A Nighttime Ritual of Self-Love
The majority of us when bedtime comes around, just do the quick “get ready for bed” routine and flop into bed exhausted or lay there with our minds still on go and clicking away all the should haves and could haves of the day. Everything you’ve been carrying in your head bursts into your mind. Everything you did wrong today and are anxious about tomorrow. Before you know it, your alarm is going off. It’s already time to wake up and you feel even more tired than when you went to sleep.
At the end of the day, there is a clear transition point: Behind us lies the previous day and all that has come before; ahead of us, what yet is to unfold. Before you go to bed each night, you can send gratitude, compassion, and healing to the being you have been up until this moment. And you can send lightness and self-love into the future for the one you are in the process of becoming.
These bedtime rituals empower you as the only one who can determine the meaning of your own past and the hopefulness of your future. By setting this special time aside each night, you can begin to orient yourself on your path of growing. It allows you to let the past have its place, to trust that the future is taken care of, and to simply rest yourself in the graceful arms of the present moment. Take baby steps in making it a habit by starting with just one thing at a time if it seems overwhelming.
The Self-Love Ritual
- End Each Day By Loving You. Light a scented candle while you are getting ready for bed and when you blow it out, recount all the things you did well for the day. As silly as it sounds, get in the habit of saying right before you go to sleep; “I love you (your name) and whatever you did or said today is ok. Keep up the good work!” The last thing you think about at bedtime sets the tone for the kind of sleep you will have and the start of the next day.
- Give Yourself A Massage. Sure, it’s easy to book a massage with a therapist but when was the last time you gave yourself a massage? Take the time to touch and massage your skin with some really great smelling oil or lotion. Thank your body and send it love as you give yourself this massage.
- Clear Out The Clutter Of The Day. Just like meditation unclutters the mind, getting rid of the thoughts and actions of a day that has passed and cannot be changed will lift energetic baggage off and you will have a more peaceful and loving sleep. Try a white noise sleeping sound machine if you can’t turn the chatter off yourself. What you don’t want to do is fall asleep with the TV going.
- Nourish Your Body With A Healthy Treat. Appreciating our bodies with the food we eat is a wonderful way to show ourselves self-love. Make yourself a nutritious snack before you go to bed. Something light and healthy as a reward for your great contribution to your day.
- Move Your Body. Before getting in bed, stretch out. Plant your back flat on the floor and just allow your body to sink into it. After a minute or two, then just stretch your legs, hip and arms. It will release stuck energy in your body. It’s like hugging yourself.
- Try Something New For Bedtime. Get yourself a new pretty nightgown, new face cream or a sound machine. All these actions send a nurturing message to yourself and your body.
Susan Z’s Verdict
I personally love that slowing down time before sleeping. Through the years, without me even being aware of it, I have added little blessing rituals with a lot of yoga and stretching before bedtime. The yoga part is what surprised me the most as I am not an exercise person and running or walking has usually been my form of release. But like the baby steps suggested above, I started one night with just stretching out my back in the devout posture and gradually added one more, then one more and then somewhere during that time, added resistance bands. Now I look forward to my night time self-love moments as I know I as doing them just for me. The more you send the message of love to yourself, the more loved you feel and others will also be attracted to that.
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Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.