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Taryn Toomey Shares Her Bedtime Routine: Why She Loves Bathing in the Fetal Position

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Next to my bathtub is a whole little pile of different oils and salts and scrubs and candles. I usually light a couple candles, just set the tone. It’s these simple things that sound a little like, “Oh, you light a candle and get in the bath,” but it’s the ritual of it that slows you down, and for me that’s the key for getting ready for bed—doing things that slow you down.

I always put way too many Epsom salts in the bath. I usually add some apple cider vinegar, and then from there I’ll just decide if I want to put a couple drops of rosemary oil, or lemon oil, or lavender depending upon whether I want a more clearing or relaxing feeling. And then I get in the bathtub.

If I’m with my girls, oftentimes one of them gets in with me.

That’s usually when my youngest daughter asks if she can light a candle and get in the bath because she wants to talk through something with me. That’s a signal to me that she needs a little bit of extra time, so we get in the bath, or I get in the bath solo. When I’m in the bath solo, if I’m really feeling the need to get steady or to unwind, I’ll get in the fetal position with my head above the water, and I’ll close my eyes and I’ll wait for the water to stop rocking. Here, you just breathe and you can envision yourself in the womb of the Mother. Mother can be earth, it could be your mother, or whatever it is. The feeling of being held by amniotic fluid really, really soothes my nervous system and just feels very reparative for me. I learned that from a woman named Phoenix Two-Moons that I met a long time ago in Arizona, and I just love having that moment.

You can even put your ears under the water if you want to close off the sound. The longer that you can get still in that space and the more you can just really feel yourself, envisioning yourself, in the womb of whatever mother you consider. I find that to be super, super soothing.

From there I will often do lymphatic drainage.

Wonder Valley Oil Face Cleanser

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Lymphatic massage gets confused with body shaping or body contouring or sculpting, but I love doing it because I think that touch is so important. To remember that we have our own touch to do that, to soothe the body, to soothe the nervous system, is beautiful. I’ll tap a little bit right above the collar bones and then massage up the sides of the neck, and then massage the lymph node behind the jawbone for a bit. From there, I work up and then down the face with Wonder Valley’s oil cleanser. [Ed. note: Lymphatic drainage massage is used by medical professionals to treat swelling caused by conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and others, according to the Cleveland Clinic. While some enjoy getting a lymphatic drainage massage—or practicing it themselves—regardless of whether they have a specified health condition, studies on the benefits of self-performed lymphatic massage are still inconclusive.]

If I’m still in the bath, I’ll get in the shower and just do a cold rinse. I love a good hot and cold hydrotherapy in the shower.

If I don’t take a bath, I will still do that in the shower at night, where you do three rounds through of water—on the crown of head and heart—as hot as you can tolerate it for one minute and then as cold as you can tolerate it for one minute, and then as hot as you can tolerate it for one minute, and you go through that three times. It brings the blood toward the organs when it’s cold, and then it brings the blood toward the skin when it’s warm. I end with a warm shower from there.

I’m a big oil-lotion girl.

Tuning back into the idea of touch—I use an amazing oil and lotion that we made in a collaboration with Routine that’s made with all of these really grounding scents that smell so good. I usually do a couple pumps of the lotion and a couple pumps of the oil and start from my feet up and just massage all the way up. I also use this massage and body oil from Surya Spa. It’s the scent that’s super grounding to me.

Routine x The Class Face & Body Oil Serum

Routine x The Class Nourishing Dream Cream

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From there, I usually just take a peek at my skin and see what it needs for the night.

Sometimes it needs a little bit of exfoliation, sometimes it needs more hydration. If I really need exfoliation, I’ll do a Joana Vargas exfoliating mask and I’ll sleep with it on, which is a little bit crusty on your sheets sometimes. But if you really need a good exfoliation, sleeping with that mask does the trick. If I don’t need exfoliation, I usually use a vitamin C serum from Beautycounter, and then this amazing night cream that I’ve been obsessed with for a while, Kubra Kay night cream. It feels really clean, it doesn’t have a strong scent to it, and I just glob that on and that’s my jam for moisturizing.

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Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask

Beautycounter Counter+ All Bright C Serum

Kubra Kay Fruit Night Cream

Now, the key is the move from the bath to the bedroom. I always find it to be the slippery spot where you can get hooked into electronics.

You might pull out your phone or your computer, and crawl into your bed. So that’s where I really make an effort to say to myself, “I’m going to do one final check-in.” Boundaries are key. So those who I talk to at night or just want to touch base with, I’ll text and say, “Hey, I’m shutting down for the night, let me know if you need anything.” That way I feel like I’m communicating and it’s met with an understanding. I think doing that in the evenings, maybe having a specific shutoff time where you actively say to some people, “Hey, I’m going to shut down for the night,” is helpful for everyone.

On an ideal day, I will usually try to read. But there are times where I need an hour or two to get some things done that I had not been able to accomplish for work.

So if I do need to do that and I know I need to do it in bed, I just try to be very deliberate with opening my computer, doing whatever it is that needs my attention, and then closing it and putting it away.

Then I will put my phone and computer in the bathroom.

Next to my bed, I have a stack of books and a stack of journals. I put them there on purpose because of the voices on one shoulder and the other being like, “Which way are you going to go? Are you going to get stuck in your social media, or are you going to sit down and take time with yourself?” I dream a lot, and when I’ve been engaging with something on my phone that pulls me out of unwinding the day, then I go to bed, that’s usually what ends up getting brought up in my dream. That’s why I make such an effort to shut that stuff down, because again, I’m aware of what it does to my rest.

The shades are drawn, and then before bed I’ll swing around and put my legs up the back of the headboard to let blood drain from my legs.

I take opposite elbows overhead, and just really breathe slowly and observe the pitter-patter of my mind. That is the inflection point where I actively try to bring in the things that felt fulfilling for the day as opposed to allowing the mind to go into all of the worry.

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Source: Self

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