My Evening Routine (& A Peek Into Our Bedroom!)
Happy Monday and Happy December!
This past weekend was one of the best in a while -- I hosted my first workshop in a while at the beautiful Take Care Shop in Georgetown and spent my Saturday morning with 15 new friends while we enjoyed a delicious brunch of Swapples (my favorite!).
The topic of discussion at the workshop was "Cultivating Routines for Well-Being" where we discussed the importance of creating daily habits that support our health and wellness goals. I talk about this a lot with my clients in our one-on-one sessions already, but it was fun to have a conversation surrounding daily routines with a group of women I didn't know.
Starting new routines and healthy habits, like waking up earlier or starting a gratitude journal, can seem easy in theory but putting them into practice is a whole other story. The truth, though, is that our health and overall emotional and mental well-being is a direct reflection of how we take care of ourselves on a consistent, daily basis. There is so much emphasis on morning routines, but as someone who likes to wake up first thing in the morning and work right away (I'm most creative before noon), I actually prefer sticking to a more rigid evening routine instead. It's what works for me! I figured it might be fun to give you a glimpse into the evening routine that I keep in place 7 days a week (with the exception of when I'm traveling) and also a glimpse into our very small but perfectly serene bedroom.
MY EVENING ROUTINE
Finish Eating 2 Hours Before Bed :: if you are a restless sleeper, this (and magnesium, see below!) can be a game changing tip. Did you know that digestion can use up to 15% of your daily energy, meaning that a very large percentage of the "work" your body has to do daily comes from digesting food. Sleep is meant to be incredibly restful and restorative, but when your body is still working to digest your dinner from earlier, it can cause your sleep to be more restless than usual. Protein and alcohol are the two hardest things to digest, so be mindful of eating a huge portion of protein or having that cocktail/glass of wine right before bed. My general rule of thumb is to aim for finishing your dinner 2 hours before you eat, so if you want to fall asleep by 10:30, try and finish dinner by 8:30 at the latest!
Tidy Up The House & Kitchen :: There is nothing worse than waking up first thing in the morning to a cluttered house and dirty kitchen. From an energetic standpoint, I find that starting each day with a physically clean space makes more room for creativity, a good mood, and a clear mind. After we eat dinner each night (and usually after we catch up on a favorite Netflix show for a bit), my husband and I take about 10-15 minutes to do all of the dishes, clean up the house, put away laundry, etc. While some evenings it's harder than others to get motivated, I always thank myself the next morning!
Magnesium Water :: After I finish eating dinner and start winding down for the evening, I always (really though, I do this every single night without fail!), have a glass of water with magnesium citrate. You can read all about the incredible benefits of magnesium here but considering nearly 90% of us are deficient in the mineral, I say go ahead and add it to your routine just in case. I try and consume my water about an hour before I head to bed so that I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom (so disruptive for your sleep cycle!). I use this powder (I like the raspberry lemon flavor) -- it tastes great, is affordable, can be consumed hot or cold, and even comes in travel pouches for when you're not at home.
Write Out To-Do List for Tomorrow :: This is one of my favorite evening routines and something I highly recommend you consider implementing if you're not already. Usually before I head upstairs to get myself ready for bed, I sit down at my desk, take out my favorite notebook and write out my schedule and to-do list for the next day. I always write the date, what scheduled appointments or meetings I have, and then things I want and/or need to get done. I've found that this habit keeps me from laying in bed thinking about all of the things I need to do tomorrow and it also makes sitting down at my desk the next day so much easier because my plan is already laid out for me.
Essential Oils :: I know that essential oils are super trendy right now, but I think it's such a good trend and am happy people are coming around to diffusing oils in their homes/offices, etc. Scent plays an important role in our moods and, aside from making my bedroom smell like a million bucks, I do find that certain oils are super beneficial for helping me wind down. For sleep and relaxation, I love diffusing lavender and frankincense (or a blend of both) in my diffuser. A little bit goes a long way, so while it may seem like a big initial investment, oils can last you months!
Wash Face + Brush Teeth :: Nothing novel here, but I do enjoy the ritual of climbing into pajamas and washing the day away. No matter how exhausted I am, I always make sure to wash my face, brush my teeth, and slather my skin in a nourishing oil (right now I'm loving this rose oil for hydration).
Sound Machine :: We always sleep with two sound machines on and seriously can't recommend them enough. If you live in the middle of the woods, this may not be necessary, but we live on a busy city street and find that the white noise significantly helps to drown out unwanted noise and also provides a really soothing sound that we've gotten used to over time and tend to prefer.
What is your evening routine? Are there any habits you swear by? Please share in the comments below!