I have been trying to spend my time more intentionally after eight.
I want to make sure I wind down properly before bed. As someone who wakes up early and tries to be in bed at 9 (I know it’s early lol!), I wanted to stop trying to fall asleep with my mind so active and feeling rushed.
Instead of watching TV or going on my phone, I spend the first part of the hour putting the downstairs area to bed. This means setting everything back in it’s place, but no actual cleaning. Folding my blanket on the back of the lounge, clearing the dining table, packing away any sewing or writing implements from the day. This starts my routine well as I turn off all the lights downstairs and move upstairs. This is a physical reminder that sleep is looming and it’s time to rest. These signifiers do well for us mentally and physically – it is the opposite of staring at a bright screen that tells the brain it is time to be awake.
I then move onto skincare and cleaning my teeth, and putting anything away from upstairs that’s out of place. There isn’t usually much to do here as I spend most of my time downstairs.
After this is done, I wind down by reading a book about the home or a novel. While this may not sound relaxing to all, I enjoy it! I have also been known to do some cross-stitch in this space, though generally it isn’t the best time as I only use my lamps in the evening and sewing typically requires more light. Other times I pray out loud, about the day or getting ready for the next. I might read a short devotional.
The point is, this is a space for my soul. A time for my mind to calm down before I fall asleep and to let go of any thoughts or emotions that need to be let go of. Work has been more stressful in the last week, and I want to ensure I am still giving myself time to process, rest, and find joy.
Last week I felt God telling me to make time to do these things that feed my spirit and soul; the things that are true delights and restful ways of spending my time. Even though I work full time, there is no reason why I need to wait for a weekend to do the things I love.
And now the time crunch has arrived! Time to start unwinding…
2 thoughts on “Intentional Summer Evenings”
Very sensible. And practical—an inspiration for the likes of me who sometimes has trouble divorcing myself from the temptation of electronics, gadgets, and devices no matter the hour of day or night. It’s always a triumph when I make it through the evening hours without turning on the TV.
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It can be tricky! It helps that I know how much better I feel when I’m disciplined with it – it’s so worth it.