A couple of months ago, I posted about my morning routine and got some great feedback on it so why not follow up? While not too much has changed with the morning aspect, I wanted to do a post specifically about my nighttime routine. Since starting therapy for my anxiety, I have adopted some new practices and mixed with some old practices have greatly helped with not only my mental health but my overall health. I wanted to share with you all the things that I do in the hopes of teaching you something new or inspiring you to develop your own routine.
I’m very guilty of spending way too much time on my phone and scrolling mindlessly on social media. (Don’t worry, I’ve already updated my iPhone and have been made to feel awful by screentime.) But prior to screentime, I’ve been practicing disconnecting from social media and my phone in general. I already have all social media notifications off. Unless I open the apps, I don’t see what is going on there. I also have “Do Not Disturb” set automatically every day from 10PM to 7AM. What I’ve been doing recently is not going on any social media apps after 10PM. I also don’t scroll on social media when I wake up. I try to check it later and later throughout the day. I find that I feel so much better going to sleep with a clear mind (following the steps below) and I wake up feeling the same.
Yoga is something that I’ve always wanted to get into but never truly did. Earlier this year, I started doing some yoga every now and then but I was not consistent with it. My therapist suggested that I incorporate different practices as part of my “self-care” routine in order to help manage my emotions. One of the practices was this 7 minute night time yoga video by Yoga by Adriene. I love how short the video is and how relaxed I feel after I do it. To get in the “mood” for this video, I take a shower and put comfy pjs. I turn off all the lights and turn on a scented candle. I also try to kick my cat Suki out of the room because she loves to start playing with my feet while I get my yoga on.
I know for me, when I wanted to initially get into yoga, I felt that I had to be a certain type of flexible or “zen” to practice yoga so I stayed away from it. However, that couldn’t be less true. Yoga is for everyone and it is very helpful. I really like Adriene’s Youtube channel and her approach to instructing yoga. However, there are a ton of Yoga channels and IG pages that can help you get into yoga.
Meditation is and can be different for everyone so I’ll keep this one short. For me, I use the moment post yoga to meditate. I use to think mediation was this “super holy moment” where you floated out of your body. It may be that for others but for me, it is just a moment to do breathing exercises. Breathing exercises were also introduced to me by my therapist and I have found them to be helpful. My favorite one so far is the 4 count. I also like to use the Breathe function on my Apple Watch. I know there are a bunch of apps now you can use to help with meditation.
After I do my yoga and meditation, I drink some chamomile tea. Chamomile is usually the main ingredient in those “sleepy teas” due to its relaxing properties so its a perfect follow up to my yoga and meditation.
Save Your Bed for Sleep
This last one isn’t really something you “do” before bed but more so training you develop. One habit I’ve adopted and follow almost religiously is not doing anything in bed except for sleeping (and you know what else.) Our bodies are creatures of routine. If you watch tv in bed, do homework, browse the internet, play games, and whatever else in bed, when it’s finally BED time, your body won’t have any idea what to do in bed! You’ll have a harder time falling asleep. I make sure I do everything I need to do before I get in bed. I have a TV in my bedroom collecting dust because I refuse to watch TV laying down in bed. If I do turn it on, I make sure I’m moving around and not laying in my bed.
And that’s pretty much it folks! I have found that doing this almost every night has made a tremendous difference in my every day life. I fall asleep so much more quickly when I get into bed and I sleep deeper. I also wake up easier than before since I’m sleeping so deeply. What does your night time routine look like?