3 Ways To End Your Day Right

Mar 14, 2022

Parents of young kids are familiar with the idea of only having time to yourself post-bedtime, and over my son's life, I've built 3 habits that help me end each day at peace, and often on a high note.

In our house, there's pretty much no chance of having a morning routine - my two-year-old is inevitably up before I am, and the day has already started before I'm even out of bed. Add in working out of my home, and it's just out the window - not happening. So the end of the day became my time for solitude, reflection, and release of the day.

Habit 1: Cold Showers

Ending an evening shower without hot water has become one of those daily resets that melt away the day. Nothing crazy - just cutting the hot water and staying in it until my breathing normalized. The cold shock puts your mind on one thing - that you're cold. Your body kicks into a bit of a physiological panic and you'll start breathing shallower and faster. Moving focus from the fact that you are cold, to your breathing, is incredibly centering.

There are also some solid physiological effects (dopamine release, metabolic increase) - here's a great video from Dr. Andrew Huberman at Stanford - start at about 4:40 in the video).

Habit 2: Meditation

Everyone's had a day where they lay their head down and bang, your mind starts to race, sometimes for hours. Your mind is trying to tell you something.

We go through the day collecting experiences like emails. Often they just show up, and we don't give them much thought. Without examining any of the content of those experiences, we feel the weight of a full mental inbox, without knowing if anything in there is actually worth worrying about.

Here's the breakdown of my meditation practice, and how anyone can start. TL;DR version - sit down, close your eyes, and watch your thoughts pass through your mind as a neutral observer.

If meditation doesn't come easy - good. Work at it.

Habit 3: Journaling

One way you can ease into it is journaling. When I feel like I have too many thoughts going to sit down and meditate, out come the pen + paper. Pen + paper for a few reasons:

journaling on your computer/iPad/whatever opens up the possibility of distraction too easily, never mind the blue-light messing with your natural melatonin production right before going to sleep.

people have been writing with pen + paper for thousands of years, it's in our DNA at this point. There's a mind-body connection that's special about feeling the grit of ink roll out onto pressed paper.

we're all going to die. It lets you leave a glimpse of your mind behind for those that love you.

A wise friend once told me that when you're thinking too much, it's time to write something down. It's one of the best ways I know to clear your head, and end the day right.

With love,