Morning rituals are an important part of many people’s daily routines, but have you ever thought about evening rituals? Evening rituals can help to put us in a better, happier place at the end of the day and allow us to have a positive memory of the day.
According to the peak-end theory by Dr. Daniel Kahneman, we judge and remember events based on the peak (highs or lows) and the end. So although you may start your day off right and have a great time during the day, it’s still important to make sure you end your day on the right foot!
So how can we make sure each day has a happy ending? By following this simple evening ritual:
Work Shutdown Ritual
In a past blog we talked about shutdown rituals to help us end the workday, this is step 1 to mindfully set your evening on the right path! Each day before leaving work, do whatever it is that you feel you need to do to leave work behind and enjoy your evening.
Pretend it’s a Weekend
Just because it’s a weeknight, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun… of course you might not want to stay out late or drink, but just spending an hour or two with friends and family can increase our happiness!
Master Something… Aside from the TV Remote
Many of us get home from work, cook ourselves some dinner, and then spend the rest of the evening sitting in front of the television. STOP! Yes, TV can be entertaining and relaxing, but hobbies can help get your mind off of—and recover from—the workweek.
Learn to play an instrument, take up knitting… finish the sentence “I’ve always want to learn how to…”, and just do it! I promise you won’t regret picking up and mastering a new hobby.
Sometimes we enjoy looking forward to something just as much as we actually enjoy the event itself! So make plans before you go to bed at night to give yourself something to look forward to.
Once you’d said goodbye to your friends or tucked your new hobby away for the night, it’s time to wind down. Don’t just collapse in bed and try to fall asleep, be mindful; dim the lights, turn off the screen (there’s no reason you need to be looking at your phone) and prepare yourself for bed.
Keep a notepad by the bed and write down all of things that happened in your day that you’re thankful for before you go to sleep. Research has shown that gratitude can increase quality of sleep!
And most importantly (and we’ve all heard this one)… don’t go to sleep angry! If you’re upset about something, especially when you’re arguing with your partner, add “Make Up” to our wind down routine. Fix your problems and just let it all go.