A good night's rest is so important to feeling your best, achieving success, and simply living well. Too many of us just don't get good quality sleep, and then we wonder why we feel like we're walking around in a fog or hit that afternoon slump. I've found it easy to slip into the habit of staying up to burn the midnight oil or to scroll on social media before bed, but when I'm deliberate about creating and sticking to a routine, I always feel incredibly better. Consistency is so essential to creating a successful life. Here's a few things that are a part of my evening routine:
Start by lighting a candle. There's something about changing the lighting in my room to a softer glow that helps me to make the switch from daytime productivity to a slower, more relaxed pace.
Making a cup of tea is a great way to unwind; I love having peppermint or chamomile in the evenings. Sipping it out of a fun mug is an added bonus! I've linked my latest favorite below!
Put away technology---yes, this includes both my computer and my phone. It can be so easy to mindlessly scroll, and before you know it, time gets away from you! Also, our screens emit a high level of blue light, which is great during the day because blue light is a natural stimulant to increase activity and alertness. Unfortunately, many of us expose our eyes to lots of blue light before falling asleep and then wonder why we can't seem to quiet our minds. By staying off technology before bed, we allow our minds and bodies to prepare for rest. In order for this to really work, I try to stay off technology for at least 30-60 min before bed. (I know it's hard, but so worth it!! Trust me!)
Plan for the next day. Mornings are always far less rushed and more productive when I have taken the time to plan for the next day. To do this, I often begin by looking over my planner, making any note of meetings, events, or things I will need to prepare for. In addition, I've started laying out my workout outfit and choosing my clothes for the day. If you find it hard to hit the gym or head out for a run in the morning, this step will greatly increase your ability to get out and do it!
Skincare routine. After I've prepared things for the next day, I wash my face, brush my teeth, and then smooth on a moisturizer and eye cream. Lately, I've also been using a lash serum and a lip conditioner before bed, and I've been pretty pleased with the results. It's never too early to begin taking good care of your skin, and this step also impacts your overall wellbeing. When you care for your body, it will be far easier to achieve better sleep and increased wellness.
Journal. Journaling is such a wonderful habit to add to your life! Whether it is a recap of the day, a bullet point or two, or a list of things you're grateful for, it's such a healthy way to process elements of your life in a way that you can go back and review. I remember consistently keeping journals all through my high school and college years, and those are some of my favorite ones to go back and reread from time to time to see what I've learned and how I've grown since then! It doesn't have to be a novel, just write a few sentences to reflect and calm your mind.
Read. I love to end my evenings on a positive, encouraging note, and reading a few chapters of a personal development books is my favorite way to do that. Currently, I've been reading The Magic of Thinking Big as well as Louie Giglio's newest, Goliath Must Fall. Both are fantastic, practical and inspiring. In addition to reading a good book, I also review my goals. This helps to solidify their existence in my mind and life. (Need some help writing successful, achievable goals? Read this and this.)
Get a good mattress. Finally it's time for some sweet dreams, but before you shut out the lights, make sure you have a great mattress! It's pretty challenging to sleep well when you're uncomfortable, and a good night's rest often starts with a comfortable place to fall asleep. Leesa has some great options, and in addition to donating one for every 10 they sell, they've also partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for every mattress sold! How cool is that? I love companies that are committed to giving back to their communities and world. Find out more about how to get your own Leesa mattress and their social initiatives here!
While you'll have to find the nighttime habits that work best for you, hopefully you've gotten a few ideas to add to your evening routine! I often think about evenings as the set up for a wonderful next day. When we plan for success, it will follow. I encourage you to set up a routine and be consistent. Here's to many sweet dreams ahead!