During a particularly stressful season of work, I struggled to relax on Sunday nights. I wanted to enjoy the last remnants of the weekend, but instead, I ended up worrying about the week ahead.

One Sunday night, I decided to take a bubble bath. One Sunday turned into two, and soon, Sunday night baths became my go-to ritual. I would turn on relaxing music, light a candle, dim the lights, sip some wine, and nibble on chocolate. The warm water signaled to my body that it was time to rest, and the music helped ease my mind.

This simple practice taught me the power of a Sunday night ritual: a thoughtful way to wrap up the weekend and mitigate the stress that comes with it.

In different seasons, that routine has changed—when I was pregnant with my first baby, Sunday night consisted of propping my feet up and watching Call the Midwife, usually with a bowl of ice cream. More recently, I have gravitated toward creating or reviewing my to-do list for the week. Though not inherently relaxing, as a task, this routine does have a relaxing effect: I offload the things that are weighing on my mind and put them down on paper, so I’m not trying to remember them as I drift off to sleep.

That’s part of the beauty of Sunday night rituals. They are personal; they can be whatever you need them to be, and you can change them as frequently or infrequently as you wish. I initially drifted into my rituals without much thought, but looking back, it’s clear to me that finding the right Sunday night ritual is really about identifying our needs.

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