Updated: Jun 20, 2021
Getting ready for bed can be a drag, especially when all you really want to do is watch one last episode of your favorite TV show like This Is Us and binge on Netflix. You were on such a good TV streak, and the couch is just too comfy. You can’t be bothered to get your butt into bed. Sound familiar? I know, I know.
However, if you have a good evening routine in place and actually do it, it will make your life much easier the next day and for all eternity so…
...Let’s get into it!
1. Read for 30 Minutes
Reading eases the mind and helps you to feel sleepy. Diving deep into another world can be oh-so thrilling. By reading we are indeed escaping reality for just a moment and it can really be a form for therapy and meditation in itself. Studies say that reading a little every day can help with insomnia, reduce stress, better your memory, and mental abilities. Yes, please. Let’s crack that book open, shall we?
I'm currently reading (no not my book, Battling the Flames but hope you read/are reading it :) With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. I find fiction books before bed are so enjoyable and a great way to increase interesting dreams! If you prefer to listen and not read, there are countless amazing podcasts such out there too such as Episode 12 - Battling the Flames with Kenya Carr by Compassion Before Judgement • A podcast on Anchor. Or you can check out your favorite book over at Audible.
After a long day, your body and your muscles are bound to be tense. You might not even notice that you are tense until you stretch it out. Loosen up before bed, by putting in place a 3-minute stretching routine. Stretching before bed relieves stress and gets your body relaxed and ready for the Zzz.
Examples of good stretching exercises:
Seated forward bend
Supta Baddha Konasana
General shoulder stretches
General neck stretches
Don’t you dare go to bed with your makeup still on. This is a true skincare and beauty violation. All kidding aside, you really should have a proper routine for your skincare. Take care of yourself and your delicate skin. Wash it off, rinse, tone, moisturize and I promise you you’ll feel so much better. Your future self will thank you for taking the time to remove dirt, pollution, sweat, etc. after a long day. I know it may be tempting to be lazy after a long night out on the town, or when you are just SO tired you just can’t seem to swing by the bathroom before bed. But just do it. 15 years from now, you’ll be thankful you did. Sneak tip: do it as soon as you get home, assuming you have nothing else planned like company, and before you even sit down because a body in motion, stays in motion. And you'll feel so accomplished and relieved that you got it out of the way. Oh, and also – brush your teeth after you are done with dinner to help prevent unnecessary snacking before you go to bed.
4. Set Goals for Tomorrow
It’s super essential to set daily goals for yourself in order to get ANYWHERE and to eventually live out your dreams. Set baby-goals that are in line with the bigger picture and see that the little things you do on the daily are related to your dreams. Get out your planner, gCal or what have you – and plan out a year from now and down to the hour for the next day. I swear, planning and goal setting has saved my life – and it will save yours. It’s the little things that add up. I always say "small hinges swing big doors!"
Do a thought download and journal before you go to bed. We all have a million things going on, our to-do lists are never-ending and thoughts are swarming around in our minds trying to take our attention when we’re about to close our eyes for the night. Take out an A4 piece of paper, Evernote, Word Doc – whatever format floats your boat – and dump all of your thoughts onto that paper or computer screen. Do not overthink this – write down anything that comes to mind. This process will help empty your mind and get it ready for bed. You don’t want to hit the pillow with giant thoughts and to-do’s that are calling out at you. Writing and getting things out will also help with general feelings of overwhelm and stress.
6. Bye Bye Blue Light
Ah, social media. It’s absolutely no good when you are preparing your mind and soul for sound sleep. The blue light from the screen is actually convincing you to stay up and it makes you less tired. This should be a general rule for both morning and evening routines. Turn off all screens at least an hour before your head hits the pillow. And for heaven’s sake, don’t bring your computer into the bed with you. I’m guilty of this too, we all do it. It’s so hard to stay away! If you must – download the flux app that gradually warms up your screen (i.e the blue light almost completely disappears) to match your indoor lighting.
7. Set the Mood
The mood is everything. Your bedroom should feel cool and comfy, and have a temperature of ca. 19-20 degrees Celsius (ca 67 Fahrenheit) – proven to help sleep. Keep your sheets fresh by changing them up every week. There is no better feeling than going to bed in a pair of clean and wonderful smelling sheets.
Speaking of smell, essential oils is another amazing way to up the bedroom mood. I'm big on calming essential oils. Get an inexpensive diffuser to place by your bed. You can find several on Amazon. Add your water and a few drops of essential oils while you're brushing your teeth. Lavender is said to help with sleep and has a calming effect.
Tidy up and declutter your mind (as we’ve already talked about in the “Journal” section) and your space.
Do the dishes in the evening, take a quick spin around your house and clean/tidy anything that needs cleaning. Wash your bathroom mirror and sink. It’s the little things that add up including exerting energy to tire you out and get you ready for sleep. And voila – when you wake up and it’s time for breakfast, I promise you, you’ll be in a much happier and forgiving mood.
9. Get to Bed, Girl!
If you’re like me and you enjoy getting a head start on the day and wake up super early – you need to get to bed at a reasonable hour. For a more productive and creative life, and for me to be able to reach my goals – I need to make more time. And the only way to make more time is to wake up earlier. I usually wake up between 6:30 am and 7:00 am 3 days out of the week to go to the gym and between 7am and 8 am on the weekends. It may sound crazy, but I get SO much more done when I'm up early. Time is crucial when working full time, raising young boys, marketing and selling a book including through speaking engagements, and building a coaching practice. Nothing good happens after midnight, am I right?
I hope you've found these self-care tips helpful. Your future self will thank you when you start noticing the positive difference in your life and in your body as you turn these nighttime routines into healthy habits. As I always say, "change your habits, change your life!
If anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, I welcome you to leave a comment below.
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