Blog, Minimalism

My Evening Routine: Ideas & Checklist

Though you may not think it, your evening routine can make a big impact on your life.

It can help you to relax before bedtime, resulting in you getting a better night’s sleep. And we all know how important sleep is for your health, so this knock-on effect of your evening routine can make a big difference to your well-being.

So if you’re looking to make sure that you get a restful night’s sleep, here’s my mindful evening routine to ensure that when your head hits the pillow,

Mindfulness

If there’s one task I always want to complete before finishing the day, it’s spending a few minutes being mindful. Deep breaths and progressive relaxation are exactly what you need to unwind after a long day.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend an hour meditation before bedtime. Even if it’s just a few minutes out of your day, it can help you to feel relaxed and calm – plus, it gives you the chance to remember the things that you’re grateful for.

You need to take care of your mind and body, and it’s a much better choice instead of opting to watch TV (though sometimes I will watch some Netflix before I start my evening routine).

Journalling

Following on the idea of gratitude, I like to spend a little time journalling in the hour before bed. This is just going over my feelings from the day, what I’ve achieved and anything else that I want to write about.

This can sometimes be new ideas for the future, goals that I want to achieve within a certain timeframe, or sometimes just a brain dump of my feelings to empty my mind. It’s a chance to note down your final thoughts of the day, and for me it’s part of my healthy routine.

Create a To-Do List

If you’re like me, then your morning routine may be a little more hectic than your bedtime routine. However, enforcing a better evening routine can make your morning a lot easier, and a great example of this is writing a to-do list for the next day.

In the first few hours of waking up, you may still be a little foggy. Creating a to-do list the night before allows you to know exactly what you should be doing, even if you’re not having the best day.

I usually note down three things that I want to get done the next day. If at the end of the day I’ve completed those tasks, then I consider it to be a pretty successful day.

Lay out clothes

One of the most important tasks I like to get done the night before is choose what I’m going to wear the next day. Evening routines are important for morning routines, and you can make the next day a little easier on yourself by creating an organized environment.

If you plan to hit the gym the next morning, it can be an additional motivator to lay your gym clothes out the night before. Every little helps when it comes to staying motivated and going to work out, even on the days that you don’t feel like it.

Wash & Brush Teeth

Nothing revolutionary here, and hopefully this is already part of your nighttime routine, but this is pretty standard. Makeup off, cleanser, moisturize – repeat.

On some occasions, I may choose to have a warm bath at part of my nightly routine, but this is maybe only once or twice a month.

If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, then research shows that a hot bath can help you get a restful sleep, as the change in body temperature tells your body that it’s bedtime.

Read

In a life of technology, it’s very easy to end up spending your evening on Facebook or Twitter. A few hours go by, and before you know it, it’s time for bed.

A habit that I’ve picked up instead of Twittering is to read whilst in bed, and it’s become a regular part of my bedtime routine. Even if it’s just 20 or 30 minutes, it helps me to feel tired and to eventually fall asleep pretty quickly.

A good tip is to read fiction, or decide to read whatever you want to read no matter what – not what you think you should read. I also may play some slow music in the background too, but nothing too manic as this can be a distraction.

Things to Skip in the Evening

If you want to ensure a restful sleep, the things that you don’t do in the evening are just as important as those that you do. Make sure that you’re not committing any cardinal sins that will prevent you from falling asleep easily.

Avoid the Coffee maker

One of the worst things you can do in the evening is have caffeine a few hours before bed. This may not sound ideal if you’re a night owl, but cutting out coffee any later than 3PM is recommended if you want to avoid sleep issues. Though if you’re like me, this can be a vital part of your morning routine.

Ditch alcohol (most of the time)

There’s nothing wrong with drinking occasionally, but when it becomes a regular part of your night routines, it’s probably worth dialling it down a bit. Many people think that alcohol helps them to sleep, but in reality, most experts say that it can actually mess with your sleep in a negative way.

Skip heavy foods

Though it can be tempting to grab a midnight snack, it’s generally a good idea to avoid anything heavy or full of sugar within a few hours of your bedtime if you want to ensure a peaceful sleep and productive morning the next day. Sugar before bed is a common habit, but it can definitely ruin your sleep.

No blue light before bedtime

Perhaps the strictest rule I have in my night routines is to avoid all technology within a few hours of bedtime. No electronic device, no computer – nothing. One of the best evening habits you can pick up is to read a book or do a crossword before bed instead of aimlessly scrolling through your socials.

Conclusion

In conclusion, your evening and night routine can be a crucial part of your day. Get it right, and the next morning you’ll be ready and raring to go and attack the day.

If you’re looking for a new evening routine, then hopefully this has helped you out, even if there’s only one or two things you can add to your own personal nighttime flow.