I love the time of the day when I finally get to remove my make up, shower and get ready for bed. Some days it’s as early as 8 in the evening, when I’m tired from a full day’s job and want to turn in early; other days it’s 3 in the morning, when I’m home from a fun night drinking with people that I might or might not remember the day after. Except for the very few times that I got pitch-black drunk, I’m the kinda girl who can’t go to bed without a shower.
I find it extremely therapeutic as I strip off my clothes and clean myself up before I go to bed in my very own lalaland. I shower twice most of the time here in Malaysia because it’s so hot and humid. During the days, I’m always rushing off for whatever’s next and don’t have time to be mindful about my shower routine. Which is why I love my showers at night, where I can take my time to be mindful about every little thing that I do. Here’s a list of things that I love about my night routine:
- Removing every single piece of garment on my body after carrying them for an entire day
- Hot or cold water splashed onto my skin
- The feeling of my pores being liberated
- Lathering my body with soap and rubbing myself like a fat wet seal
- The sound of shower streaming
- My fresh minty breath
- Drying my hair and skin and feeling like a happy puppy
- Massaging the creams onto my skin and feeling like a newborn baby
- Putting clean pyjamas on
- Wrapping my smooth, clean self under the blanket
These are all the simple things that I do at night before I go to bed. They are the things that are so routinized that we could easily do them in autopilot mode. But I realize that mindfulness about these little actions is really grounding. Being aware that the water is running on my skin, the sensation of being wet instead of dry, the touch of the blanket wrapped around my skin from my shoulders to my baby toes, helps me focus on the “now” and remind myself that I am present. It keeps me away from the thoughts about the past or future that could cause me to feel sad or anxious. Thus, helps me fall asleep better.
I’ve been obsessed with ASMR sounds in the past few months. I would play a combination of different sounds like lapping water, fire crackles and rainy day sounds through an app called Relax Meditations on my iPad. I would turn on its 30-minute timer (which allows it to turn off automatically when I fall asleep), and go to bed. It has been extremely helpful with my sleep quality these days, although I still get really vivid dreams from my SSRIs some times. I hope you feel present tonight when you’re on your bed, and that you get a good night’s sleep.