We all know that morning routines are a key part of productivity.
But your night routine can be just as impactful in helping you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
While morning routines emphasize productivity and focus, night routines, by contrast, feel like a different, gentler modality. Instead of optimizing your time and energy, night routines are all about self-care, relaxation, and slowing down the pace.
Now, you may be thinking that by the time 7pm rolls around, all you have energy for is crashing on the couch and watching mindless TV--and, honestly, that’s what I do most evenings! But, if like me, you’ve been having trouble sleeping (and who could blame you these days?) and your mornings have too much chaotic energy, then maybe a night routine can help you unwind and make your life easier.
Here are more benefits to having a night routine:
- You can have better work-life balance and a way to distinguish your days and evenings.
- You can prepare yourself for a better night’s rest.
- You have more time for self-care and introspection.
- A regular routine can feel deeply comforting in times of stress.
- It can help you feel more organized the next day
- Puts less pressure on your mornings to be productive
Below is everything you need to know to have a relaxing and mindful night routine. By taking steps to care for yourself at night, you can wake up feeling refreshed and better prepared for the day ahead.
Set a “close of business” time
With so many of us working from home, we know that it can be hard to establish a clear cut-off time for work. You might find yourself answering work emails throughout dinner and until bedtime, which can disrupt your circadian rhythm and ultimately how you sleep at night.
Establish clear boundaries between your work and personal space by shutting down your computer at a specific time. If you can, avoid answering work messages or working on that paper or presentation after a certain pre-set hour.
To help you “close business,” you could incorporate an end-of-day ritual like lighting a candle or taking an evening stroll or changing out of your daytime clothes and into cozy, comfort clothes.
These little rituals can help you walk away from your work and get you into a more relaxed state of mind.
Incorporate a journaling practice
If you suffer from insomnia or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, forming a night routine can be helpful in getting a good night’s rest.
One of the biggest factors that can contribute to a restless night is stress. Your body might be physically exhausted while your mind is racing a mile a minute. A great way to manage your stress and wrangle your thoughts is to establish a journaling practice at night.
Journaling has so many wonderful benefits and has been known to help decrease stress and anxiety, and give you a better night’s sleep.
When you’re journaling, you can address all the thoughts and anxieties that are occupying your mind and release them onto paper. You will feel *so* much better after you’ve gotten everything out of your system.
Here are other things you can write about in your journaling practice:
- What went well today?
- What challenges did you face?
- Do you have any nagging doubts or anxieties? Are there active steps you can take to address them?
- What are you looking forward to?
In terms of finding a good time to journal, some people might prefer to journal after work to help them decompress. Others might enjoy journaling right before to bed to release any lingering thoughts. Either way, you will find that journaling will add comfort and relief to your evening.
If you’re new to journaling, you can start small and write in a notebook for a few minutes at night or even just once a week. Try both and see what rhythm feels right for you.
Do a full-spectrum reflection
If you feel exhausted after work and find journaling to be too much of an effort, you’ll appreciate the Ink+Volt Reflection Pad.
The Reflection Pad provides a structured way of examining your life and well-being. It features 18 different check-ins, asking you to give an easy 1-5 rating on different areas in your life, such as nutrition, spirit, relationships, gratitude, and more. Now you have a visual and quantified way of seeing what areas need more attention in your life.
When life is feeling topsy-turvy, the Reflection Pad can help you navigate your emotions and find realignment. Plus, reflecting at night will help you decide how to spend your time and energy tomorrow, giving you a much-needed refresh on your day.
Make tomorrow’s to-do list
Is your unfinished work keeping you up at night? Then you might want to start writing your to-do lists in the evening. Use your Ink+Volt Planner and make a list of your top priorities. Make sure to write down the tasks you didn’t get to do that day, while it’s still fresh in your memory. That way, when you’re in bed, you won’t have nagging thoughts crop up, like “don’t forget to send that email” or “did you remember to pay your credit bard bill?”
Not only will a to-do list help you feel better prepared, but writing it down will trick your mind into thinking that everything’s been taken care of. Say goodbye to tossing and turning.
Have a luxurious skincare ritual
If you’re exhausted after a long, hard day, chances are that a skincare ritual is the last thing on your mind. But instead of seeing skincare as another thing to do, think of it as an excuse to pamper yourself.
You can even do your skincare routine while you’re watching your favorite programs. This is the time to use your favorite products--no more saving them for a special occasion--and relish in the act of applying them. It’s a soothing way to end the evening and your skin will reap all the benefits.
End on a note of gratitude
Gratitude makes us feel better, period. At the end of the night, jot down 1-3 things that you are grateful for in the Ink+Volt Gratitude Journal. Your gratitude list can be as mundane or profound as you like. Showing appreciation for all the things you have going for you will help you feel lighter and calmer. Ending the night on a positive, loving note is a mindful way of letting go of the day and preparing yourself for a good night’s rest.