Today I will be talking through some ideas for self-care evening routine and the importance of having one.
How many mornings do you wake up without hitting the snooze button on your phone or alarm clock?
How many days do you wake up feeling content, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead?
After coming home from work at the end of a long day, sometimes we just want to kick back and relax, maybe scroll through social media on our phone or the new releases on Netflix.
And there is nothing wrong with this.
But the thing I think we all need to get our heads around is that there are other ways to reset or wind down.
An evening routine can still be calming even if it doesn’t look like the all-out relaxation session that you know now.
By building your evening routine around your mental health you can stop waking up feeling tired, stressed, disconnected and detached from your drive and the reason why you get up every day in the first place.
I’ve found myself waking up this way more times than I can count.
I finally discovered that the nights I didn’t sleep as well were the nights I spent an unnecessary amount of time on my phone or watching TV, unable to pull my eyes away – and so the vicious cycle began.
This is just one example of the connection I made between my poor bedtime habits and how I felt physically, emotionally, and mentally the next day.
This is the connection that I would like us all to focus on with today’s post on creating an evening self-care routine, and it’s an easy connection to overlook.
The best way to prepare for and improve tomorrow is by doing the best you can today.
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Give it a try!
You may be wondering if it is possible to adopt and master self-care habits. Although it requires your conscious effort, certain factors increase your chances of implementing whatever routine you take up;
- Firstly, you can decide to choose the ones that work for you. Anything you find too difficult can wait.
- Secondly, you can also decide to only adopt only the things you enjoy.
- You can make it as simple as you want.
- You can adopt only routines that bring some balance to your life.
Below, I will share 30 ideas to do as part of your self-care night routine. You can use the ones that work for you.
If you implement just a few of these habits, I would like to believe you will live a much happier and fulfilled life. Only if they work for you of course.
How can a bedtime routine help me sleep?
There are a few reasons repeating the same quiet routine at night can help:
- It can calm an overactive mind.
- You can plan for tomorrow so you don’t worry about it in bed.
- By repeating a regular pattern, you can slowly but surely train your body and mind to unwind ready for bed.
- Many activities people do in the evening can be overstimulating. A bedtime routine helps you avoid those choices and relax instead.
How long should my routine be?
It’s up to you to decide how long your routine will be, based on the amount of time you feel it takes you to relax.
Your life circumstances will understandably shape the way your routine goes.
It may be that by the time you’ve put the kids to bed and collected all the Lego and dinosaurs, or got in from work and wolfed down a late dinner, that 15 minutes is all you feel you have left to yourself.
But if you do have more free time and suffer from regular sleep problems, maybe 30 to 60 minutes of quiet(er) time would be good and ideal..
Self-Care Evening Routine – 30 Amazing Ideas!
Give yourself a bedtime
The human body has a sleep cycle which revolves around the 24-hour day.
That’s why it’s important to set yourself a bedtime, starting tonight. If you do, you’ll be ready to start feeling better tomorrow.
By going to bed at the same time every night, you train your body to be ready for sleep at that time.
For optimum performance tomorrow, set tonight’s bedtime 8 hours before you have to wake up.
(Sleeping for too long can make you feel drowsy the next day too, so set an alarm to wake up even if you don’t need one).
Give yourself 30-60 minutes to complete your night-time routine
As mentioned above, ideally 30 -60 minutes is fine.
The key is to give yourself enough time to complete your night routine without feeling rushed, as this could otherwise stress you out.
Although, if 15 minutes is all you can do, then that’s better than no routine.
Set an alarm to begin to your bedtime routine
Stick to your schedule. Be disciplined. Perhaps the first few days will be annoying, but once you begin to notice the benefits, it will soon become a habit you appreciate.
Turn off your phone at a decent time
Any new ‘alerts’ that come through an hour before bedtime could be playing on your mind while you’re trying to sleep. Not good.
I’d recommend turning off your phone and laptop once the alarm for your night routine has sounded.
In this era of the smartphone, we’re expected to be constantly available to others, but this doesn’t help us turn our brains off before bedtime.
(Hopefully) no-one expects you to answer your phone while you’re sleeping, so there’s no harm in going off-grid an hour early.
Avoid ‘blue light’
‘Blue light’, emitted through laptop and smartphone screens, disrupts the body of melatonin.
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Melatonin is your body’s natural sleep-inducing hormone – and a lot of these tips will help you produce more of it.
Anyway, the best way to avoid blue light is to stop using your personal devices an hour or so before bedtime.
If that’s not an option for you, turn on your device’s ‘night filter’.
There are downloadable apps for this, if it doesn’t come installed as standard.
Avoid heavy meals late in the evening
If you eat too much just before bedtime, you’ll send your digestive system into overdrive when your body should be resting. This makes it harder to hit the sack.
If you’re hungry late at night, snack on nuts
Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and cashew nuts are all packed with melatonin and magnesium (which regulates melatonin levels), so these are the best snacks if you’re feeling peckish before bedtime.
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
The earlier you curb your caffeine, the easier it will be to naturally fall asleep at night.
It might initially be hard work, but once you get used to being more productive without caffeine, it gets easier
Avoid sugar late at night
Studies suggest that those with a high-sugar diet tend to sleep less deeply.
Eating sugar at night is the worst thing you can do, as this will overstimulate you, as well as using up a lot of your body’s magnesium.
It may be true that a nightcap makes it easier for you to nod off.
However, studies suggest that it reduces your ‘REM sleep’.
REM sleep is the deep sleep that restores your body and mind.
The more of this you get, the more awake and alert you’ll feel the next day.
Drink chamomile tea or lavender tea
These soothing drinks contain a number of antioxidants which promote sleep.
They are also said to help reduce general levels of stress and anxiety.
So, try boiling yourself one of these brews just before bed, and see how you feel.
Don’t get in bed too early!
Maybe you’re in the habit of using your laptop or watching TV in bed once you get home from work.
Some studies suggest this is a bad idea, as it gets your body used to being awake in bed.
So, make sure to use your bed for sleep only.
Listen to relaxing music
Music is a powerful tool for altering your mood, so try creating a relaxing playlist to get you in the mood for sleep.
There are plenty of suitable playlists waiting for you on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.
Journaling is a great action for mental health and you may find it aids your sleep too.
By writing down your thoughts, it serves to get them off your mind, leaving it clear for a relaxing rest.
Write a gratitude list
If journaling feels too much like work, try a gratitude list instead.
For your gratitude list, simply jot down 5-10 good things you were grateful for during the day.
This can boost happiness and self-esteem levels, as well as helping you to ease stress.
Schedule the day ahead
By writing a plan for the upcoming day, you’ll often find you remove these thoughts from your mind.
No need to lie in bed worrying about forgetting something coming up tomorrow.
It’s also likely this list will help make you more productive on that day.
Prepare for your morning routine
If you remove any annoying or boring tasks from your morning routine, you’ll be more motivated to get out of bed in the morning.
You also shorten your morning routine, potentially giving you more time to sleep.
Read a chapter of a book
This is one of my favourites! I recently got rid of my TV so I could have a reading nook in my room instead.
No matter what book I’ve read, it’s never been a waste of time.
In fact, most have changed my life for the better. It doesn’t matter what type of book, although I do recommend something that won’t get you thinking too much.
The tend to read a spiritual self-help book in the evenings as it relaxes me.
The following books I cannot recommend enough:
Read a book with your children
Storytime might take place a few hours before you go to bed, I wanted to include it in this list anyway.
It’s a common parenting tactic to reward children with a story if they’re ready for bed without fuss.
If they’re old enough, perhaps they’d prefer to read to you. Reading is a great habit to instil in them – and most children really enjoy it.
Either way, any strategy that encourages the kids to get to bed on time is surely worthy of a place in your night routine.
Flossing and getting enough sleep are similar, in that most adults know they need to be doing it – but only a small percentage actually are.
A lot of men and women find that flossing is one of those habits that becomes somewhat hypnotic, once you get into the groove of it.
Even if you don’t want to, see if you can spend a few weeks making it one of your good habits.
Declutter your bedroom
A clear bedroom creates a clear mind, or so many people believe.
Either way, spending a few minutes per day putting your things away will help to reduce the domestic workload a bit.
While you don’t want to get too engaged in strenuous cardio , or (almost) anything that raises your heart rate too much just before bed.
Yoga is an exercise that can help clear your mind and relax you before you go to sleep.
Yoga helps to create a healthy body and a healthy mind. So, learn a few basic poses and stretch yourself out as you wind down your day.
Foam rolling is great for those who suffer from sore muscles while they sleep. All you need is a small mat to get started.
There are plenty of things you can do with a foam rolling mat that will make your body feel great.
A 5–10-minute foam rolling routine can be enough to make you feel like a new person.
Watch some routines on YouTube for inspiration.
Take a warm bath or shower
A warm bubble bath or shower can relax you after a long day.
Also, once you’re out, it serves to cool your body to a temperature more suitable for sleeping.
Your evening skincare routine
Yes, both men and women should have skin cleansing routines – and it makes a lot of sense to clean your face in the evening.
This serves to counter the fact you’re leaving your face on a pillow for the next seven to eight hours.
Meditation calms and relaxes you before bedtime. In fact, there’s a host of associated health benefits associated with meditating for just 10-20 minutes a day.
What’s more, when you meditate often, you learn to separate yourself from your thoughts, meaning you’ll be less likely to find yourself lying awake in an endless thought loop at night.
If you’re new to meditation, try downloading a guided meditation app to help you.
Take a few drops of CBD oil
While CBD oil isn’t for everyone (some people suffer from uncomfortable side-effects), there is a growing movement of people who swear by it for self-care.
Its main benefits included the easing of physical aches and pains, and a reduction in stress and anxiety.
That seems like the perfect tonic for a good night of sleep, then.
(If you’ve never used CBD Oil before, read up on the potential side-effects before you start.)
If you use aromatherapy to stay healthy, there is arguably no better time to do it than a couple of hours before bed.
Similarly, to CBD oil, if you suffer from aches, pains, stress and anxiety, aromatherapy serves to make things better.
Resolve any arguments
It’s somewhat cliché to say you shouldn’t go to bed angry, but there are reasons why this advice is so common.
When an argument or stressful issues goes unresolved, it remains floating in your mind making it harder to relax.
Perhaps you’ve experienced the unpleasant sensation of replaying the argument over in your head when you should be sleeping.
I’d also suggest not unnecessarily bringing up anything which could lead to an argument just before bedtime, unless that too is likely to be playing on your mind all night.
Don’t lie awake for hours
It’s natural to fall asleep a few minutes after resting your head (especially after adopting these improvements to your night routine).
If you’re still awake after 30 minutes or so, lying there stressing about it can make it even harder to nod off.
You’re better off getting out of bed and reading until you start to feel sleepier.
Self-care Evening Routine – Final thoughts
I hope you take the time to try a few of these habits and night routine ideas – and that it improves your life, even just a little bit.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!
If you have any questions please leave a comment below or reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
I really hope you found inspiration in this article.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, self-discovery, wellbeing, addiction recovery and mental health. Please connect with me on my journey and join the community!