Ok so I KNOW you know about how to create a morning routine for optimal productivity…
But did you know your evening hours are just as important?
That’s not to say that you’ve gotta schedule your whole day down to the minute.
Or be this regimented robot when it comes to how you live your life.
But here’s what so many of us do wrong at night.
We literally collapse.
We go-go-go all day, then rush through the evening shiz before rolling ourselves into bed.
So I’m here to tell ya…
This habit actually makes you LESS productive.
Because you wind up tired AF. More frazzled.
And less connected.
With your fam… with yourself… with your whole friggin life.
AND when you live life this way… it also means you’re not gonna have the natural energy and motivation you so desperately want.
Sound familiar? LOL
SO. I’m gonna offer you a challenge.
And I’d like you to start implementing it right now.
Doing it for at least a full month.
I challenge you… to practice one act of self-care each night.
For a wholllleeeee month.
And I’m not talking about that chilled glass of rose. LOL
It actually doesn’t relax you effectively.
I’m talking about something that calms you holistically.
And as part of your self-care challenge, I want you to create a simple evening routine that will help you feel prepared for the next day.
And include a self-care practice every single night.
So before we get into what an evening routine looks like, let’s talk about what good self-care things you could do for yourself.
And PS: you don’t have to choose the same one each night.
Personally I like to have a grab-bag of ideas to pull from -- so I don’t have to think about it and I can reach for whatever feels good that day.
Ok so here’s a quick list.
A bubble bath -- my personal fav.
You could use an ice roller on your face.
Not only is this super great for your skin… boosting circulation and helping to reduce any puffiness or redness before you go to bed…
It actually helps soothe anxiety.
Ok so that’s a second option to consider.
You could give yourself a massage.
Have you ever tried ball massage?
Ok first of all, get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about a literal ball. LOL
Like a lacrosse ball… a tennis ball… something like that.
If you have tension in your back or shoulders…
Using a ball to apply pressure and give yourself a massage is really helpful.
Or you could actually treat yourself and get a professional massage… but that’s not really reasonable for a daily self-care routine.
I mean, unless you’re J Lo. LOL
Using a ball for a self-massage helps you reach areas that are super hard to get to on your own.
But if you sit in a car… at a desk… or you work out…
You’ve probably built up some tension that needs to be released so you can sleep better. And literally move around more freely.
Another great self care practice is to get your thoughts out on paper.
So journaling might be a good self-care practice for you.
Especially if you tend to have swirling thoughts at night… or struggle to fall asleep.
You could do ‘stream of consciousness journaling’ before you go to bed… where you just write down whatever is going on in your mind.
In fact, don’t even read it again. Commit to writing it out and never looking back.
This’ll free you up from being self-critical or trying to control your thoughts.
Or you could practice gratitude journaling.
Something as simple as three things you’re grateful for each night has been shown to help people feel happier and more relaxed.
I mean honestly, you could just google “evening self care” and you’ll get TONS of great ideas.
So pull together a list of self care practices that resonate with YOU.
What I like to do may not be your cup of tea.
Oooh, have a cup of tea, that’s a good evening self-care practice.
Decaf, please. LOL
Ok once you have your list… it’s time to create your routine.
Start back from the point of when you’d ideally like to get to bed.
Aim to give yourself between 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Just do some basic math to figure out what that means in terms of when you wake up in the morning… and when you should be going to bed at night.
So, let’s say just as an example, you have 10pm as your ideal bedtime.
At least an hour before you go to bed, you need to STOP doing things.
Don’t workout… don’t eat….
And definitely stop using electronics.
Blue light has been shown to lead to crappy sleep.
Because it literally tells your body its daytime -- and you need to be awake. Our brains are smart… but not THAT smart.
So put away your phone… your Kindle… your iPad -- about an hour before you go to bed.
What can you do in that time?
Well, your offline self-care is a good option.
You can also read… but from an actual book.
Use this hour before sleep for relaxation.
You could meditate… or try progressive muscle relaxation… or a body scan.
Maybe you journal… or make time for your partner.
IF ya know what I mean. WINK WINK. LOL
Think about your last hour as ANALOG time.
So in this case, that means from 9:00 on.
No screens. No electronics.
In the couple hours before that analog time, you should think about two key things:
Prepare. And connect.
Prepare yourself for the day ahead.
Check your calendar to ensure you know what your schedule looks like…
If you have an appointment… a morning call… errands to run… something you need to get up a little early for.
Make a list of any to-dos for the next day.
This helps your brain settle.
Which releases anxiety… and helps your hormones drop to balanced levels so you can relax effectively… and fall asleep naturally.
And friends, please resist the urge to DO.
Making that to-do list doesn’t mean you gotta DO it right now.
You’re going to impact your sleep… and actually wind your body and mind back up again.
You’re simply setting up your plans for the next day so you’re more productive in the morning. You’ve done the legwork… so in the MORNING you can do the doing.
You can use this time to set your alarm… with a nice natural, progressive wakeup. Not the aggressive BEEP BEEP BEEP you see on TVs.
You actually throw your body into an immediate state of fight or flight with that. Which is super bad for your health.
Maybe what helps you prepare is to set your clothes out for the next day -- if you’re someone who spends more than like 3 minutes in the morning deciding what to wear.
For me, it’s usually joggers and a hoodie since I work out first thing in the morning, so I’m usually fast on that one. LOL
But if you actually wear real pants… or clothes that aren’t made entirely of lycra…
Maybe you want to plan your outfit the night before so you’re more productive in the morning. LOL
(I actually do this when I’m traveling. I always “pre pack”. Try on, then lay out my clothes the day before.) But back to evening prep...
Another pro tip: if you need to put stuff into your car… or your bag… do it the night before.
It can be SOOOOO tempting to be like “Eh, I’ll do it in the morning.” Or you tell yourself you’ll remember.
But let's get real. 9 times out of 10 you end up missing something.
Or you run around all stressed out trying to find your stupid sunglasses when you’re crunched for time.
PS: They’re probably on your head. I swear, we DO turn into our parents. LOL
Instead, prep your shiz the night before -- your future self will thank you.
Ok, so that’s a quick overview of Prepare.
Connect is the other part.
Connect with your fam.
Connect physically… like, my daughter loves to have her back rubbed.
So when we settle down together on the couch before she goes to sleep, often she’ll lay her head in my lap and I’ll rub my hand along her back…
It’s so soothing. For both of us.
Xander likes to get in on the action too.
He’s like, “Oh it’s time for pets? Lemme in on this!” LOL
And while connecting is important… avoid having stressful conversations before you go to bed.
Yes, difficult convos are necessary in relationships… but do it during the daylight, ok?
There's a saying that goes “Nothing good happens after 2am.”
Well in my book, nothing good happens after 8pm… when it comes to hashing out your issues… or talking about polarizing topics. LOL
In the evening, your focus should be on creating a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere.
So you can rest effectively… restore your body AND mind… and be able to show up the next day. Ready to be productive AF.
So you can actually DO more… with less effort.
If you’re burning the candle at both ends…
No matter how tired you are… you actually get less rest.
It’s crazy to think of it that way, right?
Here’s the thing.
There will ALWAYS be more you could do.
And until you cultivate a well-structured, highly effective evening relaxation routine…
Your mind will fill in the gaps.
And give you a laundry list of more crap you think you need to do.
Which is super stressful… and a cycle that can be really hard to get out of.
You’ve got to create literal separation in your day.
Productivity time… and recovery time.
And to help you do that, I’ve got a really useful download for ya.
It’s called “5 Simple Habits…”
And it’s got key habits you can start applying RIGHT NOW… for a more productive, healthy day.
And best of all… there are some really good nighttime tips in there.
For your mental, physical, AND emotional health.
That’s with the NUMBER 5.
You’ll find it in the show notes too.
So be sure to download that -- it’s totally free for you -- and start planning your self-care challenge!
What’s on your list? What does your routine look like?
Once you’ve got it, let me know, ok?
I’m always looking for new hacks to try out. So I’d love to hear yours.
Alright friends, let’s get to it.
Enjoy your evening… and be sure to go ANALOG at least an hour before bed, ok?
I’ll see ya online… before then. LOL