The Ways We Wind Down

One thing I’m always supremely interested in knowing about people is how they wind down. Substances aside (because that’s not the healthiest save for chamomile tea), what tools do people use to shut their brains off, coax themselves to sleep, let go, etc.

As I’ve gotten older, I find myself with much more to think and worry about, but I have always been fiercely protective of my sleep, knowing that I don’t function at my peak without at least eight hours a night. Still, I have moments where I struggle to shut down or turn of the spigot of flowing thought, which can sometimes be anxiety ridden. I know some people operate best with a strict routine. For me, I find that to be destructive, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some go-tos for how to wind down.

Here are mine, and maybe some could be helpful for you.

  1. Write this blog. While it takes time and effort (some posts take upwards of three hours), I find that writing has always been a nice release and my favorite way to process my feelings, interests, or any internal goings on. I highly recommend it to anyone, whether it be a journal, a blog, or even a Post-It note. Spending a moment putting your thoughts down on paper helps to take it out of your head.
  2. Face mask. You guys know face masking is a hobby of mine and I do it at least five days per week. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it’s a fun, easy way to pamper yourself.
  3. Read. I’m still working on Stephen King’s “It”, ha! The reason being is that when I read in bed I pass out in less than two pages. It’s full-proof but obviously not very successful in finishing a book!
  4. ASMR videos. I know these seem odd, but they work. There are ASMR “artists” on YouTube with millions of followers for a reason, as I mentioned in a previous post. My favorite come from this channel, by a woman named Maria.
  5. Candy Crush. I don’t recommend starting this game, but if you already play, this zonks me out too after playing for a while.
  6. Legs-Up-The-Wall or Viparita Karani. This is an awesome inverted yoga pose because it’s restoring, forces the blood from your feet to your heart and stretches your hamstrings, among many other benefits.
  7. Meditate. I’m not someone that’s formally trained in meditation, but occasionally if I’m really struggling to calm down or go to sleep, I’ll put a yoga mat on the floor, lay down, and just imagine my thoughts arriving and then letting them go. Other times, I’ll put my body to sleep, starting with my toes, slowly working upwards. I never get past hips.

I hope that’s helpful or at least interesting. I’d love to hear about your tips and methods in the comments section!


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