candles aren’t your thing, think about a home spray, a favorite perfume, or even a few fresh flowers by your bedside.
- Soak in the tub: So I haven’t actually done this one yet (post-partum life and all), but before Adelaide arrived this was almost a nightly activity. I’d add a cup of bath salts, dim the lights, and turn on a podcast while soaking in the hot water.
- Listen to a book: Speaking of podcasts, at the end of the day I often feel a bit more like closing my eyes than reading. It’s the perfect time to listen to a chapter of an audiobook, catch up on a favorite podcast, or just relax to some tunes. I found this list of podcasts I’m excited to check out and I most recently finished “Creativity, Inc.” by Ed Catmull if you’re looking for an audiobook.
- Indulge in an easy treat: Pretty low on my list at the end of a long day is making a mess in the kitchen, and even lower is cleaning that mess up. So, something that is as accessible as it is delicious is a must these days and honestly, I usually pair this tip with another one on the list for a bit of sweet with whatever else I’m doing. I tried OREO Thins for the first time a few weeks ago when my sister insisted we pick them up and I’VE BEEN MISSING OUT! We all love the mint flavor but my favorite combo is the chocolate OREO Thins dipped in creamy peanut butter. They’re thin, have all the yummy taste of regular OREOs, and are perfectly crispy.
- Go through a short yoga series: I am by no means a yogi, but after years of dance I’ve learned that stretching is a great way to relax. I’ve been using this short series of post partum yoga stretches to help my abdominals but this one looks like a great list for someone with just a few minutes in need of a bit of relaxation. Plus, you’ll be a bit more flexible if you keep this one up!
^I picked these up at Kroger when getting everything for OREO shakes two weeks ago and they have another 3 or 4 flavor options (they also lasted a whole two days in this house 🙂 It’s a good thing Kroger is only 3 minutes away and I’m there at least twice a week or it might be a bigger problem we’ve already run out 😉
Want more ideas for Oreo Thins? Click here (and now I really want to try making those lemon thyme bath salts!).