7: My nighttime routine

Photo by Toa Heftibah on Unsplash

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.

7. Read.

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?

  1. Sounds like a nice, relaxing routine. I don’t have a regular routine for night because it’s always changing. I have dance twice a week, and then other nights I have something to do or somewhere to go. I tend to blog/comment back at night as well because sometimes that’s the only time I have. There a couple shows that I MUST watch during the week so I try and keep up with those too. I do like reading at night if I have the time – I’ll read a book or magazine; just kind of relax.


  2. I love a leisurely start to the day, however like you I’m up and out the door early through the week. My night routine needs some work though. One thing I do love is that I get to commute home with my hubby so we get to talk about our days in the car and its a great way to transition between work and home life.

  3. I think it’s good to have a good nighttime routine! We have a pretty decent one too, kind of need to with the kiddo, it helps that we need to get him to bed by a certain time and it helps keep us kind of on track too.

  4. I love reading how you organize your day especially your night. I don’t really have any set routine but most the days I have a little time with hubby (who comes in very late so we usually don’t have dinner together), then I clean up the kitchen, start the dishwasher, do the bathroom thing and head to bed were I scroll instagram and if I am not too tired read a few pages in my book.

  5. Every night is different, but it usually ends up with Ryan in bed before me, and me doing all the bathroom things and sometimes turning off SOME of the lights before jumping in the bed. :p Then Ryan has to get up in his half-asleep state to turn them off. LOL

  6. For sure. I have to make sure everything is set up.

    1. Outside side door light on.
    2. Temp down to 68.
    3. Waterbottles beside my bed filled.
    4. Say goodnight to cats.
    5. Brush teeth, wash face, go to bathroom.
    6. Make sure alarm is set.
    7. Read reddit until I fall asleep. :)

  7. I have an ideal nighttime routine, but I very rarely get to enjoy it because other things always seem to come up in the evenings!

    My morning routine is about the same as yours – it’s always rush, rush, rush to get out the door by 7:30. I even switched my hours at work from 7:30-5 to 8-5:30 because I just couldn’t get myself to work on time at the 7:30 hour, but it’s still a struggle somehow!

  8. Your night time routine is a great wind down to the day. I agree that night time routines are more enjoyable and relaxed than mornings. Even pre-Paul, my morning wasn’t relaxing as I didn’t want to get up any earlier than I had to and now they are even more hectic since Paul needs to be in the carseat and ready to head out the door by 6:55 am so Phil can drop him off at daycare before catching a bus.

    My evenings are morning relaxing, though. I take the bus to daycare, pick up Paul and we drive home. I get home around 5-5:15 and then we feed Paul, play with him give him a bath, and put him down by 6-6:30 depending onw how tired he seems. About 2-3 nights I make dinner; the other nights we eat leftovers. I try to do my prep work on the weekend so that meals can come together in about 30-40 minutes max. We use the instant pot a lot as it’s nice to just put something in there and walk away! Phil and I work on dishes together and then I sit down to pump around 7-7:30. That takes about 40 minutes so we usually watch a show while I pump and then I head up to bed. I also am diligent about washing my face and brushing my teeth and this year I’ve been diligent about flossing as my dentist told me I’m close to getting a cavity but regular flossing would prevent it from happening. I hate getting cavities drilled out so that gave me the motivation to floss almost daily! Then I read in bed for 15-30 minutes depending on how exhausted I am! My goal is to have the lights out by 9pm so I have a shot at 7 hours of sleep. Paul is still up 2-3 times a night so I need to go to bed extra early to offset waking up multiple times a night!

  9. Awww this was fun to read! I never really thought about my morning or nightly routine but yours is very similar to mine. I typically start dinner around the time B gets home from work and he does the dishes/cleans, which I love because I hate tidying up. And dang girl, you are up early! That’s impressive :) xoxo

  10. My current nighttime routine is thrown off a bit by being alone for the month. Each evening I do a lot of homework, walk the dogs, make dinner and clean up from it, try to relax a little bit, get my lunchbox/waterbottles/gym bag ready for the next day, and facetime Brian before getting into bed. I would like to be a little bit more deliberate about things, but right now is not the time to be messing with my evening schedule.

  11. I tried working out in the morning once before work (the gym was in the same building as my workplace so it was easy to shower and head straight up to the office), and I was so tired the rest of the day that I just wanted to sleep! I don’t know how you do it but I admire so much for it!

    I hear about making dinner in 30 minutes or less. After work, who wants to stand in the kitchen for hours making something? Heck no!

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