Do you keep working until you pass out? Do you resort to junk food and mindless social scrolling to decompress? I feel that most of us, use this as an easy escape when we're emotionally and mentally exhausted.
I work full-time and more often than not have to work late nights. I admit that I don't always keep to my nightly self-care routines (work gets in the way, late nights with friends happen, I spend way too much time in the gym), but when I do, it is the most rewarding experience ever. It's the perfect reset for the next day.
Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. – Eleanor Brown
What Is A Self-care Routine?
In my opinion, a self-care routine gives you the opportunities to act kindly towards yourself. After a long day of running around doing errands, working a 9-5 job, following up on personal initiatives, completing my self-care routine has become something I look forward to. Practicing it has enabled me to set clear boundaries between work and rest.
Since I started practicing my nightly routine, I have noticed an improvement in my mood and emotional wellbeing, and an increase in my productivity the next morning. Doing it more regularly has helped me realize how important it is to give your mind and body a chance to wind down and relax. Nowadays, I rarely fall out of bed feeling gross, sluggish, and dreading the new day. I wake up and I am 100% ready to carpe diem!
In this post, I am going to share how my nightly routine continues to play an important role in my life. I hope my routine inspires you to create and practice your own nightly self-care rituals!
My Current Evening Routine
Part I: Pre-work Snack + 30 Min Run + 30 Min Strength
I usually get home around 8 or 9pm. That leaves me about 3 hours to complete my routine. I drink a pre-work drink usually Amino Energy, Watermelon flavor. It gives me the energy I need and helps with muscle recovery. I take about 2 scoops for an hour of gym time. I then grab a snack. It's usually either an apple or an orange.
I keep a really simple diet. I have a really sensitive stomach so it's best for me to eat more or less the same foods, otherwise I will run into some stomach issues. I wait about 30 mins before I head to the gym. I usually listen to a podcast, read an article, chill in my bed, maybe sew a pillow case or two to pass the time.
MY WORK OUT
I depend on 2 workout apps: The Nike Training App, and the 10K Trainer by C25K App. If I'm feeling a little tired, I'll start with the strength workouts on the Nike App and it gets me amped up for the running. If I'm feeling mentally ready for my run and pumped to use a ton of energy I go straight for the treadmill. You have to be flexible, you never know how brain dead you'll be after a day's work.
I've been running since I was 15 and I used to only do running, but I always got injuries which is why I started strength training. Not only does it help with injury prevention, strength exercises improve running performance as well. You need to be vigilant about it because the annual injury rate for runners is as high as 85 percent.
I keep my workout time to about an hour and the do some stretching after. Doing a workout can really help aid your sleep quality. I always feel more able to pass out, and stay passed out for the majority of the night when I do workout. I don't need too much sleep, I can work with 4-5 hours sleep and still be functional. And I'm a light sleeper, so to be knocked out straight feels so good!
Part II: The Shower
Spa night all night every night! I love having a steaming hot shower to decompress after a good workout. Nothing feels better. I like my bathroom smelling and feeling like a spa before I step into it. To achieve that, I keep everything spanking clean, have fluffy towels, hotel-like bathrobes, floor mats ready, and most importantly I always keep a reed oil diffuser in there. It's so important for my bathroom to smell fresh and inviting when I walk in there. I love using the Cocod'or Preserved Real Flower Reed Diffuser, because they're visually refreshing to look at, and they smell great!
I don't use any special soaps or shampoos but I do use Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Face Wash. I have really sensitive skin and I find that this works best for me. My other bathroom accessories consist of an exfoliating back scrubber and a hair scalp massager. Nothing feels better than feeling squeaky clean and washing the days dirt off!
If, you didn't already know it, soaking in an epsom salt bath promotes magnesium absorption, sleep, stress reduction, digestion, and muscle recovery. If I don't have time, or am just too tired to wait for my bath to fill up, I can still benefit from the epsom salt properties by adding some lavender epsom salt to a hot damp wash cloth and applying it to the back of my neck. Heaven!
My candles are specifically from Chesapeake Bay, the scent is strong and fresh. I haven't actually tried one that I didn't like. For my spa baths I like using their Balance + Harmony Candle its scent is named Water Lily Pear. It consists of the following:
Top notes: Apple, Pear, Bergamot, Orange Zest, Tropical Fruits, Ozone
Middle notes: Jasmine, Rose, Violet, Coconut, Cyclamen, Waterlily
Base notes: Clean Musk, Rosewood, Green Foliage, Sandalwood, Anise
Essential Oil: Orange Oil
Fragrance Family: Floral Green
After I feel that the water's become lukewarm, I towel off and grab my ultra fluffy bathrobe and head to the kitchen to make some nice well-deserved hot tea and dinner!
Part III: Drink Tea + Eat Dinner
I love gifting myself with the Tea Forte Tea Tasting Assortment. How gorgeous is this packaging? Everything looks so elegant and well thought out. My favorite flavors are the Earl Grey and the White Ginger Pear. It's a little more on the pricier side but it's so well worth the cost. I promise this tea will even have loose leaf tea drinkers converting over to this particular brand of tea.
Let's talk about the design of the tea bag! First of all, the pyramid shape functions to weigh down the bag so it doesn't float to the top of the cup. And secondly, the stem and leaf hook over the edge of your cup so you can easily fish your tea bag out. It's such a clever design, and the packaging is fresh and inviting. I feel it puts tea drinking at another level!
If you want to try something different you can try Tea Drops. There are both caffeinated and decaffeinated options. The great thing about Tea Drops is that it's environmentally friendly, because there's no tea bag! All you have to do is drop it into some hot water and stir. The loose tea will sink to the bottom and you can drink it up or skip the last sip, and just chuck it out. Simple right? On top of that, they're already pre-sweetened with raw sugar so there's really no need to add anything more to it.
For those of you who want to drink a sleepy time tea, I would go for the chamomile tea. Chamomile is a herbal tea derived from the flowers of the chamomile plant. It has calming properties which is why it's always a great choice to have before bed. It reduces anxiety and helps to reduce stress on the muscles and nerves. In addition to helping you decompress, this tea has been proven (in a 2011 study) to improve wakefulness and alertness after sleep. That indicates that there truly was an improvement in sleep quality when chamomile was consumed.
Dinner, dinner, dinner, is always a dilemma. I bought a couple books on salads and smoothies but honestly have never cracked them open. I'm more dependent on TASTY youtube videos. I've left a few links below to my go-to videos. Maybe check them out later?
Generally dinner is on the lighter side. My main meal of the day is lunch. The ingredients I use for breakfast and dinner are more or less the same. They sort of bookmark the start and end of my day. So if I'm not following one of the Tasty recipes, I usually have 3-5 oranges or apples, some Activia Vanilla Yogurt and then some Green & Black's Dark Chocolate for dessert. So good! I don't know if you've ever had Green & Black's but it's amazing! It's my all time favorite! Once you go black, you can't go back!
Part IV: Face Mask, Dim The Lights + Watch A Show
There are three steps for my facial skincare routine. So first off, I use the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam Face Cleanser. After I dry my now very clean face, I use the Innisfree My Real Squeeze Mask Sheet. There are about scents available. So you will love one of them for sure. You can take it off after 10-15 mins.
I usually wait for my face to dry off and then I apply Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Creme. This last step is very important because the creme is very effective. It costs an arm and a leg to purchase but it is so worth it. Thankfully I didn't have to buy mine, I got mine as a present, and have been using it regularly since.
Maybe ask your folks when the gifting season comes around ;)
During my whole facial care ritual I usually put a show on. I use Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, so there's usually something interesting on. At some point during the show I dim the lights and take it easy. I usually watch something for about an hour or so then switch gears to bullet journaling.
Part V: Bullet Journal
This part doesn't take too long. I'm currently using a ban.do planner. The colors and illustrations in the journal are enough to get me excited for documenting the day's milestones and planning things for tomorrow.
Some people like doodling in their journals. I'm not much of a doodler. I prefer writing down lists of things, like what errands I need to do and when, things I need to buy, things I'm happy about, funny things that happened that day etc. I'm usually done after 10-15 mins and then I switch gears to reading.
Part VI: Read
I'm currently reading Nelson Mandela's Long Walk To Freedom. So far I'm really enjoying it. I haven't made much headway though, because I've been reading articles on my laptop or phone. Reading is one those activities that has always made me feel sleepy. Because of that I usually save it for the end of the day! I usually read for about 30 mins or so and then I move onto blogging activities.
Part VII: Play With Blog + Brand
How could I go to bed without taking care of my blog and brand. I spend lots of time re-pinning pins on pinterest, sharing images on instagram, and learning more about the blogging world and how to be successful at it. I only started so we shall see!
This doesn't count as work because I enjoy it so much. It's my creative outlet, and I just love the fact that it is truly mine. There is so much to learn, but working on this has all been so exciting and rewarding. The internet's reach is absolutely incredible! I love how accessible everything is, and how we can grow at scale in a way that not too long ago was unthinkable.
Part IX: Bedtime Yoga
So there are 5 yoga moves I like to do for bed and they are all really easy and you can do them from the comfort of your bed.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Reclined Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
You don't have to do them in that order, but it makes more sense if you do :)
Part X: Listen to Sleep Podcast
I have 2 podcasts I regularly listen to: The GaryVee Audio Experience and Sleep Cove. Both are equally refreshing and can put me to sleep. For those of you who don't know GaryVee is an incredible character and his podcast is so fun to listen to. He's an entrepreneur, CEO, investor and vlogger that speaks about marketing, social media, and self-awareness. Sleep Cove is more about sleep hypnosis and sleep meditation. It's hosted by Christopher Fitton and his voice is like ASMR.
I usually leave my sleep podcast on and pass out with it playing. Good night! That's my sleep schedule. Now unto you!
Create Your Own Evening Self-care Routine
If you want to create your own night time self-care routine, here are a few things to consider:
Find things that you know will help you to decompress and relax. Is it doing yoga for an hour and then meditation for another? Is it drawing or painting the night away? Is it doing an online course?
Don't try to fit too much in your evening routine. That will end up stressing you out. Be flexible with your schedule.
CREATE A SANCTUARY
Does your home promote a feeling of peace and conviviality? What sort of space do you need to be in to feel truly at home. Do you need it to be cozy? Minimalist? Filled with plants?
What does your evening self-care routine look like?
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