There is always a lot of talk about morning routines. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good morning routine. My routine in the morning is everything. It sets me up for the day and is a crucial part in how my day pans out.
The nighttime routine, however, doesn’t get nearly as much love. There are tons of posts popping up about the importance of a morning routine as well as articles interviewing someone about how they start their day. It seems rare to come across someone talking about their nighttime routine though.
While a good morning routine is important, I believe that a good nighttime routine is crucial as well. After all, if we don’t get a good night’s sleep there is only so much our morning routine can do for us, right?
I’ve talked about how rushed my evenings are in this post. In an attempt to slow things down a bit, I’ve started to incorporate more of a nighttime routine. Just as a morning routine sets me up for a good day, my nighttime routine sets me up for a good night’s sleep.
My nighttime routine starts as soon as I get home from work. I’m usually home between 6-6:30 pm and in bed by 9:30 pm. I basically have three hours to make dinner, eat, relax, prepare for the next day, unwind, and fall asleep. Like I said it’s rushed, but I think I’ve found a way to make it all work.
My Current Nighttime Routine
6:15pm – 7:45pm
It used to be when I’d get home from work, I run to my bedroom, take off my work clothes (leave them on the floor), put on some comfy clothes, sit on the couch while engaging on Instagram until it was time for me to start dinner at 6:30 pm. This routine was doing me no justice. Because I was rushing to be able to watch 5-10 minutes of TV, I never felt as relaxed as I was hoping for.
This was a major part I decided to slow down. While I still rush back to take my work clothes off and slip into my comfy clothes, I actually take the time to put them away. And instead of turning on the TV, I try to tidy up the kitchen and put our dishes away from breakfast and lunch. Then start prepping dinner.
Brand usually gets home around 6:30, so I try to keep the phone put away while I cook so that we have some time to catch up on each others days and just talk. Then, I finally get my TV time. Brand and I watch while we eat. I know this isn’t a great habit, but it’s our only time during the week to catch-up on shows. Thankfully Brandon cleans up, so I head into my office to start the next step in my nighttime routine.
7:45 – 9:00pm
This is my time to do all things The Middle Edit. My main focus is always to make sure the post is ready to go for the next day. This includes editing pictures, formatting the post, making sure the SEO is in check and that it is scheduled to go live. This always takes me longer than I think, but it’s necessary and helps to calm my nerves and feel prepared.
After the post is all set, I take time to go over my to-do lists. I have a running to-do list for both personal and The Middle Edit in my Evernote app. I’ll go through and star/highlight what needs to be done the next day. If it’s really important I’ll block out a timeslot on my iCal to make sure I get it done.
Once I’m prepared, I like to put a little focus on gratitude. If I’m short on time, I’ll just use my Gratitude notebook in Evernote and type out 5 things I am grateful for. If I’m not in a rush, I’ll use my 5 Minute Journal. Either way, it’s a necessary step in my routine.
9:00pm – 9:30pm
Once I feel prepared for the next day and I’ve taken the time to practice gratitude, I finally get ready for bed.
Washing my face is my least favorite part of this routine. I’m trying to figure out how to better incorporate this (maybe as soon as I get home from work), but obviously it is a necessary step. Depending on how much attention my skin needs, I usually get this done in 15 minutes.
While I’m brushing my teeth I’ll pick out my gym clothes for the next morning. That way they are ready to go first thing in the morning. Then I finally get to crawl into bed.
Once I’m in bed, I take a second to complete my tracking app (I use Clue and LOVE it), set my alarm and then put my phone away. And last, but certainly not least, I take about 10-15 minutes to read. The best part.
My nighttime routine is far from perfect. I’m still trying to figure out ways to get to bed early, sip some tea and spend a little more time with the fam. However, it has definitely helped me to feel less rushed each evening.
Sleep is incredibly important for my mental well being. I can tell a huge difference in the way I function when I only get 6-7 hours of sleep versus 8. Seven hours is my bare minimum, but I’m always striving for 8. This routine has helped me to move in the right direction.