Routines, I have to say I really enjoy and benefit from having a routine. I love being flexible with my days and choosing when to do things based on how I feel BUT a morning and evening routine set my energy up and keep me feeling aligned. So why does a nightly self care routine really matter to you?
A really effective evening routine will have you sleeping better and feeling calmer. The whole point of this routine is to wake up actually feeling refreshed and with a balanced mood in the morning. How often do you wake up feeling sluggish? Hitting snooze? Anxious? Dreading the day ahead? All that can change when you begin implementing a few amazing habits the night before. Habits that aren’t time consuming. That aren’t difficult. That honestly don’t even take a whole lot of thought.
You’ll notice after practicing an evening self care routine consistently that you are more productive the next day, that you’ve slept sounder (I mean, sleep is SO important to health!), that you feel more energized and that your mood is much more balanced and uplifted.
It can be easy to autopilot along for years; every night you eat dinner, turn on Netflix and next thing you know it’s 11pm and you’re going to bed with a headache and feeling unfulfilled.
So now you know the benefits of creating a nightly self care routine, I’ll share the 4 things I always do before bed:
- No technology at least 30 minutes before sleep, an hour is even better. Looking at a screen so close to bedtime can seriously disrupt your brain. It doesn’t allow you to wind down properly for sleep, therefore you’re awake longer tossing and turning and you don’t get a good night’s rest. Screens also mess with your circadian rhythm and this affects everything from your mood to your metabolism.
- Stretch. This doesn’t have to be a big ordeal at all. 5-10 minutes of gentle and slow stretching will do wonders for your body and mind before heading to bed. It will calm your mind and help you wind down quicker. It also releases tension in your body so you’ll fall asleep quicker.
- Gratitude journal. I talk about gratitude SO much, are you sick of it yet? It is literally the best thing for your mentality. And coming from a place of depression, I know this is something that WORKS. Put a journal beside your bed and every night write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for that day. Smile and feel all the good energy when you recall these things. You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling happier.
- Binaural beats. These guys are incredible. Have you heard of them? Binaural beats work when using headphones because they use two different sound frequencies (one through each headphone). This tactic basically gets your brain into a meditative state really quickly, much quicker than normal meditation. So 5 minutes of listening to these guys will have you feeling totally relaxed before bed. Check out the app Insight Timer (it’s free) for binaural beats.
Healing depression might seem like a monumental task. But when it’s broken down into small habits like those I listed above, it really isn’t so bad. Breaking down the healing journey into bite-sized, actionable steps is less overwhelming and more sustainable in the long run.
So start small, start by implementing self care action this week. Once you feel it’s a habit and that you look forward to doing it, then add another. Always, always, always customize things to work for you. We are all different beings so it’s important not to force things on yourself that don’t align with your energy.
Love & Light