"Mommy, my mind feels a bit crowded tonight."
It moves me to see my daughter articulate so beautifully how she is feeling. At the end of the school day, after school activities and just absorbing what is going on around us, children need to have time and a held space to unpack the day in the same way we do.
My daughter and I have some of our best conversations at bedtime. She needs this time for processing and sifting through the contents of the day to make sense of it all, and to have an exchange about what went on in our days.
I know, as a parent, we can feel spent at the end of a day and want to rush through the end-of-day routine to have our quiet time — but this is such an important opportunity to consciously communicate with our children and give them a safe space to chat about what is on their minds. They will remember how you spent this time with them.
We also need this honored time at the end of our day to work with, as my daughter says: our crowded minds! When we have time to do so, we sleep better and feel more relaxed.
Times are difficult right now, so how we end our day really has a strong effect on our well-being.
Here are a few helpful tips:
Create a bedtime ritual that helps you unwind. This might be a warm bath, journaling or doing a restorative or yin yoga pose or two.
Resist watching the news right before bed. It can really stir up feelings of anxiety and worry.
Turn off laptops and phones about an hour before bed, as the lights and content can be over-stimulating. (Especially social media!) Aim to mindfully manage the time you spend on it.
A short mindfulness practice is a wonderful way to settle the body and give the mind a soft place to land. Even just 5 minutes is impactful!
How we spend our time and where our attention gets placed matters. Our little ones are such great reminders of this. Let's return to them for this welcome lesson every day — and every night.
Guest post by studio BE Facilitator Janine Tandy
Janine holds a Master of Public Health and is a RYT vinyasa and yin yoga teacher. She is a certified Wellness Coach with the Institutes for Integrative Nutrition, and is currently enrolled in the 500 Hr Insight Yoga Institute. You can learn more about Janine on her website or @janinetandyyoga.
Feature photo by Jacob Lund/Adobe Stock