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7 Things I Do Before Bed Instead Of Watch Netflix

Otherwise I just wind up clicking "Next Episode" all night.

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Watching Netflix is my ideal before-bed activity, but since I am physically incapable of watching just *one* episode, I've had to scale back unless I want to find myself awake at 4 a.m. questioning my life choices.

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Admittedly, nothing quite replaces Netflix, but I've found a few things I enjoy doing to fill the before-bed void. More than aiming to go technology-free (which is great for sleep, but not always doable), I set out to find things that make me feel like I'm doing something good for myself.

(Btw, I'm not going to include my go-tos that are more on the obvious side. Just know that I highly endorse reading before bed and doing a sheet mask.)

1. Give some TLC to your long-distance relationships.

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed

Catching up with my long-distance friends and family is one of those things where I'm always like, "I really need to do that!" and then promptly forget in favor of the million other things going on in my life. So at least one night a week before bed, I've started setting aside the time to email, call, FaceTime, or even write the occasional letter to the people with whom I'm regularly stuck in a cycle of "we should catch up soon!" texts. And let me tell you, my mom has really appreciated it.

Psst, these ideas for keeping a long-distance friendship alive are a good place to start, by the way.

2. Make a schedule for how you'll ~ideally~ spend tomorrow.

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I'm someone who chronically waits until the ~motivation~ strikes to work on things, so scheduling my life ahead of time — as in, actually writing it down — helps me make plans not based on my mood, but instead based on what I really want. Otherwise, there is *so much stuff* I never get around to, because I'm always promising myself I'll do it later.

So most nights, I try to ask myself, "Okay, what would tomorrow look like if I was being my ideal version of myself?" and schedule from there. Do I usually stick to the schedule 100%? Lol, absolutely not. Do I wind up having a more productive day than I would otherwise? Usually!!

(Eventually, I hope to graduate to doing this Sunday nights for the entire week, but...baby steps.)

3. Use tarot cards to reflect on yourself and your life while feeling somewhat magical.

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Even though you might be most familiar with tarot cards as a fortune-telling device, my favorite way to use them is to tap into my own intuition. Meaning, how *you* interpret the cards when you ask them for guidance can tell you a lot about what you really want or think, deep down.

If there are worries and anxieties that I anticipate keeping me up at night, sometimes I opt to ~read the cards~ instead of journaling, because it feels more proactive. It sounds silly, but sometimes I need permission to focus on myself and my problems front and center, and the ritual of tarot makes me feel like I'm doing something slightly more important than sitting around thinking about myself.

Even if you don't have a deck or guide books, everything you need is online. For starters, you can "pull" cards here; here are some basic three-card spreads; and Biddy Tarot is an accessible resource that's great for beginners that will tell you the meanings of the cards. Go forth!

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4. Write lists from The 52 Lists Project — or any other writing prompts floating around the internet that encourage self-reflection.

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In peak parody of a BuzzFeed writer, I love writing lists, and the type of lists prompted in The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal feel like warm hugs. Creating lists of stuff like things that motivate you, your best qualities, and things that never fail to make you feel better is a really soothing way to wind down. I always feel a little bit like I'm doing fun homework about myself. Not to mention, a lot of the lists are legit helpful to have on hand to look back on and actually use.

5. Do a sweep of your home and take care of things that take less than five minutes.

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Tidying up can be a relaxing ritual when you focus on small tasks. For me, that winds up being little things like sweeping up litter that my menace cat children have tracked out of the box, or clearing mugs that have accumulated on my desk and bedside table. Because tbh, if I'm already up and about to wash my face and brush my teeth before bed, I may as well.

6. Make niche playlists so you have thematically resonant music for all occasions.

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed

Discovering and listening to new music is not something I used to regularly set aside time for — it's more something that happens quietly in the background. I'll throw on a random Spotify playlist, occasionally save standout songs to playlists I have going, and slooowly build a collection of songs I'll eventually run into the ground with how much I listen to them.

But do you know what's incredibly lovely? Curling up in bed with headphones on and tea in hand and actively seeking out new music and making playlists. Even if you don't want to go *super* niche (lol, see my library above), everyone can at least use a good cheer up playlist, wallowing playlist, and getting ready playlist.

7. Take a free or cheap online class in a random hobby or subject you've always wanted to learn more about.

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I don't mean something with a lot of heavy mental lifting, unless that's something that sounds fun to you. Right now, I'm slowly making my way through an intro drawing class on Udemy that was, like, $11.99, but there are plenty of similar things on YouTube and around the internet. (And, if I'm being honest, it fills the void of having something to watch quite nicely.)

If you have any favorite before-bed activities, please share, because I get bored easily and am constantly trying to resist the siren call of Netflix.