Last night as I stepped outside to hang out the washing (which promptly got wet in the rain because of...ya know...Wellington), it felt for the first time in a while like the seasons was on the move.
It was darker and while not colder, it suddenly occurred to me that this year is racing along, faster than ever.
When Autumn arrives, I like to try and bring the pace down a bit, especially if I have a quiet night alone. I have a few things I like to try and incorporate into my evening, which I've shared above in my short little movie about my own evening routine.
1. Walk it out
I find walking is a great antidote to the stress of the day. Whether it is getting off the bus a stop early, or getting on your activewear once you're home, walking is a great, simple exercise you can generally fit in anywhere. You don't have to change out of your clothes necessarily yet its benefits are huge. It lowers your blood pressure, calms your nerves and gives you that headspace to work out how your day went and to plan what you need to do to unwind.
2. Get out of your work clothes
Personally, I am a huge fan of PJs. I get into them asap when I get home on a cold Autumn evening. Get a good pair from Farmers made of snuggly flannel and a pair of fluffy socks for immediate comfort. Of course, if you prefer to wear sweatpants that's fine as well. Just make sure you aren't still wearing an uncomfortable belted dress or suit once you get home!
3. Face off
If you are of the female persuasion, now is the time to take off your makeup. Use something gently like an oil cleanser which nourishes your skin (stay away from foaming cleansers, micro-beads or anything too rough & commercial, unless it is a soap like Pears of which I am also a fan). Use a facecloth to wipe off the residue. Follow with moisturiser if you're planning on going to bed soon.
4. Make Sure You've Eaten
Often I need just a scrambled egg on toast or some leftovers, but I always make sure I've had something to eat before winding down fully. Nothing worse than a grumbly tummy in the night!
5. Read (if you can)
To wind down fully, read a book or magazine you've been meaning on catching up on. I love British Vogue, Blogosphere Magazine and am currently reading 'Inside Vogue' by Alexandra Shulman. Reading always turns my inner-radio down and helps settle me for the night.
6. Take your vitamins!
I don't really think vitamins are necessary in most parts of life, as long as you eat a balanced diet. But I do think some work wonders as a treatment. For example, anything natural to help you sleep gets a bit of thumbs up from me. I like tart cherry anything, flaxseed oil, and I LOVE magnesium which helps your body feel a bit zen just before bed. While some people might scoff, I've found it helps me STAY asleep a lot longer and relaxes me before bed.
7. Get an early night
This is one I constantly fail at but nothing beats some extra zzz. Put your phone away and hit your pill. Spray some lavender around or light a candle for a lovely relaxing smell. From here, just drift away and dream...