Most people we know have at least some trouble sleeping, whether they find themselves anxious at night or just suffer from the Sunday scaries once a week. It’s difficult to imagine a world in which we all fall peacefully into dreams, particularly given the incessant negativity of the news cycle, the incredible expectations placed upon modern women and the 24/7 connectivity of our digital existence. Still, there are some things you can do to optimize your nights and improve your overall mood in the process. Here, seven things all happy girls do before bed.
How To Look Like This When You Wake Up (More Or Less)
We first got into this habit because we found our Instagram addiction was keeping us up at night and let us tell you, it is life-changing. At least an hour before bed, we suggest you switch off your phone or put it in airplane mode so you can start detoxing from its incessant stimulation.
If you're one of those people who has trouble turning off their brain at night, you might want to test out a nightly journaling practice in order to clear out some clutter before bed. We suggest free-writing with no judgment—sentences don't need to utilize proper grammar or even make sense, they just need to serve as a release. Some studies have shown that journaling can boost the immune system, lower stress, improve sleep and more.
According to one study, having sex once a week provides a happiness boost to your life equivalent to that of a $50,000 raise. As writers who will never see a pay increase of $50k, we are definitely taking notes. Intimacy, like journaling, boosts the immune system, reduces stress and improves sleep. Plus, it might make us look younger, which is never a bad thing when it comes to our mental well-being (given we live in a society that prizes youth above all else, sigh).
The health benefits of nightly bathing are myriad, and can also be enhanced by the type of bath you take. Generally speaking, the after-bath cooling process helps promote sleep, while passive heating (read: bathing) itself burns as many calories as a 30-minute walk and reduces inflammation—good things when it comes to improving overall well-being.
Even if you're not much of a meditator, we find it's relatively easy to accomplish at night being that you can do it from your bed. According to Harvard, mindful meditation effectively promotes sleep and diffuses stress. Using an app to meditate before turning off your phone at night might be the easiest way to make this a regular practice—anywhere from five to 20 minutes works.
Noting the things for which you're grateful is a transformative practice if you tend toward a negative worldview—trust us! Rather than focusing on how much you don't want to go to work on a Monday morning, for example, reframe your job using a gratitude list to help you feel happy rather than resentful.
Okay, so maybe not all happy girls do this, but we highly suggest trying it if you're struggling to turn your mood around. Here, heartthrob (and Canadian PM) Justin Trudeau hugs a puppet, and it's about a thousand times more adorable than it sounds.