There are six words commonly used after a particularly grueling and exhausting day: “I need a glass of wine.”
Wine is obviously delicious, and in moderate amounts, many studies support it’s health benefits. What is not healthy, however, is feeling like you need a glass of wine to relax. Sure, it’s much better than thinking you need an entire bottle to relax, but there are many other things you can depend on to help you wind down following a busy day.
Here are the five things I go to:
1. Drink Some Hot De-Caffeinated Tea.
Enjoying a hot drink before bed can help calm the nerves, and green tea in particular has a good amount of L-Theanine, which helps you relieve anger. The act of actually drinking tea can be relaxing, but the process of preparing it can also be meditative and therapeutic as well. Also, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that tea is a lot healthier than wine.
2. Find a Simple, Relaxing Hobby.
When it comes to finding a relaxing hobby, simplicity is often the key. Stick to things that require very little thought, such as reading a book, watching a movie, listening to podcasts, or even knitting. On the flip side, when it comes to winding down at the end of the day, try to stay away from hobbies that are overly stimulating and might keep you up late.
This can require a bit of trial and error. Everybody is different, and it may take some time to find the perfect hobby that’s both enjoyable and relaxing to you specifically.
3. Get in a Good Workout.
Exercising regularly can help you get a good night’s sleep, and you don’t have to be an over-the-top gym rat. Working out for a quick 20 to 30 minutes each day will help you rest better, particularly if you exercise in the morning or afternoon. In fact, working out too close to bed time can give your body a boost of energy and make it a bit harder to fall asleep. Regular exercise is, of course, a good thing for the body, but it also benefits the mind. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise each week alleviates stress, anxiety, and can even help with depression. When you turn to exercise instead of wine to relax, the sense of accomplishment can be a relaxing feeling in itself.
4. Give a Massage.
Wait, did I see give a massage? In a perfect world, you might be the one receiving a massage on a nightly basis, but let’s be honest—it’s not very likely. Yet there is evidence that being on the giving end of a massage can be very relaxing as well.
It makes sense. When you’re giving someone a massage, you’re extremely mindful of what you’re doing, which can double as a form of meditation. This mindful manner can also help reduce anxiety.
Also, it’s very unlikely that anyone will turn down your offer of a massage, and who knows—maybe they’ll even be willing to return the favor.
5. Find An Herbal Replacement.
There are several herbal remedies one can use for relaxing. Valerian root and skullcap can both be used as a way to calm down naturally and relax. Skullcap has a calming and relaxing effect on the body and can be used during the day to restore balance to an overworked individual or in the evening to promote normal, healthy sleep, while Valerian root is used as a sleep aid. There have been numerous clinical trials conducted on Valerian and many have shown positive results to support a normal restful nights sleep.
6. Stay on Schedule.
Sticking to a regular sleep schedule can help you effectively relax on a night-to- night basis, since it gets your internal clock used to going to bed at a certain time each night.
In addition to a sleep schedule, it can also be helpful to have a regular pre-sleep routine that will help you relax and get rid of any anxiety before bed.
At the end of the day, you need to do what works for you. These are my suggestions, but there are many things you can do to relax at night that don’t involve indulging in a glass of wine. Everyone relaxes differently, so the important thing is to find what works for you. Whichever method you choose, it won’t take you long to realize that a glass of wine isn’t always necessary to help you relax. Shocking… I know. But I promise it’s true.
Part of relaxation can be building a space to relax—and part of finding space is building a ritual of self care.
Having trouble sleeping? Read Spa-owner Allison Tray’s account of how she beat the sleepless bug.
FIND BEAUTY AND WELLNESS EXPERTS
Read client reviews, book appointments, and get expert advice right here on Charlotte’s Book. Only the best cosmetic doctors, skincare gurus, nutritionists, fitness and wellness professionals make it into our book.