My Fall Evening Routine: Winding Down In A Productive Way
Having an evening routine that sets you up for a relaxing night is an absolute must! Many of us are so busy during the day that by the time the evening rolls around we have nothing left in our tank. You may find yourself on the couch watching hours of TV because you have no energy for must else. The problem? That doesn’t make you feel good and doesn’t set you up for a good night’s sleep.
Before I came up with an evening routine, I had the most stressful nights. I was having anxiety around bedtime and wasn’t getting to sleep until 1 or 2 in the morning. Not super great when you wake up at 5 am to go to work!
I truly believe that “winding down” after your workday and having a somewhat structured evening routine is crucial for a good sleep. There is nothing worse than feeling anxious, worried, or even frustrated at yourself because you didn’t do anything before bed.
So, keep reading to learn how I created a productive and relaxing evening routine and you can create one too!
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Evening routine vs. Night routine
Generally speaking, I think people use evening and night interchangeably but I want to make a quick distinction. To me, the evening is the time after I get off work and before I go to bed. It is everything leading up to nighttime. You could also call this a night routine if you’d like but to me, a night routine typically consists of the things you do right before bed.
I like the idea of an evening routine because I think there is so much more you can do to set yourself up for a good night than just the 10 minutes of skin care you do before you get into bed.
An evening routine allows you to plan how you will wind down from the day. It leads into dinner time, taking care of your household’s needs, and everything else you do before the end of the day.
I think it’s unrealistic to focus on the hour before bed. Your body and mind need more from you than one hour (at least in my opinion). So, whether you decide to call this an evening routine or a night routine, just know this post is all about the time from the end of the workday to when you head to bed!
Why a “fall” evening routine?
You might be wondering why this is specifically called my FALL evening routine. That is because I like to change my routines with the seasons.
If you live in a place where the seasons change somewhat drastically (you know, one day it’s sunny and warm, and the next it’s raining and cold and most definitely fall), you know how hard it is to keep up your summer routines.
I wake up at 5 am for work which during the summer is easy because it’s already light outside. So, in the morning I typically have more energy and might actually do a workout in the morning or work on the blog before I leave. In the fall and winter, that motivation is gone. It’s pitch black outside, cold, and rainy, and there is no way I’m working out at that time.
The same goes for the evening! The weather influences us so much. When it’s warm and bright we feel more energized. When it’s cold and dark we feel tired. It’s totally natural.
So, my overall mindset is why force a routine on myself that isn’t going to work? Why not just evolve with the seasons?
If you feel the same as I do about the weather and how it makes you feel, this might be a great idea for you!
My current fall evening routine
Let’s start this off by saying I understand that everyone has a different life than I do. This routine might not work for you. You might have children or a different type of job and these times just won’t work.
Hey, that’s okay! We are all on our own journey here. This is just a guide to show you what I do each evening with general times to give you an idea of what your own evening routine could look like.
There is no right or wrong way to do an evening routine as long as you feel good about it. So, let’s dive in!
5:00 PM – Arrive home from work
My commute takes me about an hour so usually when I get home I feel totally exhausted and not interested in doing anything. However, my next step gets me back in action.
5:15 PM – At-home workout
I am currently trying to workout 5 to 6 days a week because I know during the cooler months I tend to feel more down. I don’t do super long workouts because a) I get bored and b) I have limited time. Typically I move for 20 to 30 minutes and that is enough for me!
Related read: Easy Ways To Start Working Out At Home
5:45 PM – Shower
Quick like scrub-a-dub-dub featuring some shower singing time lol
6:00 PM – Start dinner
To make my life easier, I create a meal plan for the week. On the weekend when I go grocery shopping I will make a list of the 6 meals we want for the week (6 because we eat out once a week).
6:45 PM – Eat and enjoy time with Nick
Family time, yay!
7:15 PM – Tidy up the kitchen and living room
We used to be soooo bad with leaving all the dishes in the sink and “dealing with it” in the morning, which rarely happened. So, we take 15 minutes to wash the dishes and load the dishwasher. Gives us a little extra time together and makes the house feel good.
7:30 PM – Content Creation
I head to my office and get to work on whatever it is I need to do. Blog writing, freelance writing, social media, promoting the blog, answering emails, etc. I try to spend at least an hour doing this. If I’m really in the zone I let myself go longer but on the flip side, if I can’t concentrate I end it early! I listen to my body.
Related read: Why You Should Plan Your Content And How To Do It
8:30/8:45 PM – Start getting ready for bed / might have a bath if I feel like it
If you are looking for someone to share their super fancy skincare routine you will need to find someone else lol. I keep things really simple. Brush my teeth, wash my face, use some lotion, apply my favorite lip mask (it’s the Laneige lip mask btw. You MUST try it if you haven’t already), and put my hair up in a nice little bun.
I will sometimes have a bath if I am feeling chilly and need some extra relaxing time. I also find the bath can be a great place for me creatively. So, I will sometimes take my phone and work on social media captions or spend time planning upcoming content!
9:15 PM – In bed / Turn on YouTube ambiance and journal
Journaling is a great habit to get into. I love it before bed but some people prefer to start the day with it. I like to spend time recapping my day, writing about how I feel, working through any emotions or worries, and always listing 3 good things that happened that day.
9:30 PM – Read or watch YouTube until tired
If you follow my blog or Instagram you know that I love to read. Usually, I leave the YouTube ambiance on and grab whatever I am reading. If you read at night you know that it can really put you to sleep so it’s a great option. Definitely try to get off your phone once you are in bed.
Some nights I just don’t feel like reading though so I never push myself. On those nights I will watch a YouTube video or 2 until I fall asleep!
How to create your own evening routine
Creating your own evening routine is simple!
Make a list of things you need to do in the evening. Maybe it’s tidying the house like I do or getting a workout in.
Make sure you have the time to get the must-do’s done before adding in extras. Once you know how much time you have, add in the extra things that will make you happy and feel relaxed (like having a bath, reading, journaling, working on a hobby, etc.).
Start small and then add on as you go. You don’t want to create this long routine that you can’t keep up with in the long run. When creating your routine think of the word SUSTAINABLE. Will this routine be sustainable in a week from now? A month?
At the end of the day, the evening routine is YOURS. You can tweak it and change it when needed. One week you can try working out right when you get home and another you can change the time. Nothing is set in stone!
If you need evening routine ideas, scroll back up and check out my current routine. You may find an idea or two that you like and want to try!
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Do you currently have an evening routine? What do you think about changing your routines with the seasons?