Nighttime Is The Right Time – 10 Ways To An Evening Self-Care Routine
Should Self-Care only be restricted to the daytime and weekends?
I don’t think so, some would argue that the end of a long day is when you need to take care of yourself the most.I agree, too often many people end their days zoned out in front of the TV. But nighttime is a great time to replenish yourself so that you’re able to take on whatever the next day will bring. Like anything else, establishing a nighttime self-care routine can be a matter of trial and error, but just keep trying different things until you find the activity and pace that works for you. It’s all about making time. Read on for 10 different activities that you can try to develop your own nighttime self-care routine.
Do you have a hobby that you enjoy? Is there a hobby that you think you might enjoy that you want to try out? The nighttime can be a great time to get your creative juices flowing. Creativity is a form of self-care.
Take an hour to work on your latest masterpiece. Over time, those few minutes can really help you progress with your knitting, sewing, scrapbooking or other project. If you’re not working on something, watch a YouTube video or read a blog post to help you refine your craft. For instance, learning about color or composition can really up your photography game.
And no fair saying that your not creative and don’t know what to do, everyone can create something. So maybe you can do some research and find out what your something is.
Now this doesn’t need to be a big major workout. Since it’s evening time and you’re winding down, gentle meditative forms of exercise can work really well. Whether it’s taking your evening constitutional, practicing a gentle form of yoga, engaging in gentle stretching or doing tai chi; the thing that matters most is that you’re using movement to wind down your day. It’s using the body to calm and relax the mind. Which to me is kind of like meditation in reverse 😊.
Make it Cozy
You’ve heard that your home is your sanctuary. Well, that’s absolutely true (or at least it should be). Your home is where you can get away from all of the hecticness of the day. So why not make sure that your home does what it’s supposed to do and make you feel relaxed and comfortable?
This is something where the littlest things can make all of the difference. Light a scented candle to fill your home with amazing aromas, bring out your fluffiest, puffiest pillows (for your bed and your couch) and let them envelope you when you lay down or have your favorite music playing throughout the evening so that you can relax and unwind.
Now you know I wasn’t gonna leave this off of the list didn’t you? Meditation can be used in so many different ways. At nighttime, meditation can help you relax and get into a reflective mood where your better able to review the days events and set your intention for the next day. 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 15 minutes, it doesn’t need to be a lot of time just enough to help you reconnect with yourself.
When I talk about planning in this instance, I mean as it relates to your goals. Nighttime is a great time to review the progress made that day and to look at what you want to achieve the next day. It doesn’t have to be big audacious goals that you’re planning either (although it doesn’t hurt 😊) it can be something as simple as have you hit your mark for that day of establishing a new habit and tracking it. And if you have met it, give yourself a mini victory dance. If you haven’t create a plan for meeting it the next day.
For instance, I’ve been working on increasing my creativity practice.And if you’ve been around here long enough, you know I love scrapbooking & papercrafting. But lately I’ve been feeling like I haven’t been doing enough of it, so I’ve set a goal to do something related to papercrafting every day this week.I’m writing out my plan for how I’m going to accomplish it and I’ve got a habit tracker that I created to keep me on my toes! So we’re gonna see how this goes.
There’s something magical about a book. I love how books can help you open your mind, increase your creativity and depending on what you’re reading – challenge you to become a better version of yourself. Taking ½ hour to read a few pages each night will help you unwind and prepare for the next day.
If it’s a clear night, look up! The stars are beautiful, vast and help you to appreciate your time here on earth. Looking at the moon and the stars can be really relaxing. If you’re in the big city like me and the lights get in the way, consider taking a drive to a less congested area once in a while, go to your local planetarium or download a stargazing app.
Good sleep hygiene should be an important part of everyone’s self-care routine. Our body uses the time that we’re sleeping to repair and rejuvenate, so it’s vital that you get the sleep that you need.Consider establishing a sleep routine.That can be turning off the TV at least an hour before you go to bed (see below), having a soothing cup of chamomile tea, taking a warm bubbly bath and making sure that your bedroom is a sanctuary.Whatever those things are that help you to be your most relaxed and drift off to sleep.
I know that many of us are tied to our devices 24/7, never before have people been so connected all of the time. But studies have shown that being so connected can be detrimental to your health. So what’s a gal to do? Unplug!
Turn off your phone notifications a few hours before bedtime, get off of the computer, say no to that late night movie.Instead, make time for family and offline activities that will enrich your life.
Much like the papercrafting, if you’ve been here for any length of time, you know that I love journaling too. Although I realize that it’s not for everyone, I believe that it’s a great tool to have in your toolbox to help you manage your stress before your stress manages you. You can journal for gratitude, about your goals or even about what's happened during your day.
Even if you’re not interested in journaling per se, doing something as simple as a brain dump can be really helpful in getting all of those thoughts that are twirling around in your head out on paper so that it’s easier for you to relax. Here’s a simple way to brain dump:
Set a timer for a short period of time say 10-15 minutes
Write - whatever comes to your mind, don't filter and don't edit
Step away from what you've written for at least an hour
When you come back, then you can edit and organize what you've written into different categories
Create action steps from what you've written
So there you have it! 10 ways that you can easily mix and match to create a powerfully soothing evening self-care routine. It’ll help you take stock of the current day while preparing for the next.
Let’s talk, let me know in the comments section – what’s one activity that you’re going to do as part of your evening self-care routine?
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In