January is always the best time to reset. It was fun to plan my aspiration for the rest of the year. This January, I have challenged myself with a new daily routine. I practiced it for almost a month now. And it was enjoyable!
One of the items on my daily schedule is the two hours "Chill Hours" in the evening, after dinner, and before my bedtime routine. It is like a time for me to hang out with myself. In these three hours, I am allowed (by myself) to do anything unproductive. However, there is one rule: I need to do things that give me a good mood for bedtime. After a month of experiments, there are several things I find the most enjoyable.
1. Knitting ( and any craft projects)
I like starting my Chill Hours by watching Netflix with my husband after dinner. Do you like keeping your hands busy when watching Netflix? Rather than playing on the phone, I knit. Knitting is handy and cozy. I keep my latest knit project in a tote bag leave it next to the sofa. I just finished a baby jumper for my friend’s newborn in Hong Kong, and my next project is a dog jumper for Susie in confetti yarn!
2. Jigsaw puzzles
After a bit of TV time in the front room. I love spending my own time on the desk. Ever since I got a new jigsaw puzzle mat from my mother-in-law on Christmas day, I have been gladly going through my jigsaw collection (some of them from the charity shop) one by one. When I was making these little 'I-don't-know-what-it-is-at-all' pieces click onto each other, I went 'Ahh! That makes sense!". And those make the most satisfying moments during my Chill Hours.
3. Colouring books
I was never a fan of colouring books until I found this The Golden Ratio Colouring Book. The fun bit is to accommodate different colours into the geometrical patterns. The relaxing bit is not to focus and think so much! After all, no one is flipping through my colouring book and saying “Look the colours do not make sense” anyway. I also love watching youtube videos while keeping my hands busy.
4. Calming Youtube videos
It is calming to have background noise with the jigsaw puzzle and colouring books. Youtube is my favorite social media. During the Chill Hours, which is a time for getting ready for bed, I like to play something calming on Youtube. My recent favorites are solo camping videos by ‘HikeCampClimb’ and ‘Tales Along The Way -quiet night-’, who built his camper container from scratch. These videos come with only natural noise and picturesque scenery. And they blend in with the mood of the quiet evenings in solitude. Or some lo-fi music in the background will work the same.
With dimmed lights in the room, calming videos in the background to listen to, and something relaxing to do on my hands. I love filling the room with some calming woody scents (which also fits with the camping videos on the screen during winter!) I love using my own “Moonchild Forest”, my all-time favorite scented with the meditative Cedarwood and the floral hint from the Neroli Light essential oils. Another choice of my Chill Hours is the meadow and rainy like “Starry Lagoon”, scented with lavender and Clary Sage essential oils. Candles give the space a warm aura. It helps me appreciate the stressless Chill Hours and getting myself drowsy for a later bedtime.
The three hours of Chill Time let me enjoy the evening without worrying about my to-do list and my daily business. I was often distracted when making candles, getting orders ready, and doing chores. But ever since having the Chill Hours I tell myself, “let’s leave the nice things for the peaceful evening.” It does make my days more focused and productive.