It seems like just yesterday that I posted about my morning routine! Actually, it was a week and a half ago, so I’m not too far off.
I just love hearing about people’s routines, whether it’s their morning routine, their bedtime routine, Sunday routine, meal prep routine, travel packing routine, workout routine, planning routine, etc. etc.
I’m even more excited to share my bedtime routine than my morning routine. For one, I can really tell you guys exactly what I do, because my morning routine morphs and adjusts a lot based on how I’m feeling, how much time I have, and what kind of a day I have ahead of me. On the other hand, I am always ready for a nice, relaxing bedtime ritual, and keeping it the same helps my body learn to interpret these cues as “OK, it’s time to sleep!”. The other reason that I’m excited for this blog post is just because bedtime routines are fun! There’s no pressure to get a productive start to the day, there are no appointments or tasks that you have to get to right away - your only goal is to relax.
In the comments, I would love to hear from you guys what you do to wind down at the end of the day! Without further ado, here are my bedtime rituals:
Floss + Brush Teeth
I actually just got my new, eco-friendly toothbrushes delivered today. My friend made fun of me, saying I was going to be brushing my teeth with some fur glued to a stick, haha! They’re actually super nice-looking, and they have really great reviews on Amazon so I’m excited to try them out. I’ll tell you more in my next Slowly Green Habits post!
While I brush my teeth, I usually go into the living room to watch a little bit of whatever is on the TV. I used to do squats while brushing, but got tired of that, so now I do calf raises. Not always, though - it’s important to not feel pressured to do this. It’s just nice sometimes to feel a little burn at the end of the day, especially if you spent your evening doing a lot of work at your desk.
Usually I remember to do this. Buuut oftentimes I forget. Why is it that whenever you forget to take out your contacts it’s not in the middle of your bedtime routine, not at the part where you’re washing your face, not at the part where you’re stretching, but at the part when you’re already comfortable in bed. Your eyes snap open and you realize you can see the ceiling clearly. You think to yourself, something is wrong… If you are reading this in bed and you just had the same realization, please go take your contacts out! Better safe than sorry. I’ll wait.... Okay, let’s move on.
I’ve been experimenting with different methods of washing my face. I started with coconut oil, then coconut oil with apple cider vinegar, then just a coconut/castor oil mixture, then the mixture with ACV.... It’s quite a process. I’ve found it difficult to find something that works as well as the face wash that I used to use, but I’m going to keep trying. I’d rather deal with a little bit of acne as my face adjusts than put junk on my face. Don’t put junk on your precious face.
I try to do this step as early as possible so that I can reduce the amount of light I’m exposed to and get better sleep. I turn off my light and turn on the fairy lights by my bed, which cast a wonderful soft glow.
Look at Planner
Honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like doing this step. And that’s OK. I try to do it, though. I go over my to-do list and see what did and didn’t get done. I don’t write anything down for the next day but I just assess where I’m at. I’ll also check off any daily habits that were done but not recorded.
I think this bedtime habit has been the most life-changing. Writing down your thoughts is incredibly cathartic, whether they are sad thoughts, angry thoughts, or even happy, excited thoughts. Having them on paper takes a weight off your shoulders and gives you a more reasonable, clear outlook.
Journaling also gives you a way to document your life. You don’t need to write everything out in detail (there’s no better way to ensure that you won’t stick with the habit for long), but just write briefly about what you did that day and how you felt about it. Not only does it force you to slow down and take a look at what you’re doing in your life rather than just rushing through it, but it gives you a pretty cool archive of your time here on Earth!
I start each entry I wrote down the day of the week, the date, the time that I start writing, and which day of my menstrual cycle it is.
3 Gratefuls + Cycle Update
At the end of my entry, I’ll write down 3 things I was grateful for that day. No matter how rough the day is, you can always think of 3 things. You’ll finish off your journaling practice not only having released the negative feelings, but having gained a positive perspective of the day.
I also journal about my menstrual cycle. I'm super interested in learning about the phases of the cycle and cycle syncing, so I keep track of physical and emotional symptoms in order to find patterns. Even though I’ve only done this for 2 cycles so far, I’ve already noticed crazy coincidences (which aren't really coincidences). For example, I found that on exactly the same day of both cycles, I felt pretty crappy about my relationships with my friends. I felt like I couldn’t connect with them, and like I needed to find new friends who shared my interests. Once I noticed that, I was able to realize that I wasn’t feeling that way because anything was actually wrong with my relationships, it was just “that time of the month”.
Now, when most people say “that time of the month” they are referring to the bleeding phase of the menstrual cycle and are completely disregarding how complex and fascinating the whole cycle actually is. When I say “that time of the month”, I'm referring to the specific day of the cycle. In this case, I believe it was day 14.
Has anyone else experienced this?
I close my journal, put on my headphones, and go to Spotify’s “Ambient Chill” playlist. I have a jar of homemade moisturizer that I made and apply that. Sometimes just to the parts of my skin that are dry, sometimes all over. It smells wonderful.
I usually don’t bother to roll out my yoga mat and just stretch on my carpet. I don’t have much of a routine, but I usually practice some splits, stretch my shoulders, my hamstring, quads, etc. For those of you who practice yoga, happy baby pose and child’s pose are wonderful to finish off your stretching.
I open my windows if I haven’t already and if the temperature outside is okay. I set my Sleep Cycles App, turn off my fairy lights, then climb into bed, get cozy, and sleeep.
Whew, this post is actually making me sleepy. That’s the power of a good bedtime routine! There are so many things you can try. You can light a candle, use some lavender essential oil, meditate, read a book, take a bath, drink some tea. But most importantly...
Just Go to Bed.
As a current high schooler, I know what it’s like to have to stay up late studying or working on extracurricular stuff. And from what I’ve heard, I’ll become best friends with sleep deprivation my junior year. But never stop trying to get more sleep. I know some people who wear their lack of sleep like a badge of honor. But your health always comes before making other people think you’re a busy person or a hard worker. Those short nights rack up and lead to weight gain, poor concentration, a weakened immune system, even diabetes and heart disease.
And you know what happens when all of these issues start popping up in your body? You get less productive. Thereby continuing the vicious cycle of poor sleeping habits. So don’t feel guilty for going to bed. Be as productive as you can be during the day, scrutinize your habits and routines, say “no” to what doesn’t matter, and then what doesn’t get done doesn’t get done. Just go to bed.
What’s one thing you do to fall asleep and catch some quality zzz’s?