Do you have an evening routine? If not, you should. Your evening routine is something you practice every night before you go to sleep. It will be different for each person.
I have read countless articles about the importance of a good morning routine. They talk about how much more you can get done if you are up at
I do believe it is true and at some point, I hope to incorporate some version of this in my life. However, I am currently opting out of this and here is why…
My youngest daughter, who just turned 6 wakes me up between 6 and 6:30 every day. She wants me to snuggle with her until it is time to get out of bed (usually around 6:45).
While I could perhaps wake up earlier and get some quiet time in and start doing something productive beforehand, I am ok with not focusing my whole schedule on how to maximize each part of my day. I do that with most of my day.
For now, I am still letting my daughter’s sleep patterns and need for snuggles to dictate my morning. And I am ok with that. I’m doing what works best for me in this season of life.
One thing I was tired of was having hurried mornings. Since I wasn’t yet up to optimizing my entire morning routine, I worked on having an evening routine. Creating a better evening routine the night before had a big impact on the following day.
7 things to consider as part of your evening routine:
- clean up
- plan for the following day
- technology use
- wind down
There is nothing more stressful than trying to get children ready to go to school. Particularly if you also need to get yourself ready to go and care at all about how you appear in public.
Waking up to dirty dishes in the sink from the night before sets the wrong tone for the morning. I’ve found that I am happier with a clean sink. It sounds weird I know, but I dare you to try it ;).
The beginning of my evening routine is making sure all the dishes are done and the sink is clean. No one wants to feel defeated or like they already have a mounting pile of work to do right from the start.
After the dishes are completed, I make lunches for the following day. Taking one more thing off my to-do list for the morning makes the morning that much less stressful.
The evening routine should start with setting up your next day for success. Think through any tasks that you could complete the evening before that would help make the following morning run more smoothly.
Get the kids involved in the process by having them pack up their backpacks before bed and pick out clothes for the following day.
At my house, my kids put their next day clothes in the dryer and we warm them up during breakfast. It also acts as a timer to keep them on track with getting ready in the morning.
Plan for the next day
Think through what the next day will look like for you. Make a list of tasks you would like to complete or errands you need to run. In order to prepare to wind-down for the evening, it is helpful to get the lists out of your head and onto paper.
If I have a really busy day, it’s been helpful to make lists of all the things I need for the places I will be going. There is nothing more irritating than having to make extra stops or turn around because something was forgotten in the morning. I really don’t like inefficiency. I could never work for the government 😉
Raise your hand if you find it difficult to stop mindless scrolling through social media at the end of the day (you can’t see me, but my hand is raised).
Communicating with anyone at the end of the day can be tough. Especially if your ears have been all talked off by chatty children throughout the day. I have two girls. The struggle is real.
It’s so easy in these moments to default to technology and waste hours looking at cat memes and other terribly important things. There are ways to work on changing social media habits if it has become a problem.
To avoid this, set technology limitations. Plan to turn off your phone, tablet, and computer an hour before you want to go to sleep. Set an alarm as a reminder. This will help your body to prepare for sleep.
Turns out those blue screens mess with our brains and don’t set the tone for rest. Keep your phone out of your bedroom. Invest $10 in an alarm clock (yep, they still make them). Your sleep will thank you for it.
Your wind down routine could include any of a number of activities. Some ideas are read a book, journal, pray, stretch or do yoga, spend some time in silence, take a bath, or enjoy a cup of tea. Incorporate processes for slowing down your mind and your body into your evening routine.
So often we run, run, run, all day and then lay down hoping to immediately fall asleep. And some people do, but others will lie there with their minds racing and wonder why. Prepare your body and mind for rest by choosing activities to help you relax.
As you journal,
In practicing being thankful, we are training our minds to be more positive. Our thoughts and emotions dictate our attitudes. Choose a mindset that searches for the good and is grateful for the blessings in life. They are there if you look for them.
Be aware of the amount of sleep that is optimal for your body. We each are wired a bit differently in this regard. We may tell ourselves we are fine with six hours of sleep, but the question isn’t what is adequate, but rather what is optimal. There are various health issues linked to lack of sleep but it’s easy to write off its importance.
There are phases in life where we have less control over our sleep (i.e. when you have a baby), but when we aren’t in those stages, take control of your sleep and don’t neglect it.
As a mom with little kids, I occasionally stay up way too late because I’m trying to either be productive or just enjoy the silence. This isn’t a recipe for good self-care though.
I’m not as good of a mom if I haven’t had enough sleep. Make adequate rest a priority for your own health as well as for your family.
Make sure that your bedroom is a place of rest. Cluttered nightstand and dressers aren’t relaxing. LED lights also can be distracting and don’t promote good sleep. Think about anything you can do to promote a restful environment.
Need some help creating more structure to your schedule? Get the Simply Scheduled workbook to plan out your day efficiently. There is even a page for writing down your morning and evening routines.
For further details and to order, click HERE.
Convinced you need an evening routine yet? Which aspects mentioned do you think would make the biggest difference for you? Let me know in the comments section 🙂
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