Everyone gets so obsessed over the morning routine. What do you do, when do you do it, how do you stack your habits to ensure you’re living the most optimized life?
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to routines, my evening routine is the most important animal on the totem. It sets the tone for my evening — and for the following day. Want to finesse your evening routine, too? Read on to find out how to create the perfect routine that will lull you off to sleepytown.
Evening Routine Self-Care Ritual
When to Begin Your Evening Routine
I usually start my evening routine at least an hour (sometimes an hour and a half) before bed. I don’t feel rushed and I get plenty of time to relax. It really doesn’t matter when you start your evening routine. What matters is that you start it the same amount of time before you want to slip into snoozeville each night.
For example, if you want to go to sleep at 9:30 p.m. on the weeknight and your routine takes 60 minutes, start at 8:30 p.m. But if you want to go to bed at 11:30 p.m. on the weekend, just start your routine at 10:30 p.m.
I know a lot of experts recommend going to sleep at the same time each night — but that doesn’t really seem doable for a lot of people.
I love showering at night. For one, it gives me an extra 30 minutes in the morning to do whatever the hell I want.
It’s also an opportunity to release any negativity you might have picked up throughout your day. If you’re feeling extra crunchy, you might envision negative energy or bad vibes washing down the drain with your bathwater.
It’s also extra incentive for me to wash my face. I’m really bad at taking off my makeup before bed each night. I forget to do it if I don’t force myself to get into the shower.
I’ve recently discovered Glossier’s Milk Jelly Cleanser, and I’m a little obsessed. Waaaay back in the day, the Body Shop had an eye-safe cleanser that I adored (but of course they discontinued it). So, I’m super happy about Glossier’s version.
Sometimes (if I’m feelin’ sassy), I’ll do a face mask, too. On Saturday or Sunday evenings, I do my Aztec Clay Mask. It’s super messy and kind of a pain to mix up, but it makes your skin look AMAZING. Note, the caps. You’re only supposed to use it once a week max… thus, it’s part of my Saturday or Sunday evening routine.
On other nights, I like to use YEON Korean face masks. They’re super cheap (less than $1 a pop) and come in a variety pack. (Note: the slug mask made my skin break out in hives… maybe it was an allergic reaction? Either way, just a heads-up).
Brush Teeth Early
For some reason, brushing my teeth right before bed wakes me right up. I’ve tried everything (even lemon-flavored toothpaste to avoid the stimulating mint flavor), but I just can’t brush my teeth right before bed.
I set an alarm that goes off at 7:30 p.m. and always brush my teeth at that time.
It’s a great way to set up the ‘start’ of my evening routine, too. It’s kind of a pre-evening routine routine. My body starts to realize I’m winding down for the evening and that I’ll be getting ready for bed soon.
Drink Kava Kava Tea
I’ve struggled with insomnia for years. After trying melatonin and sleep aids (which really just relax my body but not my racing mind), I’ve found that Kava Kava tea helps me to relax without the side effects.
(Though, I do know some people report side effects, so always check with your doctor first.)
Inevitably, no day is ever perfect. There are always things I could have done better and things that didn’t go as planned.
I always try to journal my worries before bed — just to get them out. Some people tear them up and throw them away, others burn them. That’s a bit ‘much’ for me, but you do you.
Studies prove that giving thanks can make you happier.
Gratitude practices can be done at pretty much any time of day, but I happen to think that right before bed is the best time.
It sets a good tone for the evening — and you can leave your good thoughts by your bed to greet you when you wake up.
Write Tomorrow’s Schedule
Any tasks that I haven’t gotten around to today always end up on tomorrow’s calendar. I find writing out my schedule the night before helps ease any worry about tomorrow’s to-do list. Writing down my schedule before bed also reminds me that there’s a reason I’m setting my alarm for a specific time.
If I get up late, it will throw my whole day off.
Emotional Freedom Tapping (EFT)
I mention Emotional Freedom Tapping (EFT) a lot. I love it because it’s impossible to mess up or get wrong. I basically talk about it so much that I sound like I’m in an EFT cult or something.
EFT helps rewire your brain and thought patterns. Our brains are basically conditioned to think the same thoughts over and over — and to respond to stimuli and situations using only a handful of emotional responses.
This technique uses the same pressure points used in acupressure and acupuncture to rewire these patterns.
You tap on pressure points (top of your head, side of your eye, under your nose, etc.) while making four different sets of statements, designed to help your brain rewire its thought process.
There are a half-dozen tapping meditations for sleeping alone.
It’s mostly foolproof, so you can’t really mess it up. But if you want some guidance, I’d recommend downloading the Tapping Solution app, which contains dozens of guided tapping meditations. Each meditation is themed (turn around a bad day, clear negative energy picked up from others, resist cravings), so you can focus exactly on the thought processes that are most destructive.
The Tapping Solution book explains exactly how this system works.
I like to make this my last step before going to sleep because some of the meditations work so well that I’m half-asleep before the audio ends.
Do you have an evening routine? What does it look like?
Hey, hey! Just a few things before you leave… this post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something after clicking on a one, I might (fingers crossed!) just get a little commission. Good news: I only recommend products that I love! Which means you can feel good about all of my recs.
Also, you should know that I’m not a doctor. More importantly, I’ve never played one on TV. Always consult your doctor before taking any advice from me (or anyone else on the internets for that matter).