Just as setting intentions to start your day can set you up for the kind of day you want to experience, the same can be true at the end of your day.
Many of us start our workdays by checking the calendar, task lists, and email. This is after we have moved through all of the activities that happen before we get to work. We march through our day thinking about what comes next or what has to be done when we get home. Then the workday ends with the tasks being completed in reverse order.
For me, the transition from work to home is every bit as important as what happens at bedtime. If you are a person who works from home, this has become even more necessary. Although life seems to never be just work or just home and everything is integrated, there is a need to “shut it down” when these two parts of our lives exist in the same physical space. Having a physical signal or ritual to end the workday can be powerful when it comes to setting boundaries between work and home.
Transitioning out of work mode can happen in many different ways. Create some habits around these times. Are you coming into family time still thinking about what happened at work? Are you replaying conversations or stressing out about the list of things that you believe you are left undone? For some, you leave work and move into a time when dinner is hurried, kids have sports, music, or other extracurricular activities, and your evening is just as busy as your day.
In one of my former commutes, I used to cross a bridge. I needed to cross that bridge between work and home. One evening, I decided that anything that happened at work had to be left on the bridge, even if I picked it up on my way back into the office the next morning. Having the bridge as a visual cue helped me to form the habit that allowed me to be fully present at home.
When all of the evening activities are finishing up, it is time again to shift our brains toward setting up for rest. Making time to move toward rest and closing out the day might come naturally for some of us. For others, it may require intentionality and the formation of a new habit. Things like dimming lights, taking a shower or bath, turning off electronics an hour or so before bedtime, and having really fabulous linens on the bed can all set the tone. This is also where intention setting can work for you as a tool for attaining a peaceful night.
How do we prepare for a peaceful rest?
Taking the time to write down your intentions helps to create clarity and focus around them. Writing also helps us to remember them and give us a place to read and repeat our intentions nightly. Numerous neuroscience studies confirm that we are more likely to remember things that we create and write down. This article in Forbes explains that when we write something down, we are “encoding” it on our brain.
Once you have written your intentions down, spend a little time before bed reading them, adding to them, or choose just a couple of them to focus on for that night.
Here is a list of some of my intentions. Use these (we’ve included a phone wallpaper below!), or make a list of your own. May you have a restful night with sweet dreams.
- I intend to rest
- I intend to let go of worries
- I intend to release judgments I’ve made toward myself and others
- I intend to focus on things I am grateful for
- I intend to be at peace
- I intend to release anything that I may have taken personally
- I intend to quiet my mind
- I intend to quiet my body so it may be restored
- I intend to wake refreshed
- I intend to just be
Screenshot this wallpaper and use it at night to help you remember to put your phone down and set your intentions!
Mind Body Align’s Director of Operations is Jennifer Blue. No stranger to small business, Jen is a community leader, an entrepreneur and a published author who has led several successful startups. Responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of all programs and events offered at the historic Butterfly House, home of Mind Body Align, as well as overseeing all operations for the company. Jennifer has worked alongside entrepreneurs and visionaries in various industries and positions over her 30-year management career. A Mansfield, Ohio native, Jen returned to Ohio after living and working in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as South Florida. She studied political science at Otterbein College and the University of Louisville. Adventure, creativity and new challenges are “musts” in her life; these drives have led Jen to work as a freelance writer, chef, and abstract artist.