If you read my Goodbye October post, you will see October’s goals did not go as planned. I felt like they were all over the place, and when things shifted in my life, the habits I was trying to build quickly went out the window. I decided to make a change with how I was going to do my monthly goals going forward. I’m taking a page out of Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, and selecting themes for each month, and that area is where I will focus on setting goals and building habits. For November, I will focus on creating a nighttime routine.
A Great Morning Routine Starts The Night Before
One of my goals last month was to wake up at 4:30 AM at least five days a week. My husband and I agreed on that time so he would stop hitting the snooze button, and I could get up a bit earlier. The plan was that I would cook his breakfast, see him off for the day, and get my day started. And while most days I was able to wake up, I spent way too many days going to sleep after my husband left. Or some days just turning the alarm off and going back to sleep immediately. But what I do remember is the days that I was able to get up and stay up, were some of my most productive days. So why wasn’t I able to wake up and stay up? Most of the time, it was because I didn’t go to sleep at a reasonable time the night before. Actually going to bed and getting to sleep was such a challenge. I realized that for me to wake up early, I needed to figure out how to get to sleep early. Looking at my nights, I really didn’t have a plan. I cooked dinner, hung out with my husband, and then went to bed. But once I was in bed, most likely I was watching whatever Chris had on T.V. or on my phone or my thoughts were racing so much I was writing. I need to figure out how to wind down, so when I got in the bed, I went to sleep. So I did what I do best, I started to research and look on Pinterest and YouTube to see what others have done. And while it was hard to find nighttime routines (there is an abundance of morning routines and a ton of kid nighttime routines), I was able to narrow down what I want to try at night that might be able to help me.
Testing It Out
I plan to spend the month of November trying out all of the different routines that I found during my research. Habits that I am hoping will allow me to wind down and get into bed at a reasonable time. I read in The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma that the ideal amount of sleep is 7 1/2 hours. With Chris having a recent change of schedule, we decided to push our wake up time to 5 AM, which means the best time for me to go to sleep would be about 9:30 PM. So when I was picking out routines that seemed interesting to me, I needed to make sure that I could do them in between when I usually cook dinner around 4 PM or 5 PM and 9:30 PM. I still needed to eat dinner and spend time with my husband, all within 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 hours. Let’s hope this is as easy as it sounds. Here are the routines that interest me:
Quick Clean Up
Although my husband usually takes care of putting the dishes in the dishwasher, I still tend to clean and shut down the kitchen at night. Doing a quick clean up of the other rooms that we’ve used throughout the day always makes me feel better but isn’t something I do enough. Getting this done will hopefully prevent me from laying in bed, wishing I would have cleaned up a bit.
I started walking around my neighborhood in September, but last month I came up with more excuses, and I stopped. One reason was, every time I came back from walking, I wanted to sleep for hours. I don’t know where all those endorphins are that I should be feeling, but they were nowhere to be found. But I figured a good way to flip this side effect into a positive would be to do it in the evenings. On days where I don’t feel like walking, I could always stretch or do a yoga routine.
Relaxing Baths and Showers
Normally, fall and winter are when I switch to taking showers at night. And as much as I love my bathtub and baths, I don’t take them enough. Add in some essential oils, Epsom salt, dim the lights, light some candles, and turn on the music. I did this the other day for the first time in forever, and it was amazing. I was more relaxed than I have been in a really long time.
In addition to my bath, I also made me a warm drink. I tried some Vanilla Chia tea but used milk instead of water, and it was so good. I’ve also read that golden milk helps with sleep and inflammation so I would like to try it. A few nights a week, I normally make some tea that is geared towards relaxing or sleeping. They don’t always put me right to sleep, but they help relax me and act as a signal that it is time to wind down.
Skin Care Routine, Moisturize My Body, and Oral Hygiene
I want to add face masks and scrubs to my current routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. I’ve also been wanting to find a body cream to use instead of regular lotion for after my showers and baths. And keeping up the habit of brushing my teeth and flossing after I finish eating and before bed.
Gratitude, Journal, and Plan The Next Day
I tend to write in my journal all day long, but I would love to be able to take the time to reflect on what I am grateful for at the end of the day. I could journal about my day or things on my mind and spend a few minutes planning out what I want my tomorrow to look like. I’m hoping this will help get some things off my mind so I can be at peace at night.
I am horrible about being on my phone in bed. For hours. I try and stay off of social media, although I don’t always succeed at that. But honestly, I am most of the time reading or researching something that pops into my head. I want to make our bedroom a no technology zone (or at the very least not use the technology in the bed). My husband was sweet enough to buy me a new reading light last month, so I can still read my physical books.
Let’s Do This
I’ll be spending more time this month researching these routines and finding what works best for me. Is there a particular essential oil I like best in my baths? Is tea better for me than warm milk? I believe it is always important to find what works for you so while certain routines may work for others, it is all about tailoring them to fit my needs best. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with what this will look like daily for me. Do you have nighttime routines that help you get to sleep? Share them in the comments below. I hope you join me this month in setting nighttime routines!
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