Be kind to yourself – original letter

I wrote this letter in response to a lady who was struggling to relax in the evening. I hope you find it helpful too.

After a busy day, either at work or just doing the things any of us do in a day, energy levels and sometimes sugar levels can get low. I think we underestimate the concentration levels and pure energy it takes to get through the day. Our minds and bodies can take a bit of time to readjust to home and relaxing and then later in the day things can feel unsettled.

Although some people might call it sundowning, maybe it could be seen as an early evening slump? Even after a good day the transition into relaxing in the evening can do with a bit of help. Use this horrible feeling as an excuse to build up a really nice plan for yourself, a toolkit of helpful, lovely things for you. Then put it somewhere visible, as a reminder when you most need it. On the fridge maybe?

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head, but I’m sure you’ll find what works for you.

When you get in, change out of your work or going out clothes, into something comfortable. It’ll give you the message that you’re home and you can relax. Get a nice routine in place that works for you. Eating and sleeping regularly can make everything feel so much better. Make yourself a hot drink. Avoiding caffeine can help so that sleep isn’t affected. I’ve got a few favourites including mint and liquorice, but there are plenty of options out there including decaf builders’ tea. A snack if that helps when you first get in and eating something nice for your dinner. So be good to yourself when you get in and build in a few nice things for you. If you can be as nice to yourself as I bet you are to your loved ones, you’re on the right track.

Now find some things that are just for pure enjoyment. You mentioned listening to stories. Are you enjoying these? I’m subscribed to our local library free audiobook service, and if I’ve got an audiobook on the go I’m happy. It’s nice to look forward to the next part of a story. There are also short stories and poetry collections. Also BBC Sounds have lots of radio shows, including some great comedy if that’s your thing. There are also lots of different interesting topics. Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra have got some great things to explore. Other podcasts are available too. I’ve got podcasts which teach me things, ones that make me think and some wonderfully silly ones. So depending on what mood I’m in I can find something that suits.

Depending on what you enjoy, it might be worth finding something relaxing and restorative: knitting, jigsaws, drawing, colouring or something similar. Anything you used to enjoy and fancy trying again?

Be kind to yourselves.