After a super long day of work, chores, phone calls, errands, cooking, and crossing off items from your to-do list, bedtime just can’t come any sooner. But how you prepare for bed is so incredibly important for how you sleep, and how you wake up the next day. You may not have an evening routine now, but it’s past due time to start one. By building habits to follow every night, you give your body signals to slow down, your mind a chance to reset, and your life a chance to just relax.
Why Do You Need An Evening Routine?
- Less Stress
- Better Sleep
- Ability To Decompress
- Time To Spend On Something You Love
By taking time in the evening to just chill, you get to take some of the load off your shoulders. You’ve got a safe haven that you can forget about the bills, the schedules, the project at work, the dog’s upcoming vet appointment, and the world in general. Studies have proven over and over again that without time to just shut your brain down, the stress of life continues to build. I don’t know about you, but being a walking time bomb doesn’t sound like a fun way to live, in my opinion.
Sleep. Actually Sleep.
Ever notice that when you’ve got something on your mind you just can’t fall asleep? The clock flips over to 4am and you’re still staring at the ceiling. You’re mad because you have to get up in an hour and you’re frustrated because you’ve spent hours thinking about your problem and it hasn’t even been solved yet. While this is totally normal, it’s definitely not healthy. By following a good evening routine, you’ll be able to shut those thoughts down and put them on pause for a time your brain is better equipped to handle your thoughts. Trust me, no good decisions are made at midnight. There’s no reason lying awake thinking you’ll find the answer when your brain is exhausted.
With everything that happens in a day, you really need time to decompress and hit the reset button. Maybe you cussed out the woman at the gas station for being, well, an idiot. Or maybe you were one second away from telling your boss to mind his own business. Shit happens. Things aren’t always rosy, and that’s not going to change. But giving yourself a chance to let it all go is the only way you won’t blow a gasket again tomorrow.
The great thing about an evening routine is it gives you the time to spend on what you love. In our busy days, we rarely take time to indulge in something we really enjoy (other than ice cream. I can’t be the only one that eats ice cream in the kitchen straight from the container…). Saving a few minutes every evening for some good quality You Time can make a world of difference.
PM Routine Off-Limit Activities
Just because you’re squeezing in some chill time, doesn’t mean you can do just anything. I mean, I guess you can do anything, but you’ll totally defeat the purpose if you do something heavy and brain-straining. You want to take time to let your mind slow down, so anything that involves major thinking or technology is going to have the opposite effect.
Activities To Avoid
- Devices (phone, tablet, computer)
- Serious/Deep Conversations
- Brain Teaser Puzzles
Activities To Do Instead
- Sip Non-Caffeinated Herbal Tea
- Word Search Puzzle
Do you follow an evening routine to wind down? I’d love to hear what you do! Share your own experiences or thoughts on adopting new habits in the comments below.
I’ve taken all the hard work out of the equation and created a routine planning worksheet you can print out and use to build your own schedule. It’s totally free to download and walks you through the entire process. You can get your copy by entering your email address below.