This post was updated on 21/09/20
This is the final part in a 3 part series on habits and routine. I’ve talked about why having a routine is crucial, my last post was on morning routine. So today let’s look at the evening routine. By evening routine, I don’t just mean the time before you go to bed, although that is covered. This covers everything from when you finish work to when you go to bed.
There are two main reasons to follow an evening routine; to wind down from the day and to make your morning easier. You’ll fall asleep much easier if you calm your mind and have some relaxing time, without thinking about work, housework or anything else. Also, anything you can do the night before, can make a big difference in how your morning goes. Taking something out of the freezer, leaving the sink clean and tidy or knowing what you’re going to wear the next day.
So to explore this further, I’ve detailed the 5 habits I use for an evening of calm and self-care. I’d be interested to see how this compares to yours.
When you work from home and work for yourself, it is very easy to just keep working and not keep track of the time. There will always be tasks to do, but there needs to be a time when you shut work down.
- Tick off what you’ve achieved- this is great for confidence
- Shut down your laptop, closing down the tabs
- Close the office door and leave the work day behind.
Dinner and Domestics
So time to leave work behind and turn your attention to what I call “dinner and domestics.” I group these two together as quite often my husband Gareth and I will work together on them; one cooking and the other getting other things done such as starting a load of washing. I’ve mentioned before how much of a life saver Gousto has been to our evening meal times. It takes the guess work out of what to have for dinner; with four delicious recipes to choose from, delivered with the exact ingredients. Gousto are also big on sustainability, so important with increasing awareness of looking after our planet. In the profile of my account I can see stats with my Gousto wins. Currently I have saved 59 kilos of food waste, with perfectly measured ingredients! And saved 34 hours in planning and shopping for meals! Wouldn’t you love 34 hours back?!
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When the kitchen is cleared and the next stage of the laundry started, it’s time for Harvey’s final walk of the day, one of his rituals he knows and will ask for if it’s not soon enough!
Time now to sit down and relax with a cup of tea; the third of the 5 habits for an evening of calm and self-care. Quite often this time involves watching something on TV, perhaps with a little social media catch up at the same time. Two current favourites of mine are The Great British Bake Off and Manifest. Something I want to point out, embrace this time-absolutely do not feel guilty about it. It is likely you have been busy all day and this is your unproductive time to just be.
Get Ready for Bed
Before it gets too late and you can’t give this ritual the time and attention you deserve, spend some time getting ready for bed. So this is obviously getting out of your day clothes and into comfys/PJs and spending time on your skincare routine. We all know how important it is to cleanse, tone and moisturise. Are you guilty of skipping this when you go to bed really tired? Make this something that you savour and enjoy pampering your skin. You might also want to use this time to give the bedroom a quick tidy, so it is a welcoming cosy place to walk into when it’s time for sleep.
Read in Bed
Next, I make a night time tea and read in bed. Unlike the reading habit in the morning routine this isn’t about reading to be inspired; that would keep your mind active. Instead this is about reading for relaxation and preparing your mind for sleep. I’ve read some fab novels this year. You can see all the books I’ve read and see how I’m getting on with my 2019 reading challenge on Goodreads.
I am fascinated by other people’s routines and would love to understand what your evening routine is. I look forward to hearing from you in the comments.