Bedtime Routine for Calming Anxiety
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
It’s impossible to remain untouched by the energy of fear and anxiety right now. If you’re like me, fear and anxiety can have an impact on the quality of your sleep and your overall wellness.
For a while now I have been developing my own bedtime routine to support better sleep. These days I’m finding it especially helpful. I share it below with the hope you find something that supports you in experiencing less anxiety and more quality sleep.
The routine is simple, no-cost, and can be customized to meet your own needs. Just like anything that brings about change, it might require the discomfort of some discipline and doing things differently than what you’re accustomed to.
Bedtime Routine to Calm Anxiety
1. Wrap It Up
There are a couple things I like to do at the end of the day to wrap things up. If stuff is lying around, I put it away. I like to clean up the kitchen, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and run it. I fill up my humidifier and turn it on. I take the dog out. I log off the computer. You can do whatever activities make sense for you. The point is to choose things that signify for you wrapping it up for the day. I personally like to unplug at this point, meaning no more checking my phone and no more phone calls.
2. Hot Shower
For me the hot shower takes on a symbolic quality. I use it as a deliberate transition period where I’m washing away the day’s activities and preparing my body for a period of rest. Hot showers are also great for calming the nervous system. If you are a shower-in-the-morning kind of person, taking a bath, or even washing your face and brushing your teeth are also options. Any activity can be used to symbolically transition into rest and sleep by setting that intention.
I typically spend about 30 minutes journaling each night, but it can vary. I use a three-part formula for journaling.
The Garbage Dump – The first part is where I dump any mental chatter out of my mind and onto the page. This would be a place to articulate anxiety leftover from the day or anxiety in anticipation of what’s planned for tomorrow. I recommend doing this without any filters until you feel there’s nothing left. Whatever comes to mind, write it down.
What Went Right – The second part is where I list out everything that went right during the day. This is an amazing practice that helps counteract the negativity bias in the brain. At first this felt like a lot of effort. With some repetition though, I’m continually amazed at how many things I can come up with. There is so much that is going right every single day, it’s just a matter of training yourself to notice it.
Ask For Support – Ask whoever it is that you ask – The Universe, Angels, God, Gods, The Collective Consciousness, Source, Ancestors, etc. – for support tomorrow. Be specific. Ask for support for whatever and whoever you are worried about. Even if you don’t believe it will make a difference, ask. One of the major benefits of this exercise is that over time it can open you up energetically to more receiving. In my own life, I continue to be amazed at what shows up when I ask for support.
There are many different styles of meditation and I encourage you to choose one that you feel naturally drawn to. My meditation practice is silent, with eyes open, and a focus on the breath. I use the meditation to watch what my mind and body are doing, and to make friends with whatever is going on. I’ve learned that the attention of my awareness is extremely powerful. For example, watching the energy of fear in my body makes it possible to release it. I love the Insight Timer app which has beautiful bell sounds to let me know when my meditation time has ended.
About the Author
Diana Calvo is a coach who helps people get unstuck and transform their day-to-day experience of work and life. After 20 years successfully climbing the corporate ladder, Diana experienced her own journey of healing and awakening. She discovered her true calling to guide others on their journey out of suffering and into a life of purpose and joy. Diana left the corporate world to start her own coaching business. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her dog Joey and a beautiful view of the mountains. She works with clients across the globe.