Sun salutation, gratitude journal, and a big cup of coffee – we hear a lot about morning routines. But what about evening routines? If your evenings consist of rolling off the sofa into bed after watching four episodes of your favorite series, this article will help you incorporate other evening rituals that will improve your well-being.
Your body is working at full speed every day, so obviously it can’t relax at the snap of a finger. Developing good bedtime habits will help you slowly unwind after a long day. A good evening routine can help you improve the quality of your sleep and largely determines your daily productivity and efficiency. Here are seven evening routines that will improve your well-being.
Take stock of your day
It is important to take a moment to reflect on your day. This is more than just saying, “today was good” or “today was bad” – it is about increasing your awareness of what you were thinking, feeling, or doing. You can write down answers to at least one of the following questions before going to bed:
- What challenges did I overcome today?
- What am I proud of today?
- What am I grateful for?
- What three things have I learned today?
Put away all your devices
Try logging off about two hours before sleeping– literally. Even with a good blue light filter, smartphones, PCs, and tablets inhibit the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone that ensures, among other things, restful sleep. Instead, the bright lights encourage the production of serotonin which will interrupt your sleep. In addition, everything that you see on Instagram, YouTube, or even the news can stress you out. Upsetting thoughts have no place in your evening routine.
Your evening meal should be filling, but not too heavy. Have dinner three hours before bedtime and avoid foods with a high glycemic index or those that cause gas. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine, instead drink soothing herbal teas like lemon balm. Here are some other foods that can supplement your evening meal and promote sleep:
- Cashew nuts
- Chinese cabbage
- Chicory salad
If you are stressed when going to bed, the tension will affect your sleep. The more rested you are at bedtime, the faster your batteries will recharge overnight and the healthier you will feel in the morning. Spend part of your evening relaxing – slow down, empty your mind, and calm yourself.
Here are some ways that you can promote relaxation:
- Breathing exercises
- A bath
- Drinking an infusion
Do some yoga
It’s well known that exercising during the day helps you get a good night’s sleep. If you engage in sporting activity in the evening, be careful not to overdo it as it can prevent you from sleeping well. Instead, do some yoga. Not power yoga, but a softer style like Yin yoga or Hatha flow. A mobility session can also help your body relax after a long day. The same goes for stretching, which is as good for your muscles and fascias as it is for your mind.
Take care of your mind
Your brain works all day. In the evening, before going to sleep, you need to turn off the analytical part of the brain, the left hemisphere, and engage in creative activities that will activate the right hemisphere. Try doing this at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. For example, you could:-
- Read a book
- Draw or paint
Write a to-do list for the next day
To end the day properly and start the next one productively, you can write a to-do list as part of your evening routine. This way, you won’t have to worry about unfinished tasks before sleeping and it will allow you to sleep soundly. In the evening, write down the tasks you haven’t finished today, what you absolutely want to do the next day, and your priority projects.
Tip: After work, write a short email with the most important points and a few lines of motivation for your next day at work. It can easily fit into your morning routine so you start the next day all the more productive.
An evening routine is just as important as a morning one. So you have to pay just as much attention to it. The evening should be devoted to relaxation and gentle physical activity. So, avoid spending much of your evening in front of the screens and on social networking sites. In the evening, it is also preferable to eat balanced and light meals. Creative activities are ideal for enriching your evening routine. Good luck in creating a new evening routine!