This strange time has given us, on one hand, the chance to slow down, yet on the other, it's busier than ever. Especially if you have others in your life to care for in addition to yourself. But you can't give from an empty cup, so, this list of evening rituals is focused on what you can do for yourself right after you turn the computer off, shut the laptop, or say goodbye to the last virtual meeting of the day.
1. Head to the nearest door and take a big, deep belly breath in... and out. I don't care if it's snowing. Fill your lungs with fresh air. Stay for a while if you can -- take a lap around the yard, or walk down the street and back.
2. If you have some time, make a cup of tea -- black (is caffeinated, so beware), green, or herbal -- and, let it cool down while you get your shoes (and maybe a jacket) on. Pop it in a favorite thermos, and take a stroll around your neighborhood. You don't have to have a plan or a place you're walking to. Set a timer for 15 minutes if you only have a short window.
3. Turn on a song that pops into your head or the one you didn't get a chance to jam/relax to earlier today.
4. If you have some time, stand up and dance it out or lay all the way down with your feet up. No more sitting. Don't think, just listen. Research shows giving your brain blank space helps you think and deal better later.
5. Open your reader app or pick up a book (the latter is easier on your eyes), and fully indulge, letting the day slip away, or give yourself enough time to read at least one chapter.
6. Make food that feels good. Maybe that means a few basic ingredients and simple instructions. Maybe that means putting together that new, complex meal you've been excited about since you picked up the items at the grocery store.
Can you combine some of these to get even more out of your evening ritual time? If you're working in tech, creating rituals like this—whether they're in the morning, middle of your day, or evening—is critical as we live out a new normal working from home, taking meetings virtually, and missing the energy of in-person connections with colleagues.
What is your evening ritual?