My friend Kate blogged about her nighttime routine a little while ago as a counteract to morning routines that are so often talked about.
While I am an early riser, I don’t really have a morning routine (unless you consider rolling out of bed, grabbing my bags, and heading out the door a morning routine).
Define “morning routine”, right? I think when we hear that phrase we think of early morning meditation, an open window with birds chirping, a morning cup of coffee while watching the sunrise, a few minutes of journaling to set our minds right for the day. This is not what actual life is like 99% of the time (at least not for me).
I wish there was a more leisure start to my day, but I can’t fathom right now getting up any earlier than I already do. I am usually out the door some time between 4:45 and 6:45 a.m. (depending on the day).
I do have a much more established nighttime routine though. I purposefully leave the house early in the mornings (to work out and start work early), so I have more time in the evenings (with J and for myself, although the evenings still feel short).
1. Cook dinner with J.
We usually get right to it when I get home (which is usually around 6:30 p.m.). I am usually starving and J is, too, so there is no point in waiting. We meal plan for the week and usually have dinner on the table in 30 minutes, which is about as much as I can handle on a weeknight (even though I really enjoy cooking and the process of doing it together with J).
2. Clean up the kitchen.
I do the dishes, J cleans up the stove and counters. Then he fills up my water bottles for the next day and I get my breakfast and lunch together.
3. A cup of tea.
I usually wind down with a cup of tea in the evening after dinner (especially now that it’s getting cooler and darker in the evenings). We commonly catch the news for a little while and just talk about our days (or more often than not lately about current affairs).
4. Get my gym bag packed.
If it’s gym day the following day, I get my gym bag packed. I pick out my outfit for the next day and lay out my workout clothes. Since I shower at the gym before heading to work, I want to have everything ready to go, so I don’t have to make any decisions in the morning. I get up, get dressed, grab my bag, and go.
5. Do that bathroom thing.
You know the evening drill: brush your teeth and wash your face (especially if you wear makeup during the day). I am very diligent about this. I never got to bed without washing my face or brushing my teeth. It wouldn’t feel “right” and I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep.
I’ve been using the Neutrogena Naturals cleanser for years, which easily takes off all my makeup and doesn’t dry out my skin. Win-win. Then I moisturize the crap out of it.
6. Set my alarm(s).
I usually only set one alarm, but the snooze button is my friend (sadly). I usually snooze at least once in the morning.
I used to be one of those annoying people that asked friends “when do you find time to read in your busy days?”. I really could have answered this myself, because I used to be an avid reader (and I am again!) and usually I get at least a few pages in before bed these days. It helps to wind down and to get into the right mindset to go to sleep (unless, of course, it’s a book that is so gripping that it keeps you up all night, because you cannot put it down. But that’s a different story.)
Do you have a nighttime routine that you stick to?