When it’s time to go to bed, do you crash right when your head hits the pillow? Do you fall asleep with your phone in your hand in the middle of texting someone back and wake up to realize you never hit send? Or maybe you occasionally “forget” to take off your makeup because you’re just too tired? Whatever shortcuts and unhealthy habits you might practice, there are better ways to wind down and experience a relaxing evening.
After a long day of working and checking off your to-do list, there's nothing better than having a quiet night to yourself. An evening routine isn't only enjoyable; it's also extremely beneficial for your overall well-being. Consistency in your nightly routine will carry itself through to consistency in your days, allowing you to start each day as the best version of yourself. First, we will discuss reasons why winding down properly is so important. Afterwards, we’ll give you a few tips to guide you in creating your own relaxing evening routine.
In today's "hustle" culture, many of us experience chronic stress and don't know how to unwind when the day comes to an end. This prolonged stress impacts our quality of sleep, our overall enjoyment of life, and our health. A relaxing evening ritual helps signal your body that it's time to slow down and get ready for sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, establishing a consistent routine may be helpful. The key is to follow through with your ritual daily so that it becomes a habit. Proper sleep habits help regulate your circadian rhythm which consists of physical, mental, and behavioral changes that tell your body when it's time to sleep.
No matter how old you are, you are never too old to have a designated bedtime. Set a time that you would like to start your evening routine and be consistent with it. When that time comes, put away all of your work. If it helps you feel more organized and at rest, you can even start your nightly routine by creating a schedule for the next day. When I get to the end of my day, I move everything that didn’t get done on my “to-do” list to my “try-again-tomorrow” list. If you’re anything like me, it helps to get all of your thoughts out on paper so that your mind isn’t scrambling to tie up loose ends when you should be winding down.
Although you might think that working late is the only way to finish everything that you’re trying to fit into the day, this is simply not the case. By prioritizing your relaxation and rest, you'll actually increase your productivity levels making regular work hours much more efficient. With enough sleep, you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Winding down in the evening helps to prevent burn-out which in turn increases productivity, creativity, and motivation.
Whether it be running a bath, opening up a book, or journaling, your evening routine should be all about you. Each night should be filled with activities that you enjoy doing, and that help you relax; this does not include scrolling through social media or watching TV. Try to put away all screens at least an hour before bed. Not only will this encourage you to spend time doing more relaxing activities, but avoiding blue light emitted from screens will also help with your quality of sleep.
Some relaxing activities can include reading, meditating, journaling, self-care or even doing some light exercise or stretching (nothing too strenuous). The best exercises to do in the evening are going on walks, practicing evening yoga, or taking a relaxing bike ride— nothing that leaves you feeling exhausted. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of late sunsets and end your day by appreciating nature.
Late Night Snack
While late-night snacks are often associated with grease and sugar-filled foods, eating a small snack before bed is not a bad idea! It's nice to have a little light treat in the evening, but try not to eat a heavy meal. Eating a heavy, sugary, or high-fat meal before bed can cause digestive problems and keep you awake at night. Instead, try some herbal tea and low-sugar fruits, such as berries. Avoid any caffeine and added sugars because they will give you unwanted energy before bed.
Facemasks and jasmine rollers and eye patches, oh my! A self-care routine should always be a part of your evening routine, but it does not have to be extensive or extravagant. Basic hygiene, such as brushing your teeth and washing your face, will surely suffice. Every once in a while, feel free to pamper yourself, but don't feel obligated to add this to your daily routine. Remember, your evening routine does not need to look like anyone else's; it’s meant to be relaxing and it’s meant to be uniquely yours!
Above all else, your winding down routine is all about creating a calming, relaxing space for you to unwind from your day and get ready for bed. Implementing a relaxing evening ritual is just like taking the time after a workout to stretch and recover. As great as it feels at the moment, movement the next day feels even better, having taken the time to release all of that built-up lactic acid. You’ll never know the great impact that one small change can make if you don’t try! So, what will your evening routine look like?
Have fun trying new ways to create a ritual that works for you. If you need extra inspiration and would like to chat with me, click here to book your complimentary call, and feel free to join the Vibrant Health Power Community Facebook Group here.