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Establishing a nighttime routine in college can be difficult. There’s always different things going on at night that require our attention. Whether it’s late night homework or studying, meeting up with a group to work on a project, or going to an event -- there’s always something keeping us from much needed downtime.
But college is extremely stressful and burnout is a real thing, so we need to try and make time for ourselves when necessary. Being able to establish some semblance of a nighttime routine will help you unwind from long days, de-stress, and make going to sleep easier.
When you try to go to bed with overactive thoughts buzzing around your mind, you may find that you lie awake overthinking rather than getting much needed sleep.
The good news is, we have tips and activities you can make part of your nighttime routine! We know that some nights, it’s just not possible to do these activities before bed. But, doing them when time allows will do wonders for your mental health and overall well being.
Depending on if you live in your campus dorms, in an apartment, or at home -- you might not have access to all of these activities. But we have enough on our list for all types of college living styles.
Here are some of the best activities to add to your nighttime routine:
- Bath Bombs
- Face Masks
- Skin Care Routine
- Weighted Blanket
- Rise and Shine Breakfast Kit
We’ve already mentioned the difficulty of attempting to go to sleep when thoughts are swirling around your mind. Lots of times it’s hard to turn our brains off and we get lost overthinking about parts of our day we should have done differently.
A great way to minimize overthinking at night is to write all of your thoughts out before going to sleep. Journaling is not weird or out of style -- in fact it has been shown to have many positive benefits for your health and well being.
Journaling just five minutes a day for four months was shown to not only significantly reduce stress, but also lower blood pressure and improve liver function. Journaling also keeps your memory sharp, boosts mood, and improves your emotional health.
Writing out your feelings help you get better in touch with yourself and your emotions. It will help you feel more in tune with yourself and you will be able to sense your inner needs and connect them to your desires. You might also feel a boost in self-confidence and personal identity because it will become easier for you to recognize your feelings and emotions and how you should react to them.
Getting all your thoughts out before bed whether positive or negative will make it much easier to go to sleep. If you aren’t able to carve out 15-20 minutes each for journaling -- just five will do the trick and you will see a quick improvement in your stress levels and emotional health.
Self-care Sunday calls for a yoga flow!
Much like journaling, yoga is very beneficial for your mental health and body functions. Yoga is known for its slow, calming flow. You move through the poses with ease and without rushing. While doing yoga, you are encouraged to focus your breathing and attention on the poses, which helps you escape the stress of daily activities.
That being said, yoga is known to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and even relieve feelings of anxiety. If you feel like you struggle to sleep at night, research has shown that yoga can promote better sleep quality by increasing the secretion of melatonin to the body. It has decreased the number of sleep disturbances, improved overall sleep quality, and reduced the need for sleep aids.
If you struggle with feelings of depression, yoga has been shown to act as a natural antidepressant. It is able to decrease levels of cortisol in the body -- a stress hormone that directly affects your serotonin levels.
Aside from the mental benefits, yoga also has a number of physical benefits. It helps increase overall balance and flexibility, breathing, reducing pain, inflammation, and improving hearth functions.
If you don’t have time to attend yoga classes, fortunately there are a number of free yoga videos available on platforms such as YouTube. There are videos for morning, stress relieving, core building, weight loss, and night time routines. These could be as little as five minutes to as long as an hour -- so no matter how much time you have, you can incorporate it into your night time routine.
Meditation falls into the same category as journaling and yoga. There are many forms of meditation that you can practice. The overall goal is to train your mind to focus on your thoughts and redirect the energy. The process essentially helps you realize your thoughts and feelings, accept them for what they are, and let them pass. This helps you detach from negative thoughts and not spend as much time worrying or over analyzing them.
Mediation is not easy at first, many people have difficulty focusing and find that their minds often wander from the task at hand. If this happens to you, do not be discouraged -- it’s all part of the process.
Some of the main benefits of meditation are reducing stress, controlling and alleviating anxiety, improving emotional health, boosting self-awareness, and improving sleep.
Much like yoga, there are a number of free videos online for guided meditation where someone will talk you through the session, calming music to promote a focused environment, and pages that will help walk you through the goals of meditation and what you should be thinking about during your sessions.
Yoga can be done at any point during the day, and at any location. There are yoga videos for sleep, stress reduction, letting negative emotions pass, and so much more. Videos can be as short as ten minutes or longer depending on how much time you want to spend meditating. We definitely recommend incorporating this into your night time routine.
We know that most students living in the dorms won’t have access to a bathtub and therefore cannot take part in the bath bomb trend. However, many students choose to live off-campus or commute from home. If this is your situation, a bath bomb may be just what you need to unwind at night.
Many college students forget to incorporate self-care into their daily routines. They get lost in the stress of the day, homework, papers, tests, keeping up clubs and events they must attend. However, it’s necessary to make time for yourself.
If time allows, take an extra 30 minutes to soak in a bath while relaxing in the aroma of a bath bomb. We know you will feel instantly better afterwards!
We do, indeed, think face masks solve problems simply because self-care is a whole mood.
Face masks fall into the same category as bath bombs -- the good news is, they can be done anywhere! Face masks make everyone feel great. We’ve all been there at times when we haven’t cared for ourselves during a hectic week, then looked in the mirror and gasped at the person staring back at us. Huge pores, under eye bags, overall looking like a tired college student who has too much on their plate.
Luckily we have face masks to provide the little pick me up we need when one of these moments happen. They make your face feel smooth and clean again and can help minimize dark circles and pores.
These are relatively inexpensive too and usually require 10-15 minutes to dry. Incorporate the time it takes you to apply the mask, and wash it off, and this will be approximately how long it takes you to do one. But we know you can squeeze in a facemask while doing your nightly reading. So, why not catch up one self-care while doing your homework -- two birds with one stone!
Skin Care Routine
We hear all kinds of beauty gurus and our friends talking about skin care routines. In your early 20’s is the best time to establish one of these! Your skin will thank you and you will feel better about your appearance which in turn makes you feel better mentally and physically.
A skin care routine can be as basic or extensive as you want. Some people choose moisturizer, serum, and under eye cream, others have a whole list of products. We suggest doing what makes you feel good! But trust us, having a night time skin care will make you feel much better. Taking just a small amount for yourself will reduce stress and help you relax.
If you struggle to sleep at night or often feel restless -- a weighted blanket may be your way to better sleep. These blankets use the same theory as swaddling newborns -- it essentially acts as a comforting hug. This helps to calm and settle the nervous system making it easier to sleep.
These blankets are often recommended for those with insomnia or anxiety and stress. Many people report that the weight makes them feel relaxed. In those who are active sleepers, the blankets help them stay in one place.
Give one a try and see if it works for you! At the end of the day, most of us like to sleep weighed down, so at the very least you’ll be getting that feeling from your blanket.
Rise and Shine Breakfast Kit
Getting up in the morning is sometimes a battle -- especially with early classes like the dreaded 8 am. If you’re a tea or coffee fiend, this kit may help make your day a bit easier. Plus there’s nothing better than starting the day off on the right foot!
Many of these simple steps can be incorporated into your night time routine. Taking time for yourself at night can make you feel better mentally and physically. Be sure to include some stress reducing, relaxing techniques and see how it does wonders for your mind and body.