I love a good morning routine and one of the best ways to be set up for success in the morning is having a solid routine the night before. There are some nights that I feel so tired that brushing my teeth is a chore. However, it feels really nice to have self-care practices that help me feel good and set me up for success in the day ahead.
Winding down with intention is a game-changer for overall well-being. From promoting restful sleep to reducing stress, my evening rituals are all about self-care and adapting to what each day brings. If you find yourself feeling stressed and scrolling endlessly, this is your reminder to take time at the end of the day to be intentional, wind down, and care for yourself.
To create an evening routine that feels good, you need to break up with the current habits that aren’t serving you. Flip the script to focus on your habits being:
Rewarding: All habits serve you in different ways, so this process involves retraining your brain to focus on how rewarding a habit is and if it supports you in the long run.
Internally Driven: It’s also important to establish why you want to implement these habits. Asking yourself what will make you feel happy, fulfilled, and satisfied allows you to determine if an action is internally driven. When our habits are internally driven, we have intrinsic motivation (rather than external reasoning) which promotes sustainable change.
Prioritized: Creating a sustainable routine is all about how you want to best set yourself up for success by prioritizing your time and being forward-thinking.
When you break up with the current habits that aren’t serving you will learn that having a solid routine is game-changing because they:
Create structure for your day
Help you prioritize what’s important and feels good
Reduce decision fatigue: When you have healthy habits established and create structure for your day you don’t have to work or think as hard
Set you up for success
The best evening routine is one that suits you and your needs. My current evening routine has taken trial and error and practice to find out what works for me. I am currently working on spending the last hour of my day without my phone or other technology.
My evening routine consists of:
Send out my session recaps to clients
Write in my planner to reflect on my day and write down tomorrow's to-dos
Make dinner even if it's super simple
Go for a stroll or do some stretching
Spend time on the couch to finish up work and/or watch something
Shower and get into pjs
Do my skincare routine (bonus points if I do a little extra: face mask, gua sha, ice roll)
Put my phone away and read in bed before falling asleep
So, let’s think about creating an evening routine that allows you to wind down and relax. In my coaching practice, my clients establish a wellness vision for their best selves. Imagine the best version of yourself that you are aspiring to be. What actions support this vision?
To figure out what your best self needs at night, ask yourself the following questions:
What fills up my cup?
What brings me joy?
What calms me?
What makes me feel at ease?
If you need support coming up with ideas, here are 20 habits to consider incorporating into your evening routine:
Reflect on your day
Write down to-dos for tomorrow
Clean/tidy your living space
Take a walk
Read a book
Listen to a podcast
Play a game (Duolingo, crossword, Wordle, sudoku)
Start a skincare routine
Organize your workspace
Eat a nourishing dinner
Make a cup of tea
Listen to your favorite music
Call a loved one
Snuggle with your loved ones
Do breathing exercises
Take a shower or bath
I encourage you to start small and ensure you make a goal for your evening routine that is attainable and realistic. I highly recommend that you write your routine down and create environmental supports to keep you accountable. Maybe you will set a reminder on your phone or post a sticky note on your mirror. Also, identify your support system and find an accountability buddy to help support you. For example, maybe you will plan to call a friend while you make dinner or read a book with your roommate or boyfriend before bed.
Remember that flexibility and giving yourself grace are just as important as consistency and maintaining your habits. For example, when you have a busy week or are traveling, rather than have an all-or-nothing mentality, choose a few non-negotiable habits that you hold onto no matter what. This could look like maintaining your daily skincare routine and reading before bed.
Last but not least, there is no perfect, one-size-fits all evening routine. Rather than focus on what others think you ‘should’ be doing, focus on what feels good and works for you. Here's to creating an evening routine that makes you feel good and sets you up for success in the day ahead!