Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Just a quick note. That isn’t my actual bed pictured above. I only can dream about crawling into a fancy bed like this someday. This bed is at the wonderful Versailles and so a bit out of reach for me. A girl can dream.
Earlier in the year, I had the hardest time in the world getting out of bed in the mornings. I decided I needed to create a morning routine. I drafted out one of the most amazing routines. The alarms were set, the plan was drafted and… it never worked. I still could not get out of bed in the morning! Then I had a moment of clarity. Instead of creating a morning routine I first needed to sort out my evenings.
I set out to slowly create an evening routine. Since creating this routine my mornings go very well when I follow it. When I don’t follow it, the same old thing happens and the mornings are rough. I planned out the transition slowly so that I could build habits together. I knew that if I rushed the creation of the routine it wouldn’t stick.
Stop Hanging Out in Bed
First things first, I had to stop hanging out in my bedroom when it wasn’t bedtime. I have a really big and extremely comfortable bed. There is nothing I love more in the world than laying in that bed but I do it far too often. My brain didn’t realize that the hangout place was also the sleeping place and it would take me far too long to fall asleep. I started hanging out in my living room on an equally comfortable couch. I noticed that when I started doing this it was much easier to fall asleep. This was the first step towards creating an evening routine.
The next issue with my previous evening routine was the electronics. I would lay in bed and watch movies and TV until I fell asleep. That isn’t healthy at all. So, I knew in my new evening routine I would have to power down earlier. It meant giving up some TV time but I think that we can all use a little less TV time. Because I wasn’t hanging out in my bed powering down was easier than I had imagined. When it was time for bed I left all of my electronics except my phone in the living room and then went into the bedroom. It made the whole powering down situation a whole lot better. I use my phone as an alarm so I can’t leave that behind.
After powering down and plugging in my phone to charge I take care of my skin. Skincare is super important to me and, as I get older, I am trying to make it a large priority. I take time each night to wash my face and remove all of my makeup. Something that I really wish my younger self had taken seriously. Sleeping in mascara is good for no one. Next, I moisturize. Moisturizing is so important. Sometimes I will do a mask here and sometimes I won’t. It just depends on the day. Next up I brush my teeth because that is also super important. Then I head to the bedroom and I finally crawl into bed.
Now, most experts would advise against reading in bed and maybe one day I won’t. But, for now, it is working in my evening routine. I sit and read for at least 15 minutes a night. This calms my body and my mind. I really enjoy reading and due to my previous evening routine, I wasn’t getting a chance to read. Now I make sure that I have time each night.
I’ve been a huge journaler throughout my life but hadn’t been journaling lately. At the end of each day, I like to write down my thoughts or troubles. I always list at least three things that I am grateful for (the inspiration for my Seven Joyful Things) and anything else I need to jot down. This practice is one that I am so thankful I created time to continue. I find a lot of value in journaling.
Next up I turn off all the lights, put away the pens and the paper and I meditate. I use the mantra that is featured on The October List. I think I’ll probably blog a little more about meditation in the future. I’ve been meditating for about 4 years now and find it extremely beneficial in all areas of my life.
Sleep Mask On
Lastly, I slip my eye mask on and drift off to sleep. After the construction of a new building across the street from me, the lights at night have been super bright. And, if you’re currently following me on Instagram, you know that the lights to my building have literally been flashing all night long. This mask from Amazon has been a lifesaver! I need it to be fairly dark to fall asleep and this baby does the trick. Once I slip it on it is lights out and I am asleep for the evening.
Do you have an evening routine to help you settle in for the night? If so, share it in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!